Syke is easy to find on the map, as it is located in a large Nature Park, the Wildeshausen Geest.
Yet if you are trying to get directions to the town, be sure that you take the time to learn the proper pronunciation. Locals have their own special sound for the town and aren’t above having a laugh when you get it wrong. Blend in — say it with a long “ow” and not like Süke.
The pronunciation isn’t the only thing that is a bit special here in Syke. The area is a glacial valley, and the locals take advantage of what they have been blessed with, inviting the forest into the town. Bike trails and greenways lead through all the major areas and back out into the main nature park area.
Yet don’t just appreciate the verdant hills and valleys. Open your eyes to the fine art in the area as well. The Center for Contemporary Art features a variety of unique art pieces from local and national artists. But once you have seen what’s inside the walls, you’ll be ready for what’s outside them.
Scattered through the forest and the neighborhoods of Syke are a number of colorful and interactive sculpture installations. The “Stone Meadow” at the main high school has six marble statues from five countries, while the main street, Hauptstraße, has bronze statues and fountains.
Out in the forest the most popular items are the 23 colored Douglas Fir based pieces designed to be played with by young and old.
Walking the streets of the town you will also encounter a large number of murals. The most notable features are the use of mosaic techniques along with the painting. Syke has truly embraced modern art in the public space, so while you gaze you may also find yourself serenaded by singers or street jazz performances.
If it seems like a dream come true… well… what did you wish for when you went to the center of town and touched the “Wish Tree”? :-)
People have been living in Syke for more than 2,000 years, and wandering up and down the valley you can see why. It’s a beautiful photogenic setting with a vibrant artistic culture, so naturally once you have seen it once you’ll understand why many come back again and again.