World-famous moated castles, magnificent nature in the Baumberge mountains, pure history in Nottuln, and pulsating city life in Warendorf - time and again the Münsterland presents itself to its visitors from a new side. Take a look at the following suggestions and be inspired. The region around Münster will welcome you with open arms and offer you spectacular experiences. I will gladly tell you more!
TOP 1: Discover the magic of moated castles
The moated castles are at the top of the list of the most beautiful sights in the Münsterland region. Come and be enchanted by the medieval charm of Vischering Castle and the baroque splendour of Nordkirchen Castle. Both estates are located about 30 km from Münster in a southerly direction and can be explored in a well-organised day trip. The museum at Vischering Castle was completely redesigned two years ago and now delights visitors from near and far with spectacular exhibits. The design of the exhibition includes refreshingly modern installations. A tour around the castle with its picturesque water features is also not to be missed. https://burg-vischering.de/ The contrast with the triumphant baroque complex in Nordkirchen regularly amazes guests. Take your time, enjoy the view of the imposing manor house, stroll in the park like the noblemen of the Münsterland region in days gone by, and let the "Versailles of Westphalia" come to life. http://www.schloss.nordkirchen.net/ Other castles and palaces are also well worth a visit: Germany's most famous poet, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, was born at Hülshoff Castle, on the eastern edge of Münster. Not far away is the Rüschhaus, where the artist spent many productive years.
TOP 2: The Baumberge - the most valuable natural jewel in the Münsterland region
What contrasts better with the urban life of Münster than an excursion into nature? About 20 km to the west are the Baumberge, the only elevation in the otherwise flat Münsterland. Whether by bike or on foot, the possibilities for active and sporting activities in this fascinating nature reserve are unlimited. The green oasis is home to unique beech forests, springs of numerous streams, rare animals and plants, and if you are attentive, you can even track down the ruins of the "Herbstwald" bunker complex. It was here that the commanders of the Wehrmacht in Münster took refuge during the bombing raids of the Second World War. The Longinus Tower is an important and widely visible centre of this enchanting area. Built as a worthy landmark at the turn of the 20th century, it can now be climbed and offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The active team of the Café 1897 will be happy to cater for your physical well-being. https://longinusturm.com/ At the foot of the mountain range, in the Stevern farming community, colourful, idyllic orchard meadows and lovingly restored farmhouses can be seen. The predominant building material is the light grey Baumberg sandstone quarried directly on site. I would be delighted if I could show you this wonderful spot of earth - you will be thrilled. https://naturschutzzentrum-coesfeld.de/baumberge-139 Another tip: The Ludgerusweg leads through the area - a first-class hiking route. The 30-kilometre-long trail, named after the first bishop of Münster, starts at Tilbeck Abbey south-west of Roxel and leads right through the Baumberge mountains to Coesfeld. The hiking tour can be divided into two stages of equal length. Billerbeck, with its beautiful Romanesque St. John's Church, is right in the middle. https://www.nrw-tourismus.de/a-baumberger-ludgerusweg
TOP 3: Nottuln and its town centre - noble courts and old crafts
Only five kilometres from the Baumbergen hills, the old monastery village of Nottuln with its well-preserved town centre is a tempting place to visit. Here, guests can marvel at a whole ensemble of noble residences which the star architect of the Baroque era, Johann Conrad Schlaun, designed around the venerable St. Martin's Church in the 18th century. In Münster, the once magnificent aristocratic courts have fallen victim to the bombing raids, with only a few exceptions. They are therefore sorely missed in today's cityscape of the metropolis of Westphalia. Fortunately, in the picturesque town of Nottuln, the stately splendour of the architecture of the time is still alive today. Most of the beautiful buildings, also known as the Kurien, are still in use today, for example as the town hall, doctor's surgery or office of the city administration. The Nonnenbach stream ripples discreetly in the background, giving the historic area a particularly peaceful atmosphere. The church of St. Martin also has some exciting surprises in store for curious visitors: unusually varied ceiling paintings are just one example. Nottuln also offers the chance to experience an old craft up close - blue printing. Blueprinting master Dirk Kentrup is happy to invite guests to his workshop and present the old craft personally. Blueprinting is part of the immaterial world cultural heritage of UNESCO! No one will leave his workshop hungry - after the tour, guests can fortify themselves with homemade Münsterland cake. https://www.kentrup.eu/ So many attractions at once - who wouldn't want to go on an exciting trip to Nottuln?
