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This page provides the pronunciation of each bend name, together with its translation and some guesses as to the explanation of the name.
The video above is a lap of the Nordschleife and Grand Prix track in a Porsche 997 GT3. Remove the Vimeo text by moving your cursor away from the video. There is also a full screen mode in the bottom right corner.
The bend names
The original info was stolen from here, then about a million people pitched in with corrections, theories and counter-theories. The late author and historian Chris Nixon asked for permission to include this info in his book Kings of the Nürburgring, and in return had his friend Bernd Schneider make corrections and additions, which Chris allowed me to reproduce here. Birgit provided the pronunciations.
Approximate times in the video correspond to the video above. The letters in brackets after the times are the abbreviations that people tend to use on the Ringers forum.
To hear a bend name pronounced, make sure your PC sound is on and then click the bend name. Many thanks to everyone who emailed me with input to this.
Antonius' Beech. Named after the huge beech tree which used to stand here. Legend says there used to be a memorial at the foot of the tree dedicated to Saint Antonius. St Antonius is the saint of lost things, so you'll find even non-religious Germans appealing to him for help when they lose something. The Bilstein bridge is the first thing you will see on a Touristfahrten lap, but it is near the end of this video because it is a lap of the combined Nordschleife and Grand Prix track.
Animal Garden. A pleasant-sounding name for a place where animals were buried. Various versions have it as animals unfit to eat, the hunting animals of a noble, the pets of a noble and horses which died in combat fighting for the glory of Nürburg! Take your pick. The second curve you will see on a Touristfahrten lap.
Elevated field-boundary. A 'rain' is the boundary between two fields, and 'hohen' means that the boundary is raised. Third Touristfahrten curve.
Chicane. Doh! This chicane was added to the circuit in 1967 to reduce the speed of the cars as they passed the (then) pits. The Grand Prix circuit joins the Nordschleife between Schikane and T13.
T13. This is named after the stadium block overlooking the bend.
Hatzen Brook. A small brook running just to the left of the track. Hatz is to drive, so maybe a place where they used to hunt, driving the game to the brook?
Great oaks. Some large oak trees had to be cut down here to build this section of the track
Quiddlebach Height. The highest point of the village of Quiddelbach
Flugplatz (2:55) (FP)
Airfield ('Flight place'). Gliders used to be launched from this hill, but many of us feel the literal translation is the perfect description for the feeling you get on this section of the track.
Schwedenkreuz (3:05) (Sx)
Swedish Cross. A stone cross dating back to 1638, said to be a memorial to Hans Friedrich Datenberg, mayor of Kelberg and tax-collector for Adenau, believed killed by some deserters from the Swedish army. The cross fell down and broke about a century ago and the surviving parts are now held together with iron clamps.
Arem Mountain. Named after the nearby village and volcanic hill of the same name. 'Arem' apparently isn't a word - maybe a local colloquialism?
Fuchsröhre (3:30) (FR)
Foxhole. Apparently a frightened fox dived into a drainpipe during the construction of this section, and the workers named the section after it.
Adenau Forest. The, uh, forest near the town of Adenau.
Metzges field. Where the track crosses a field which has been so-named for reasons unknown, but an 1860 map apparently calls it Mertgendsfeld so it may be a corruption of a field belonging to someone called Mertgend.
Kallen Forest. Kallen Forest. (In old German, '-hard' means a mountain forest. The origin of Kallen is unknown.
Miss-Hit-Miss. Unofficial English name for the triple-apex right-hander between Kallenhard and Wehrseifen as that's the normal line to take the apexes - stay out from the first, clip the second, drift out from the third. Germans refer to it as Drei Rechte - three rights. Officially, I believe this bend is part of the Kallenhard complex.
Defense valley. 'Wehr' apparently loosely translates to defence, protection, that sort of thing. The valley originally marked the boundary between the towns of Adenau and Breidscheid (which have now effectively merged into a single town).
