Stemwede is a enchanting little town that lies on the Westfälische Mühlenstraße (Westphalian Mill Road). You know what that means… You’ll be treated to some artful historic windmills dotting the landscape!
There are three districts and thirteen local neighborhoods that comprise Stemwede. They aren’t densely populated, though, which is really is good news when you want to explore the hilly forest and moorland countryside looking for a little solitude.
In a town that’s over a thousand years old, you’re expected to see some old churches and castles. Well, you’ll find them, but maybe not necessarily what they were originally used for.
Schloss Haldem (13th century) is now a rehab center. There’s a beautiful half timbered parsonage building from 1834 that’s now a library and brewery. Books and beer, could you ask for anything better? ;-)
The town may lie on the Westphalia Mill Road, but maybe there should be some kind of old German Church Route too since you’ll find quite a few here. One of the most historic is the Protestant Church Levern. It was built in the 15th century over a wood church from the year 1000 A.D.
Some more churches in Stemwede, filled with exquisite artwork, are the 13th century Parish Church Marien, 14th century chapel at Martini Church, and 15th century Holy Cross Chapel Haldem; all of which are worth the time to see.
Interestingly enough, Stemwede’s Local History Museum is dedicated to the town’s culture from centuries ago with an exhibit dedicated to how clothing has changed over the centuries with an entire exhibit on the emigration of Germans to America. What a great and fun way of learning about this culturally rich region.
Another way to enjoy this town is to join in on all the action at the Stemweder City Festival. Held annually since 1976, it draws some 20 thousand party goers for a fun filled day of local culinary treats and other regional goodies. Don’t worry… that’s not the only party in town. There’s also the annual Fold Festival held in October and the town’s Music Festival.
Whether you follow the Mill Road or create your own Church Route to follow, you’ll find Stemwede bewitching with memories that will last a lifetime.