TOP 4: Warendorf - An adventure awaits at every corner
Warendorf is a dream destination for adventurous guests: Countless listed buildings now adorn the centre of the old Hanseatic town, which was spared the turmoil of war. Half-timbered houses, venerable merchants' houses with elaborately decorated gables, glamorous Art Nouveau residences of the distinguished bourgeoisie, a post office from the Wilhelminian era and many other unique buildings are lined up here. The town centre is ideal for exploring on your own. Lovers of medieval art can marvel at a very special treasure in the district town: the Laurentiuskirche church is home to the famous Warendorfer Alter. The filigree work dates from the 15th century and represents a highlight of North German late Gothic painting. Nowadays some important institutions are located in Warendorf: The best equestrian athletes from all over Germany train in the German Olympic Committee for Equestrian Sports. The North Rhine-Westphalian State Stud is known for its legendary stallion parades and opens its doors to interested guests https://www.landgestuet.nrw.de/ Would you like to experience even more? No problem in Warendorf: just outside the town are the idyllic Emsauen. Here you can see how an old ecosystem is being carefully restored to its original state with the support of the EU. In the last century, especially between the 1930s and 1970s, zealous landscape planners straightened the natural serpentine bed of the Ems and damaged the habitats of numerous plants and animals. Today, the diversity of species is increasing year by year. Feel free to contact me and I will give you tips for your trip to Warendorf.
TOP 5: Freckenhorst - On the traces of the very old times
The small town of Freckenhorst, located just five kilometres south of Warendorf, offers a magnificent journey back in time to the distant Middle Ages. Here rises the mighty Bonifatiuskirche, popularly known as the Bauerndom. The imposing church with its five towers is one of the oldest sacred buildings in the Münsterland region. The small semi-circular windows allow little light into the interior, creating a sublime, almost mystical atmosphere. This effect is typical of Romanesque architecture and impressively distinguishes the peasant cathedral from the light-flooded rooms that we know so well from the subsequent Gothic period. Come in and let the unique atmosphere take effect on you. But that's not all: the Peasant Cathedral houses a unique cultural treasure. In the northern chapel rests a baptismal font from the 12th century, which is decorated, among other things, with superbly chiseled scenes from the life of Jesus. Renowned art specialists certify that this gem is the most important example of its kind in all of Germany! Fortunately, you don't need to be an expert to understand the significance of this jewel. The beauty of the ancient depictions is easily revealed to every viewer. At the end of the visit a short walk over the surrounding area is recommended. Since the Middle Ages, Freckenhorst has developed into an important regional centre because a convent was located here. It was a monastic community for female members of noble families who lived in noble residences. This institution existed for almost a thousand years until it was dissolved at the beginning of the 19th century under the onslaught of Napoleon and the subsequent Prussians. The preserved abbey from the baroque period is particularly representative.
TOP 6: Horstmar and Schöppingen - the age of chivalry is not over yet
Guests who are looking for authentic, previously little visited attractions away from the well-known tourist destinations will find two real treats here: Four time-honoured Burgmannshöfe from the early modern era have been preserved in Horstmar to this day. Horstmar was an important military and administrative base of the bishops of Münster. The bishops appointed their best warriors as castle men and ordered them to serve in the fortress town. The tour of the rectangular-shaped town is like a journey back to the adventurous days of chivalry. Today, the public authorities, citizens and companies use the Burgmannshöfe for their respective purposes, which ensures its impeccable preservation for the future. In the Brictiuskirche church in neighbouring Schöppingen, unique art treasures await the curious visitor: the famous Schöppinger altar has adorned the sublime church building for around six centuries. Perfectly shaped and made in the style of the time, the altar presents the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus. No less spectacular are the wall paintings, which depict, among other things, the twelve apostles. Even guests with no religious or art historical background regularly enjoy the beauty of these works of art. The picturesque town halls in both towns offer excellent motifs for impressive souvenir photos. I personally have grown particularly fond of these two pretty little towns. Come with me - I will take you there!
