The Moat or Rim of Elms

The Moat or Ring of Elms at the Alzey gate

The moat embraces the Medieval village in the shape of a heart and with its high mounded ramparts it served as fortifications and a drainage ditch in case of a flood. The beginnings cannot exactly be determined. However, a quarrel between the Dalberg family and the community can be verified in the chronicle at the end of the 14th century. In this, one member of the Dalberg family declared a part of the moat his property. The ensuing trial ended in a settlement: one part was awarded to the community, one part to the Dalberg family.
The four streets leading out of the village in all directions were particularly secured by portculles (trellised gates) at the four gates: Hangen-Weisheim gate, Flomborn gate, Dintesheim gate and Alzey gate.
At the beginning of the last century elms (German words: Effe, Ulme, Rüster) were the prevailing trees along the moat, which has been protected as the natural monument "Rim of Elms" since 11th March 1927. Of course the Dutch elm disease did not spare our "Allee" (colloquial name for the moat; means tree-lined walk) either. Between 1967 and 1981 all elms had to be cut down. 550 trees were then planted again.

The Moat or Ring of Elms

Today people can stroll in the shade of oak, lime, maple, chestnut and resistant elm trees along the 1.3 km long circular walk.
The "Verschönerungsverein" has taken care of the "Rim of Elms" and the former ramparts have become a recreation area with interesting sights like the open-air theatre and a bird watcher path which tells you all about indigenous birds.
Since 30th September 1988 the appearance of the village with the moat has been under the protection of the Convention of The Hague.