Monschau (French: Montjoie, Walloon: Mondjoye) is a small resort town in the Eifel region of western Germany, located in the Aachen district of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The town is located in the hills of the North Eifel, within the Hohes Venn – Eifel Nature Park in the narrow valley of the Rur river. The historic town center has many preserved half-timbered houses and narrow streets have remained nearly unchanged for 300 years.
On the heights above the city is Monschau castle, which dates back to the 13th century — the first mention of Monschau was made in 1198.Beginning in 1433, the castle was used as a seat of the dukes of Jülich.
In 1543, Emperor Charles V besieged it as part of the Geldern Feud, captured it and plundered the town. However, the castle stayed with Jülich until 1609, when it became part of Palatinate-Neuburg.
In 1795, the French captured the area and, under the name Montjoie, made it the capital of a canton of the Roer département. After the area became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815, Monschau became the district capital of the Kreis Montjoie.