TOP 7: Tecklenburg - beautiful half-timbered houses and inspiring nature
The cosy little half-timbered town of Tecklenburg offers completely different impressions than the flat Münsterland. The town lies in the middle of the Teutoburg Forest, the northernmost low mountain range in Germany. The locals call the extensive forest area "Teuto" for short. Tecklenburg has a beautiful ensemble of historic buildings and offers magnificent views far into the Münsterland. Especially for friends of outdoor activities, the region offers an undreamed-of wealth of exciting possibilities. Peculiar rock formations such as the "Hexenküche" or the "crouching woman" have long been popular destinations for hikers and mountain bikers. Several new round tours of varying length and difficulty, known as Teutos Loops, open up the terrain: https://www.teutoschleifen.de/ The Teutoburg Forest has been included in the list of UNESCO Geoparks and is considered a nature reserve particularly worth protecting. After a stroll through the town, I can recommend a short detour to the town church for friends of history. Here you can see excellently preserved tomb slabs from the Bentheim-Tecklenburg Counts' House. The local patriotic nobility acted as opponents of the bishops of Münster and introduced Protestantism in the 16th century, which still distinguishes this tranquil area from the Catholic-influenced Münsterland today.
TOP 8: Rheine - Cultural highlight in the north of the Münsterland
Do not go home without a trip to Rheine. The second largest city in the Münsterland region is home to two very renowned museums, the Falkenhof and the Bentlage Monastery. The Falkenhof, a noble residence, presents a varied overview of the history and present of the old Emsstadt. In addition, archaeology can be experienced here in a very practical way: A few years ago, specialists discovered a previously unknown sewage system during excavations. The most interesting finds from the campaign, such as luxurious tableware, now enrich the collection. The highlight of the venerable building, however, is the festive Morriensaal with its uniquely decorated wooden ceiling. This really amazes every visitor. https://www.rheine.de/kultur-freizeit-tourismus/kunst-und-kultur/museen-und-ausstellungen/249.Falkenhof-Museum.html The nearby Bentlage Convent houses an art treasure unique in Germany - the famous Relic Gardens, the work of eager nuns from the Middle Ages. The religious ladies have lovingly arranged the bones and skulls of illustrious personalities in a composition of fabric and artificial flowers. The convent also presents the first-class collection of the LWL Museum of Modern Westphalian Art. https://www.muensterland.com/tourismus/themen/erlebnis-region-muensterland/burgen-und-schloesser-im-muensterland/kloster-bentlage/ The excursion to Rheine is definitely under the sign of culture. In the evening, however, the town centre attracts visitors with its many cosy cafés. This is the perfect opportunity to end the intense day in a cosy atmosphere against the magnificent backdrop of venerable merchants' houses.
TOP 9: Harkotten Castle - A noble residence presents itself live!
A conversation with a veritable lord of the castle? At Harkotten Castle in Füchtorf this is possible! On the northern edge of the district of Warendorf lies the historically significant aristocratic residence, which consists of two manor houses. The older building, shown in the accompanying photo below, dates back to the Baroque period, the younger one was completed in Classicism (early 19th century). The dedicated owners organise a variety of guided tours here - a unique opportunity to take a look inside this prestigious residence. Some years ago, valuable wall paintings were discovered and restored at Harkotten Castle. The results of committed and professional monument conservation are particularly impressive. Let yourself be inspired by the unique atmosphere of this noble residence in the Münsterland region! The "Wappensaal" restaurant is also well known. In a former farm building of the estate, visitors can now enjoy coffee and cake. The Wappensaal offers the perfect ambience for a well-deserved break after an interesting and impressive discovery tour. Visit the informative website of Harkotten Castle: https://harkotten.eu/
TOP 10: The Ems floodplains - wonderful nature at the gates of Münster
Not far from the gates of the city of Münster, a unique nature area unfolds - the Emsauen. The smallest river in Germany flows north past the Westphalian metropolis. Over the years, the Ems has created a very special alluvial landscape: the river winds its way through the flat terrain in serpentines, creating a varied bank zone consisting of sandbanks and steep slopes. This is home to numerous rare animals and plants. However, man has significantly altered the natural condition of the Ems floodplains: Between the 1930s and 1970s, zealous landscape designers straightened the original river bed in order to gain agricultural land and prevent flooding - with unforeseen consequences for flora and fauna. For several decades, authorities and committed citizens have been successfully trying to renature the course of the river. Westbevern-Vadrup and Haus Langen in Westbevern are perfectly suited as a starting point for long walks through the beautiful area. Several hiking trails are signposted for visitors. Along the way, observation towers offer excellent conditions for intensive observation of the unique landscape. Display boards give interested visitors an understanding of the ongoing conservation measures and provide valuable information about vegetation and wildlife. And that's not all: the forests of the Ems floodplains conceal the remains of the Haskenau, a mysterious knight's castle whose origins go back to the early Middle Ages, when Westphalia was settled by Saxons and Franconians.