A wide forest clearing. The bend closest to the town of the same name. Told you they lacked imagination. Breidscheid is the lowest point on the circuit. Two explanations have been suggested. First, in older German a 'Scheideweg' means a junction where one way splits into two, and 'Breit' means broad, so Breidscheid may describe a place where a wide route splits. So effectively 'broad junction'. Second, 'breit' still meaning broad and 'Scheid' means a forest strip, so Breidscheid may mean a wide forest strip.
Water Mill. Named after the water mill which still stands here behind the ARAL petrol station. 'Ex-' is from the French 'Aix', meaning waters. The original plan had been to build the paddock here, but the mill owner refused to sell the necessary land. Occasionally known as Junek Kurve after the Czech racing driver Viktor Junek killed here in 1928.
Lauda Left-kink. Unofficial name for the slight left-hander between Ex-Mühle and Berkwerk where Niki Lauda had the horrendous crash that ended Formula 1 racing at the Nordschleife. His car got out of shape here and ended up crashing in flames into the armco at Berkwerk. Locals sometimes refer to this as Grill Kurve
Mine ('Mountain work'). Named after the lead and silver mine worked here until around 1900
Little Valley. Talkessel means the bottom of a valley. 'Chen' is a diminutive, meaning little.
Courage Curve or Fear Curve. I could never understand why this seemingly-innocuous bend was so-named ... until I'd gradually increased my speed to the point where you start rapidly running out of tarmac as the outside of the bend curves back in towards you! Ah, that would be the reason, then ... The correct name for this bend is Mutkurve; Angst Kurve is just an English bastardisation of the name.
Convent Valley. There used to be a convent ('kloster') here in the 14th Century, nestled in the valley ('tal').
Carousel. Obvious once you've driven/ridden the famous 270-degree banked curve :-) The banking was originally only there for drainage, with the bend going around the top. Caracciola was the first driver to use it as a means of carrying more speed through the bend, which is why it is now officially known as the Caracciola-Karussell (but you won't ever hear anyone use the full name - it's just too long!).
High Lookout. There is a nearby mountain of the same name, the highest point in the Eifel at 746.9m, but we've also heard that it's named after the high lookout hut to be found here. 'Acht' is from 'Achtung', or attention, hence 'lookout'. Hohe (not Höhe) Acht is the second highest point on the circuit, very slightly lower than the original start/finish at T13 (the bridge immediately after Shikane, next to the Grand Prix circuit). See the Altitude Profile.
Hedwig's Height. A well-hidden sign on the right at the start of Wipperman. Dr Otto Creutz, 'father' of the Ring, named the bend after his wife, Hedwig.
Seesaw Man! This section apparently used to be very bumpy before it was smoothed out. Ok, so they had some imagination.
Ash Brook. Yet another bend named after a nearby brook, in turn apparently named after one or more Ash trees.
Little Well. This section includes a bridge over a creek which used to supply the water for the village of Herschbroich. This is also called "showboat" by the British, after the temptation to entertain the spectators on the bank to the left of the curve.
Ice Curve. This bend is mainly in shadow so tends to be the first bend to get ice and the last bend to dry after rain
Pflanzgarten 1 (8:13) (PF1) Pflanzgarten 2 (8:20) (PF2)
Plant Garden. Named after a plant nursery patronised by the counts of Nürburg.
Swallow Tail. The builders apparently considered it to be the shape of a swallow's tail
Little Carousel. A slightly banked bend, also with concrete blocks, hence a little or baby version of Karussell
Gallow Head/Hill. The site of a gallows where public executions used to take place back in the midst of time. Kopf means 'head', but hills are often named kopf, and if you ever want to frighten yourself, wander up there when the Ring is closed and take a look over the armco to the left!
Döttingen High. The high point near the village of Döttingen
The Ring falls and rises almost a thousand feet as you lap it! This 1930s postcard gives some sense of the elevation, but if you want the ultimate detail, you need the altitude profile below! It appears to have been created by someone called Roman Karust: if anyone has contact details for him, please let me know.