To the west of Tecklenburg in North Rhine-Westphalia you’ll find a small town of Saerbeck. The region was once lorded over by that vertically-challenged Frenchman, Napoleon Bonaparte; but has always retained its distinct German flavor.
One of the oldest sites in Saerbeck is the Parish Church of St. George. Well, it would have been had it not been remodeled in a Gothic style building in the 16th century (it was originally Romanesque built in 1161), and totally rebuilt in 1896. Tucked away within its walls is a Baroque Pieta and a 13th century baptismal font, surrounded by the most exquisite stained glass.
Would you believe that the Bronze Age and Iron Age grave field isn’t even the oldest site in Saerbeck? Nope, that would be the Ice Age artifacts found nearby; which are on display at the Heritage House — Saerbeck’s Local History Museum.
Another museum is the Distillery Museum, created from the grain distillery used from the early 19th century up until 1976.
I’ve kept you indoors long enough, time to head outside for a while. Over in the village of Sinningen there’s an old Windmill (always quaint, don’t ya think), and a swimming lake that’s open from May to the end of August. It’s not an expensive venture, kids under six are free with adults only paying a couple of Euros.
FYI, if you’re going to be here for any length of time, get a season pass for the lake — it’s most cost effective.
The kids will love the Tierpark, where you’ll all get to see everything from bison to pigs, chickens to goats, and even peacocks. It’s open almost year-round, but the pony rides for the kids only operate between April and October.
Doesn’t matter, because there are a number of horse farms in the area if you’ve got to have a horse riding experience. A covered wagon ride drawn by horses is also a good idea.
If you’ve somehow managed to do all this and want more, then I’ll suggest heading over to the ruins of Burg Tecklenburg (over in Tecklenburg, that is). All that remains of this medieval castle is its gatehouse and parts of its walls, and is now used as an outdoor theater.
Yeah, I would say Saerbeck’s all German — despite Napoleon’s best efforts. Which is OK by me. ;-)