If you are a fan of modern art or a European History Buff, you will be thrilled with a visit to Herford in Northern Germany. It is one of the oldest municipalities in the country and was established in 789 by Charlemagne in order to protect a fording place in the nearby Werre River.
The town sits in a beautiful valley between two ranges of mountains. The Wiehengebirge range lies to the north and the Teutoburg Forest chain is south of the town. Beautiful alpine scenery can be enjoyed year-round.
Those interested in history will want to visit the town square (or Neuer Markt). There are buildings that date back to medieval times as well as those that represent the style of the Renaissance. There is a fountain in the center of the area with a statue made in 1599 — a noble knight holding the banner of the free imperial town aloft.
The town hall has been built around a well-preserved medieval core. The Münsterkirche is a hall-style church that dates back to about 1220. It is one of the oldest structures of its type in Germany, and well worth seeing.
The MARTa of Herford is a museum that has been open to the public since 2005 and is dedicated to showcasing contemporary art and design. The building itself is a must-see. Designed by artist/architect Frank Gehry, it looks like no other museum. It is actually a sculpture in itself and contains virtually no straight walls or predictable angles. All of its exterior surfaces are covered with brick or gleaming stainless steel and there are no windows. There are regular changes in the artistic exhibits that are shown there.
The town of Herford hosts many festivals for locals as well as visitors. There is some kind of special event happening during every season of the year. For the ten days surrounding Easter each spring, you can attend the Easter Fair. In May there is a Jazz Festival and throughout the summer you can enjoy organ concerts and competitions for organists in the town square. There is a wine festival in the fall, and a tremendous display of lights and decorations at Christmas time.
Germany’s largest open-air dinosaur exhibit is also located near Herford. Münchehagen Dinosaur Park has life-sized models of many fearsome creatures that lived in prehistoric times including the T-Rex, Triceratops, and more. In one section of the park visitors are allowed to dig for bones, teeth, and other treasures. It is sure to be a big hit with any children that may be traveling with you. :-)