North Rhine-Westphalia State Attractions Nordrhein-Westfalen
The state of North Rhine Westphalia is located in western Germany. It is characterized by lakes, fields and forests, and is also known for it's industries.The Markt is in the center of Bonn's old town.The Old Town Hall in Bonn was built between 1737 and 1738.
Situation and characteristicsThe Teutoburg Forest extends along the north side of the Münster lowlands for some 100km/60miles, beginning
at the point where the Mittelland Canal joins the Dortmund-Ems Canal and rising from north-west to south-east to end in its highest peak, the Preussischer Velmerstot (468m/1,536ft).The hills consist of Cretaceous limestone and sandstone, the difference between the two being reflected in the vegetation (beech forests on the limestone, spruces on the sandstone). The principal beauty spots are the Dörenther Klippen at Brochterbeck, the Dörenberg (331m/1,085ft) near Bad Iburg, the Ravensburg at Borgholzhausen, the Hermannsdenkmal and the Externsteine.Other tourist attractions are the Safari Park at Stukenbrock, the Eagle Observatory at Detmold-Berlebeck and the Bird and Flower Park at Detmold-Heiligenkirchen.There are numerous summer holiday resorts in these beautiful wooded hills - the picturesque little hill town of Tecklenburg, the spa of Bad Iburg (Kneipp cure), the brine spas of Bad Laer and Bad Rothenfelde, the gingerbread town of Borgholzhausen, the hill town of Oerlinghausen and many more.
Immediately south of the Teutoburg Forest can be found the Eggegebirge, a 35km/22mile long range of hills bounded on the south by the Diemel valley. In the Senne, an extensive area of heath and sand to the west, is Bad Lippspringe, while to the east of the hills are Bad Driburg and Willebadessen.
The charming Sauerland ("South Land") is a beautifully wooded upland region, slashed by numerous winding river valleys, to the south of the Rhineland-Westphalia industrial zone. It rises to a height of 843m/2,766ft in the Hegekopf, near Willingen, and to 841m/2,759ft in the Kahler Asten on the Winterberg plateau.The largest river in this densely populated region, which is bounded on the south by the Sieg, is the Ruhr, into which flows the Lenne at Hohensyburg. The varied beauties of the Sauerland lie in its old towns (Altena, Arnsberg, Attendorn, Brilon, Hohenlimburg, Iserlohn, Lüdenscheid, Niedermarsberg, etc.), in the deeply indented valleys of its rivers (Lenne, Möhne, Ruhr, Sorpe, Volme, etc.) with their large dams built to provide secure supplies of water and produce electric power and their many caves (Attahöhle, Dechenhöhle, etc.), and in the hills with their far ranging views.To the southwest lies the beautiful Bergisches Land, to the south the industrial Siegerland.
Through Sauerland - A Circular Tour
The route suggested here starts and finishes at Hagen.Leave Hagen on B 7, which leads east into the Lenne valley. After passing Hohenlimburg, which has a fine Schloss, and Letmathe itreaches a junction where a road goes off to the Dechenhöhle, a stalactitic cave discovered in 1888 (Cave Museum).The main road continues through the beautiful Lenne valley to the picturesquely situated town of Altena, with the ancestral castle of the Counts von der Mark (12th century; youth hostel; regional museum). Then on to Balve, with the Balver Höhle (cave). To the east lies the beautiful artificial lake formed by the Sorpe dam.The old town of Arnsberg (remains of town walls; Sauerland Museum, Fire Service Museum) is magnificently situated on a ridge of hills encircled by the Ruhr; above the town is a ruined castle. A few kilometers north is the Möhne Dam.Meschede lies at the junction of the Henne with the Ruhr. 1.5km/1mi before the town is the moated castle of Laer (17th century). A parish church of 1663 contains remains of a Carolingian crypt. To the north of the town can be seen a Germanic fortified settlement.The old Hanseatic town of Brilon, now a winter sports resort, has a 14th century Town Hall with a Baroque facade, a parish church of the 13th-14th century and a municipal museum (dinosaur remains, collection of stoves).The route now runs southwest by way of Olsberg.Winterberg, situated on a plateau commanding extensive views, has developed into the most popular winter sports resort in Sauerland. Southwest of the town stands the Kahler Asten (841m/2,759ft; outlook tower), on which are the sources of the Lenne and the Ruhr.Schmallenberg has a Late Romanesque church (13th century) and a number of handsome half-timbered buildings. Some 3.5km/2mi east is the former Benedictine monastery of Grafschaft (conventual buildings 1727-49).At the head of the Volme valley is Meinerzhagen, with a small Romanesque church (14th century). Some 2.5km/1.5mi southeast is the moated castle of Badinhagen (17th century).The return to Hagen is by way of Kierspe and Lüdenscheid.
