Bad Essen lies on the famous German Framework Road and the TerraVita Nature Reserve, making it both romantic and historical.
Besides many half timbered buildings and medieval sights around town, there’s a history here that goes back much further (and the kids will LOVE it). The Saurierfährten is where you’ll see dinosaur tracks some 150 million years old!
Coming from a much more modern time period are the neighboring castles and ruins. The Hünnefeld Castle has stood here from the 12th century, but the manor house and pigeon tower date from some 300 years later. It has a private museum explaining the history of the building and previous owners.
Then the 17th century Schloss Ippenburg (built in a Neo-Gothic style) holds the most beautiful garden exhibitions every year, while the Wittlage Castle (and Watermill) just celebrated its 700th birthday, though only the tower and entry gate of the castle are from the 1310 original.
A few things to add to your “must see” tour would be the Labyrinth in the city park. Designed to enhance all five senses (most fitting since this is a spa town), it’s a purely unique experience. The Sheep Stable, built in 1795, is now a meeting place for musical concerts and literary readings while the Small House is now a tea house and cafe. You’re just delighting your senses here, too! :-)
Again, Bad Essen is a spa town and you’ll be more than happy with all the spas you can find here. The Waldsauna in the Forest Hotelis is just lovely and offers many services including relaxing massages and a Finnish sauna. The Aktivita Spa is charming in that old half timbered building offering everything from yoga to Nordic Walking. And the Lacuna Spa is the most upscale spa where you’ll be pampered and massaged right down to your fingernails.
Now, that’s a delight to the senses!