Heiden — Outsmarting The Devil In The Münsterland

I know in today’s day & age that science has gotten a grip on things that used to fill us with wonder and awe. But, as much as I like learning new things; I’ll take the wonder and awe.

There’s a wonderful legend in the town of Heiden, called the Devil’s Stones. The story goes that the Devil himself was carrying these stones on his way to city of Aachen to ruin its magnificent cathedral.

He runs into a shoemaker carrying a bunch of worn out shoes. The Devil asks how far to the city. The shoemaker in reply says he’s gone through all the shoes he was carrying coming back from there. The Devil disgusted and discouraged dropped his bag of stones right there on the spot.

That’s not quite the end of the story. The legend continues that the stones are cursed (so don’t take one as a souvenir), so to speak; nor can you ever count them without getting different results every time.

Of course, science tells a different tale. That tells the stones came from almost 150,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. Thousands of years later they were used as a prehistoric burial site.

Along the Devil’s Stones (called the Teufelsteine in German or Düwelsteene in Low German) are many hiking paths, as well as through the nature reserve areas. The Loop Trail is 7km long — starting at the Heidenspassbad (the town’s spa), passing under tree canopied lanes. It’s quiet, peaceful, and pretty.

If you’re tired, relax over by the Artesischer Brunnen or Artesian Wells. There are foot baths and aquariums full of fish. It’s a perfect end to a perfect day hiking or biking. The same could be said for the Römersee, too.

Within Heiden itself, sightseeing around will lead you to the St. George Parish Church and the Westmünsterlandhalle Heiden, which is a multimedia center.

I’ll take the spa experience myself, while I ponder the story of the Devil and the shoemaker that outsmarted him. ;-)

 

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