If you find yourself in nearby Paderborn, then hop the bus on over to Borchen. Well, even if you’re a bit further away getting here is relatively easy as there are flights in and out of the nearby Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport (PAD).
All right, now you’ve gotten here by plane, train, and/or automobile; so, what do you do once you’ve gotten here? You could go grab a local Westphalian specialty, known as Paderborner Brot (Paderborn Bread) made from rye and a bit of wheat. There’s also some locally grown fruits, all the better to fuel up on to see the sites around town.
Your first stop should be Borchen’s Local History Museum with over 300 exhibits on life in this Westphalian town from the 19th century through World War II. It’s a fabulous way of learning more about this incredibly pretty region on the Altenau River.
Another way of learning about what life was once like here, look no further than Borchen’s churches. One of the prettiest is the secluded Gallikapelle. This tiny chapel was originally built around 1015, but what stands today comes from Borcheners who rebuilt it in 1663.
Parish Church Michael, once used as a military church, is another stunner that was built in the 12th century. It’s a marvel of grey stone with a beautiful high tower and two steeples. But, it’s the Parish Church Walburga that steals the show with its sandstone Madonna from around 1420.
Older than any of the churches that are found here is Castle Borchen, since its original dates all the way back to sometime in the 9th century. Now, its a entire complex that’s been at least convalescence home, a sanatorium, an old-age home, and boarding school just in the 20th century alone.
At least the Castle Borchen still stands, unlike the ruins of Castle Etteln. This castle has been uninhabited since over 500 years since it was destroyed in 1454. But, if you’re going to see any castle in the area make it Castle Gellighausen. The area of the castle has seen activity since at least the Stone Age, as weapons and other items have been found here. Actually, there have been graves found in the area dating back some 5000 years!
If this isn’t enough to get you here, be glad to know you’ll find many more old historic churches and half-timbered structures, plenty of walking and cycling trails, and sculpture art scattered around town for good measure.
And after you’ve seen it all, go grab more of that Paderborn Bread and wash it down with a fresh beer. ;-)