Located about 20 km west of Cologne, Bergheim is a fascinating place to visit if you are interested in historic buildings, castles, sporting activities, or educational exhibits.
The town is close to a nature preserve and is surrounded by countryside that lends itself well to many recreational pursuits. If you visit here you can participate in kayaking, cycling, hiking, golf, fishing, squash, tennis, gliding, swimming, or horseback riding. There are also many parks and picnic areas where you can have a barbecue and enjoy the great outdoors.
There are many structures in the town that are centuries old. One of the most famous is the Aachen Gate, which was built early in the 14th century to stand guard over the road that ran from Aachen to Cologne. It has two round towers and was one of the most powerful guardhouses in the Rhineland. During its long life it has served as a prison, a museum, and an office.
The center of Bergheim has been converted to a pedestrian zone and contains at least eight homes and shops that are historically noteworthy. They were constructed in different styles and during different eras, but they all have interesting design features. Brochures are made available to enable you to take a self-guided tour.
Another feature of the pedestrian zone is the St. George Chapel with its unique spiral fountains. The structure was mentioned in church documents in 1420. It was administered by the Church of Remigius whose clergy was also responsible for operating the adjacent school.
The Remigius Church can be found at the summit of a hill overlooking the town. It was consecrated in 1175, and part of that original structure still remains. A bronze figure of St. Sebastian stands 135 cm. high in front of the church. It was created by the famous German artist, Gerhard Marcks.
Bergheim has several educational museums that cover a variety of topics. There is a car and bike museum which is undergoing expansion to allow it to display airplanes in the future. If you’re interested in mining and minerals you’ll want to see the Mining Museum. It showcases tools and implements from this important Rhineland industry.
Musicians should plan to visit the Piano Museum with its large collection of pianofortes of all sizes and shapes. There are concerts and recitals held frequently, as well.
Thousands of pipes and over 200 varieties of tobacco are on display in the House of 10,000 Pipes.
The Castle Paffendorf is located a short distance outside the town and has a large park and English-style garden on its grounds. You may want to visit its art gallery which houses a number of different traveling exhibits.
Whatever your tastes, you will surely find something you enjoy in Bergheim.