At the top in the Palatinate
The municipality of Göllheim, Donnersbergkreis, was founded in 1972. With its 13 local communities, it stretches, embedded in a landscape of hills, forests and vineyards, from the foot of the highest mountain in the Palatinate, the Donnersberg, to the Rhine-Hessian border in the Zellertal. The area of the municipality extends over 80 km², with the highest point in the southwest on the Schweinsberg at 355 m above sea level, and the lowest point near Harxheim at 162 m above sea level. There the "main river" of the municipality, the Pfrimm, on which five villages are located, leaves the district to flow into the Rhine near Worms.
The local communities with about 12000 inhabitants have an independent historical origin and are structured differently. The number of inhabitants ranges from about 150 in Immesheim, the smallest village of the municipality, to about 4000 in the largest village: Göllheim. Agriculture and viticulture on the good to very good loam and limestone soils still play a major role in the municipality. However, the number of agricultural enterprises is also declining here. Several industrial and large-scale enterprises, but especially the many handicraft, trade and service enterprises, provide about 2000 jobs. In addition, a large number of "commuters" live in the area of the municipality, who work especially in the neighbouring cities of Kaiserslautern, Worms and Ludwigshafen.
Due to the targeted development of the local communities and the development of building areas in all localities, the municipality has recorded a continuous population increase for many years. The well-developed infrastructure is likely to play a major role in its attractiveness: In addition to the central facilities in Göllheim, Albisheim and Zellertal, there are three schools (Realschule Plus with technical secondary school as all-day school, elementary schools in Göllheim and Zellertal with additional childcare offers), eight daycare centers also with places for children under 3 years and all-day offers, five gymnasiums, nine sports fields, a DFB miniature playing field, village community centers as well as three community libraries and the museums "Uhl'sches Haus" in Göllheim and "Haus Golsen" in Zell. With the Heilpädagogisch-Therapeutisches Kinderzentrum (therapeutic pedagogic children's centre) in Göllheim, the senior citizens' and old people's nursing homes in Albisheim and Göllheim, the Sozialtherapeutisches Wohnheim "VIVA" (social therapeutic residential home) in Albisheim as well as the Pferdezentrum Rheinland-Pfalz-Saarland (horse centre of Rhineland-Palatinate-Saarland) in Standenbühl, supra-regional institutions are also located in the area of the Verbandsgemeinde. In addition, the municipality with its more than 70 clubs and associations is characterised by a very lively club life. Since 1996 there has been a partnership between the municipality of Göllheim and the Polish town of Kozienice (Masovian Voivodeship), which lies about 100 km south of Warsaw.
Wine is also cultivated in the municipality. On the slopes of the Pfrimm River in the Zellertal, almost exclusively quality wines are harvested on approx. 300 ha.
Winegrowing in the Zellertal can look back on a long tradition: the oldest documentary evidence of winegrowing in the Palatinate - the donation of a vineyard in 708 - is said to lead to the Zellertal. Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Gewürztraminer, Scheurebe, Portugieser, Spätburgunder, Dornfelder and other wines of special quality are cultivated, as many prizes at wine awards, also on federal level, prove.
Herewith we come ready to the recreational possibilities in the municipality of Göllheim. In the extensive forests, especially near Göllheim, Dreisen and Standenbühl, there are well developed hiking areas. In addition, the "Adolf-von-Nassau-Wanderweg", the "Agenda-Weg", the "Nibelungenwanderweg" and the "Jakobs-Pilgerweg" in Göllheim offer not only scenic hiking tours, but also historical and geographical information.
Also cyclists get their money's worth on picturesque routes in the area of the municipality. Visitors interested in cultural history will find a large number of sights in the museums in Göllheim and Zell as well as in the picturesque old town centres of the individual communities.
Accommodation is available in Göllheim, Albisheim, Einselthum, Lautersheim, Weitersweiler and in the Zellertal. In addition, "farm holidays" are offered in the communities of Dreisen, Lautersheim and Rüssingen. Furthermore, there is a camping site in the leisure centre of Weitersweiler, with its magnificent view of the nearby Donnersberg. Of course, wine tasting is available at most of the wineries in the communities of Albisheim, Einselthum, Harxheim, Niefernheim, Rüssingen and Zell, as well as in the tasting rooms there.
Only a few kilometres outside the municipality there are further recreational possibilities: for hiking enthusiasts the Donnersberg, the highest mountain of the Palatinate with 687 m, as well as the Nordpfälzer Bergland, for those interested in sports the golf course at the Donnersberg, swimming pools and indoor swimming pools as well as waters with fishing opportunities and boat rentals. Tourists interested in cultural history can visit the former Nassau-Weilburg residence town of Kirchheimbolanden, the monastery ruins in Rosenthal and Bolanden, the castle ruins in Stauf, Neuleiningen and Falkenstein, the Celtic village and Celtic garden in Steinbach and the Imsbach visitor mine.
Due to the favourable location of the municipality of Göllheim, the cities of Kaiserslautern, Worms, Mainz, Speyer, Ludwigshafen and Mannheim can also be reached in a short time.