Diemelsee — Hiker’s Paradise In A Nature Park

Whoo-hoo, was I wrong! For the most part I don’t usually get all excited when I’m “not correct,” but here I was thinking Bavaria was a true outdoor lover’s dream destination — turns out Hesse is really the place be.

Ohhh, excuse me, the town of Diemelsee is the place to be.

Bordering North Rhine-Westphalia (and only about 60km to Paderborn), Diemelsee has been touted as a Hiker’s Paradise — and I’d have to say they’re right. This is landscape created some 360 million years ago (by a volcano, no less!), a staggering concept if you think about it. Anyway, grab your most comfortable pair of shoes — and let’s go!

Because Diemelsee is a hiker’s delight there are plenty of well-marked hiking trails, often leading out to some fantastic vantage points. Go ahead, grab your camera — I’ll wait for you.

And when regular old hiking paths aren’t enough, you can try walking along one of the Nordic Walking paths. Plus, there are hiking packages available in town for the die-hard hiker out on the Diemelsteig.

Not everyone’s interested in hiking, but I seriously would suggest visiting one of the nature areas. The Diemelsee Nature Park is over 350 square kilometers — and encompasses part of the Rothaargebirge, as well as branching out over two federal states. Yup, this place could keep you busy for quite some time.

History lovers in the group can be busy with visiting the Kloster (Monastery) Church in the village of Fletchdorf (just one of lucky 13). The monastery was started more than 900 years ago, lasting until the Protestant Reformation. Today the church still stands, a true medieval Romanesque church if ever you saw one.

You’ll also find another Romanesque church in the district of Adorf — actually I think they call it a “fortified church” to protect its people from invading marauders.

Hey, never once have I said the Middle Ages were all “hearts and flowers.” ;-)

By the way, mining was a big deal during the medieval period, dating back to the 1200s. Come visit the mining museum to learn more about the whole industry while you’re here.

The 20th century wasn’t without its fair share of turmoil either. Diemelsee was once home to a bustling Jewish community for a few hundred years, only to be wiped out in 1939 — losing its Jewish school, its ritual bath called a mikvah, and its synagogue.

Now that the 21st century has gotten into full swing, Diemelsee is a delightful place of picnic areas, wetlands and forests, plus pretty architecture to gawk.

This place sure can give Bavaria a run for its money.

 

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