Osnabruck Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsThe old episcopal city and new university town of Osnabrück lies in the Hase valley, attractively framed by the hills of the Wiehengebirge and Teutoburg Forest. It is a busy commercial and industrial city, linked by a branch canal with the Mittelland Canal.
The historic center of Osnabrück, in the heart of the old town, is the Cathedral (Dom) of St Peter (R.C.), founded by Charlemagne at the end of the eighth C. and dating in its present form, with its massive southwest tower and the more slender northwest tower, from the 13th C. Notable features of the interior are the fine bronze font (1225), the Triumphal Cross group (1250) and the 16th C. statues of apostles on the pillars of the nave. The adjoining Diocesan Museum (entrance through the cloister) contains, among much else, the valuable cathedral treasury. In the Domhof can be seen the Löwenpudel ("Lion Poodle"), and in the Grosse Domsfreiheit are the Episcopal Chancery, the Bishop's Palace and a bronze statue of the statesman and historian Justus Möser (1720-94).
Address: Klein Domsfreiheit 24, D-49074 Osnabruck, Germany
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Easter - Christian
Entrance fee: FREE
Useful tips: The Cathedral Treasury is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. weekdays, and 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on weekends.
To the west of the Cathedral in Osnabrück lies the Markt, surrounded by gabled houses (rebuilt in the original style). On the west side of the square stands the Town Hall (Rathaus; 1477-1512), with an interesting treasury and the Peace Chamber, in which the peace treaty between the Emperor, the Protestant Estates and the Swedes at the end of the Thirty Years War was signed in 1648. Immediately adjoining the Town Hall is the Municipal Weigh-House (1531).
St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church (13th-15th C.; Protestant), in the center of the square of Osnabrück, has a beautiful winged altar from Antwerp (1520), a 14th C. Triumphal Cross group and the tomb of Justus Möser (under the ambulatory).
Heger Tor Quarter
Between the Town Hall and the Heger Tor in Osnabrück is a well-restored quarter of the old town. In Krahnstrasse and Bierstrasse, to the west of the Markt, are a number of old half-timbered houses (Haus Willmann, 1586; Walhalla inn, 1690). Heger Strasse (antique shops) leads to the Heger Tor (rebuilt in neo-classical style in 1817 as the Waterloo Gate), part of the town's old fortifications. Other remains of the fortifications, along the "Wallstrassen" which now mark their line, are the Bucksturm (collection of medieval weapons and instruments of torture), the Bürgergehorsam, the Vitischanze, with the Bärenturm, and the Pernickelturm.
Museum of Cultural History
The Neuer Graben in Osnabrück marks the boundary between the old town to the north and the new town to the south. At its west end is the Stadthalle, and near this is the Palace of the Prince-Bishops (1668-90), now occupied by the University. On its north side is the Ledenhof, with a Renaissance bell-cote, and beyond this is St Catherine's Church (Katherinenkirche; 14th c.), with a 103m/338ft high tower.
St John's Church
In Johannisstrasse in Osnabrück stands St John's Church (St Johann; 13th C.), the parish church of the new town, which grew up round it. It has a high altar (1525) of the school of the Master of Osnabrück.
On the Schölerberg in Osnabrück are the Zoo (1,800 animals) and the Museum am Schölerberg (planetarium; nature and the environment).
Regional Days of Old Music Festival
This annual three-week festival was established in 1988 and takes place in September. There are usually over 30 performances, including chamber and choral concerts, recitals and seminars, featuring baroque music as well as works from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.Workshops highlighting performances, practice and interpretation are also held during the course of the festival.The performances take place in the various towns surrounding Osnabrück town.
16km/10mi south of Osnabrück, in the Teutoburg Forest, lies the little spa (Kneipp cure) of Bad Iburg, with a castle of the Bishops of Osnabrück (17th and 18th centuries). On the Dörenberg (331m/1086ft) is an outlook tower.
The little hill town of Tecklenburg lies 22km/13.5mi southwest of Osnabrück in the Teutoburg Forest. Commandingly situated above the town is a ruined castle (open-air theater).
Some 24km/15mi northeast of Osnabrück, at the foot of the Wiehengebirge, is the brine spa of Bad Essen, with handsome half-timbered houses and a 14th C. church.
Map of Osnabruck Attractions