I’m not theologian, nor was I on a spiritual quest when I stumbled up the pious town of Schöppingen in the Münsterland. And even if you’re not on one either, you might find that you felt like have after visiting.
No, I’m not being cryptic, or anything; it’s just that Schöppingen lies on the Chapel Route, a small scenic route that highlights many small chapels in the region.
There are six of them alone located within Schöppingen, with the oldest known as the Pestkapelle. It was built in honor of St. Anthony by the townsfolk in 1650 in thanks for stopping a plague epidemic.
The Stockumer Chapel, the Koppel Chapel, and the Schulze Althoff Chapel were all built in 1707; and they all look pretty much the same. I ain’t saying it like it’s a bad thing — it just seems like a popular style of the time.
BTW, on the Schöppinger Mountain is a tiny Mountain Chapel, built around the early 18th century — a few years after the other chapels.
The youngest of the chapels is the Grace Chapel, and also one of the largest. More than 60,000 pilgrims a year stop at this Baroque chapel dedicated to St. Mary the Queen.
On the Sunday before Ascension Day (which changes according to the Christian calendar) a procession of the faithful follows from chapel to chapel.
As if these chapels aren’t old enough, the church of St. Brictius has them all beat. The original church was built in the late 9th century from stone. Of course it was rebuilt a few times over the centuries, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that some medieval ceiling paintings were found.
This is also where you’ll find the “Master of Schöppingen.” This crucifix scene painting was done sometime in the late 15th century; and worthy enough to be mentioned on the Euregio Art Route.
Oh, no, not another scenic route! Yeah, this 60km scenic route follows some of the best artwork along the German/Dutch border region.
Hey, that route isn’t as long as the Vechtetalroute; a cycling route that runs along the River Vecht.
At least the 3000 Steps Route is somewhat easy. Start at Schöppingen’s late 16th century Town Hall, along the pedestrian zone to the park, to St. Brictius Church, then on to the Künstlerdorf (Artist Village).
Now that’s a great place, the Artists Village, which is an entire complex for the creative types like composers, writers, artists, etc. They often hold many concerts and other exhibitions throughout the year.
Wow, gorgeous artwork; an artists’ village, and amazing scenic routes. Yeah, it is some sort of spiritual journey to Schöppingen, after all.