Almost on the border of the Netherlands in the very northwest of Germany is the busy shipping center of Haren (Ems). On the banks of the Ems and joined to the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal, this city has built up on boats!
Twenty major shipping companies currently have their head offices in this location. There are fleets of ships in numerous harbors across town, taking goods from the industrial Ruhrgebiet out to the North Sea and on to the world.
Needless to say, there are numerous maritime museums here. Each one relates the story of their nautical success to delight sea-faring fans. One museum is actually outside and has many great boats on the harborside for intimate viewing.
Haren has much more for the visitor though, and the Mill Museum and Micro-Light School are among them. There is also an Excavator Park, where kids and grown-ups alike can play around all day with great big tractors, diggers and ATV’s!
Just outside of town, there is a national favorite: Castle Danker. This historic landmark with its extensive gardens and great lake (with sandy beaches) has always been a hit with the locals, and it recently got bigger! It is now one of the largest theme parks in the country, with around 700 holiday homes and endless activities.
You can visit the Danker See lake without paying for the theme park. There is plenty on offer in its clear waters alone.
Maybe it’s an opportunity for you to try waterskiing for the first time. Of course, you don’t have to try the jump if you don’t want to! Diving and windsurfing are also popular, as is simple sunbathing!
Haren is currently one of the largest towns and tourist destinations in Emsland. The tourist network is well organized, and it shows.
Whether it’s brushing up on local facts at the St. Martinus Cathedral in town with its 2,954-pipe organ or hiring a few bikes and exploring the surrounding countryside, it’s all here. Come and enjoy! :-)