Höxter — The Would-Be UNESCO World Heritage Site

Höxter is a small town settled along the River Weser. Its long history goes back to the time of Charlemagne. It was even the site of an ancient battle between him and the Saxons. You can feel history come alive in Höxter!

You can experience a piece of history for yourself at Renaissance Adventure World. In this marketplace-themed site, there is an interactive and distinctive walking tour. On this walk, visitors can solve a murder case from 1617.

More history is clearly evident in the architecture of the town. Half-timbered buildings are everywhere you look in the Old Town Center. Be sure not to miss the exceptional Deacon’s House with its sixty rosettes carved in the exterior. Look closely, no two are exactly alike.

But the real draw here is certainly the exceptional Imperial Abbey of Corvey. The residents of Höxter think so too, and they applied for a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1999. This site contains both the abbey and a castle.

The abbey was founded by Charlemagne’s son in 814. It is a well-preserved marvel and has frescoes that date back to the ninth century. One of the paintings is a story we still know well today — Odysseus’s battle with Scylla from the Homerian epic, “The Odyssey.”

In its heyday, the Abbey possessed great wealth and power. It soon housed a mint that was responsible for creating coins. It also became a school that quickly gained renown for its bright scholars and superior education. The school in turn led to a magnificent library, which housed such important works as Tacitus’ Annales.

Its collection of 67,000 books (!) can be found today in the castle.

The site at Corvey is truly exceptional. But don’t forget Höxter’s other delights, like the culinary festival of Fishermen’s and Raftsmen’s Days. An old watchtower is all that remains of a Saxon fortress and will remind you again of Höxter’s important historical and cultural heritage.

 

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