On the River Wupper in North Rhine-Westphalia lies the town of Hückeswagen, officially around since the year 1085.
Hückeswagen, being only about 49 km or 30 miles north-east of Cologne, has quite a bit of history and points of interest to visit. It offers everyone something to do or see, from hiking along the Wuppertal dam, to wandering around the foreboding medieval castle, or exploring around 16th century churches.
With a bit planning, you’ll be visiting the town during its yearly Old Town Festival or Altstadtfest. On the Schlossplatz, you’ll be treated to two days of food, entertainment (music and jugglers included), children’s attractions, and art exhibits. The Old Town Festival, with its warm charm will really make you feel like you’re visiting family and will give you the chance to explore the historic city center.
After wandering around the city center, take your time exploring the historic Paulus Church, built on the foundations of the Nikolaus Church (dating from the 15th century) after it was demolished in 1753.
Of course, there are plenty of water sports and recreational activities, such as hiking, available at the Beaver Dam and Wuppertal Dam for those of you who prefer it.
Textiles fueled a large part of the local economy in the Middle Ages and you can still visit the Hückeswagner Mills today.
While you’re out and about, make sure you see the Swan Pond in the town park, too!
But the crowing glory of the town is the Hückeswagen Castle. Having been built sometime in the late 12th century, the castle today houses the Local History Museum. The Scoundrel’s Tower, from the 13th century, is now a whopping 23 meters shorter than when it was built due to its reconstruction.
There are so many detailed exhibits into daily life, such as cooking utensils, furniture, religious life, and even warfare of the day. It’ll be easy to imagine yourself as an 11th century Count or Countess strolling the halls or holding court in this grand old place. :-)