Situation and characteristicsThe industrial town of Gütersloh lies to the south of the Teutoburg Forest. The principal branches of industry are engineering, textiles and publishing.The heart of the old village which grew into the present town was the Alter Kirchplatz. Flanking the square are handsome old half-timbered houses, including the Veerhoffhaus, now occupied by the Kunstverein (Art Association). To the south is the striking new Municipal Library (Stadtbibliothek).To the northeast, at Kökerstrasse 7-9, can be found the Municipal Museum (Stadtmuseum; mainly medical and industrial history).To the north is the Mühlenstroth Narrow-Gauge Railway and Steam Engine Museum (Kleinbahn- und Dampflokmuseum). Trips on an old narrow-gauge railroad (weekends only).
The Münsterland, which occupies the northwestern half of Westphalia, is bounded on the northeast by the Teutoburg Forest and on the south by the river Lippe. In the west it merges into the Lower Rhine plain. For the most part it is a flat or gently undulating region, out of which rise ranges of flat-topped sandstone hills like the Beckumer Berge (173m/568ft) in the east, the Baumberge (186m/610ft) in the northwest and the Haard range (157m/515ft) in the south.The charm of the Münsterland lies principally in the contrast between the wide expanses of agricultural land with their substantial farmhouses and grazing cattle and the nearby industrial zone. Its chief tourist attractions are its old towns, such as the Westphalian capital of Münster, and its numerous moated castles.
In German, the Ruhr means the river Ruhr; the area known in English as the Ruhr is in German the Ruhrgebiet.Situation and characteristicsThe Ruhr, lying between the rivers Ruhr and Lippe, is one of Europe's largest industrial regions and a major element in the German economy. Founded originally on coal mining, it has developed into a huge industrial complex centered particularly on iron and steel, engineering, chemicals and textiles. A dense network of roads, railroads and waterways serves this heavily populated region, in which housing areas and industrial installations often merge imperceptibly into one another.In spite of the predominance of industry, the Ruhr also has excellent facilities for recreation, with many artificial lakes and parks.
Situation and characteristicsThe Bergisches Land, formerly the County of Berg, lies between the Ruhr and the Sieg, the Rhine and the Sauerland region, with a landscape patterned by hills, forests, meadows and rivers. In earlier times water power provided the motive force for ironworks and mills, resulting in the development of a small-scale ironworking industry. Many rivers in this area have now been harnessed by dams, leading to the formation of a series of artificial lakes (Bever, Neye, Sengbach, Wupper).The typical local house has black and white half-timbering, with green shutters and a slated roof. Often the side walls are also clad with slates.
Situation and characteristicsThe Siegerland, an industrial region traversed by the beautiful valley of the Sieg, is bounded on the south by the Sauerland and the Westerwald, on the west by the Bergisches Land. On the east it merges into the Wittgensteiner Land around Bad Berleburg, with which it has much in common.LandscapeThis upland region of rounded hills rising to some 800m/2,625ft is extensively covered with forest. In the hills are the sources of the Sieg, the Lahn and the Eder. There are many remains of the mines that were worked here for more than 2,000 years; the last mines were closed in 1962. The chief town in the Siegerland is Siegen.
The principal place in the Wittgensteiner Land is the spa of Bad Berleburg (Kneipp cure). Once the seat of the Princes of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, it has an imposing Renaissance palace (16th and 18th C.). The Schlossmuseum has a collection of material of local interest, old arms and armor and uniforms. In Goetheplatz the Wittgensteiner Heimathaus is a regional museum.In the Arfeld district to the southeast is a Blacksmithing Museum, in the northern district of Girkhausen an old turner's workshop, in Riemland (southwest) a slate mine open to the public.
Situation and characteristicsRemscheid, situated in the wooded hills of the Bergisches Land, is the main center of the German tool industry.
Local and Tool Museum
In the Hasten district of Remscheid, at Cleffstrasse 2-6, can be found a handsome patrician house of 1779 containing two museums. The Heimatmuseum has a collection of furniture and furnishings, mainly Baroque, Empire and Biedermeier, and a Pewter Cabinet. The German Tool Museum illustrates the development of tools from the Stone Age to the present day, with old workshops, iron-smelting equipment, etc., and maintains a number of old ironworks on an "industrial trail" in the Gelpe valley.
Opening hours: 9am-1pm, 2pm-5pm; Sun: 10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm; Closed: Mon
The Röntgen Museum at Schwelmer Strasse 41, in the Lennep district of Remscheid, displays apparatus that belonged to the discoverer of X-rays, W. C. Röntgen, a native of Remscheid, as well as modern X-ray apparatus, and illustrates applications of X-rays in archaeology, materials technology, etc.
Address: Schwelmerstrasse 41, D-42897 Remscheid, Germany
Opening hours: 10am-6pm; Sun: 11am-6pm; Sat: 11am-6pm; Closed: Mon
The town of Isselburg situated a few miles from the border with The Netherlands, contains the Wasserburg Anholt, a respected castle hotel. It features a museum, picture gallery and a golf course.
This highly-acclaimed Gildefest in Lauterbach includes musical performances as well as folk songs and dances, traditional trades fairs and expositions.The festival takes place in August or September and usually lasts about 4 days.
Alsdorf plays host to a European folk celebration comprised of music and dance which is organized every August.