To the west of the state capital Hanover and close to the border with North Rhine-Westphalia is the commercially important city of Stadthagen. The capital of the Schaumburg district in Lower Saxony is on the ancient Hellweg route and has a long history of trade and settlement.
The city sits to the north of a high ridge, connected to the huge Teutoburger Wald, running west to east across this part of Germany. This geographic feature makes this location on an easy thoroughfare between the great northern cities.
As a result of its popularity and riches, the town center soon became defended by a huge stone wall and the great towers can still be visited today. Much of the architecture here is of the 16th century Weser Renaissance style, but older styles do exist.
Many of the older streets in Stadthagen are cobbled and have no distinct roads and sidewalks — with houses and stores opening straight onto the roads. Cycling around the center is very common and there are plenty of locations to stop, rest and enjoy the stone and half-timbered buildings you’ll find all around you.
The rather thin, upright St Martini church and mausoleum seems out of place in such a prosperous city, but everything here has its own style. The old 4-winged castle is now in stone, but was thought to have been plastered and highly colored when completed in the 16th century. And the stately Remeringhausen Manor was the home of the von Münchausens!
For something even more different, head north to a hands-on Jurassic Park! In the nearby village of Münchehagen (part of Rehburg-Loccum) is a huge woodland park that has life-size models of hundreds of dinosaurs dotted amongst trees and bushes! Certainly a place for your kids and your camera.
Other natural parks around Stadthagen include the wetland area of Naturpark Steinhuder Meer to the north which has a large lake at its heart — usually filled with white sails. And the Naturpark Weserbergland Schaumburg-Hameln to the south covers a huge area, stretching past castles, villages, spas and open landscapes.