Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge Nature Park — Castles And Bats

The Eggegebirge is neatly tied into the Teutoburg Forest, forming the Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge Nature Park, or Naturpark Teutoburger Wald / Eggegebirge in German.

Seriously though, it doesn’t matter all too much of its location within Germany, as much as what you’ll find within it.

What is in it? Where to start?

It’s got all sorts of wildlife, hiking trails, scenic routes (some of which are hiking trails), rivers (like the Weser), and awesome towns.

Follow me, and I’ll take you along a few hot spots, going to a height of 464 meters above sea level (the Velmerstot mountain). So, no need to worry about climbing into the clouds — just bring a jacket, just in case. ;-)

Our trip through the Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge Nature Park begins at its southern edge in Warburg. This town is most famous for its 12th century Kloster Hardehausen with its 14th century cemetery chapel shaped in an octagon. They’re awfully proud of their old Oil Mill too.

You’re going to really love Höxter, our next town. It’s quite historical. Charlemagne decided to fight the Saxons here over a thousand years ago — and the Imperial Abbey of Carvey (with its 67,000 books) soon might be listed as one of the next UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany.

In the mean time, take an interactive City Tour while checking out all the framework houses.

Willebadessen‘s thirteen villages lie along the Eggegebirge, where you’ll see its millennia old Oak. No trip here is ever done before you’ve visited the Tierpark (game park), the Vituskapelle (belonged to the former monastery), and the Schweckhausen Castle.

Paderborn is another town proud to be in the Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge Nature Park with its 200 springs, and a medieval saint is buried in its Cathedral. The Pader, Germany’s shortest River, starts & ends here. For a piece of modern history, go see the Computer Museum.

Look at that, another river has its start in the Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge Nature Park — the Emmer starts in Bad Driburg — at the eastern edge of the Eggegebirge. In addition to see where this river gets its start, how about stopping at the Josefkapelle, the St. Martin Church, the St. Satumina Church, the Synagogue Memorial, the Glass Museum, and the Church of Sts. Peter & Paul.

Ugh, I can’t believe I forgot to type in the early 14th century Burg Dringenberg. Can you imagine me, of all people, forgetting a castle? ;-)

Right within the Egge is Altenbeken, home to the Eggemuseum. Yup, the hilly harrow along the Rhine-Weser Watershed has its very own museum.

Altenbeken has its very own nature reserve areas too, and a watermill, an an old viaduct, and the Chapel of the Cross — a really pretty Baroque church building.

Think this is good so far? Wait, it gets better. Welcome to Horn-Bad Meinberg, which is actually along the 156km Hermannsweg and the 70km Eggeweg scenic routes. It’s also where you’ll find the highest point of the Eggegebirge, the Velmerstot, and the Externsteine, a natural rock formation.

Horn-Bad Meinberg is a spa town with gorgeous spa gardens, a 12th century Protestant church (which wasn’t Protestant when it was built), a castle museum, and lots of half-timbered houses.

When we get to Hanseatic League and former Holy Roman Empire town of Bielefeld, we’re finishing up our tour through the Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge Nature Park.

I don’t want to leave all that quickly, so I’m taking my time to see the Botanical Gardens, the Art Museum, and to stare at the 81.5 meter high towers of the St. Nikolai Church in its Altstadt.

Plus, I’m in love with the Sparrenburg Castle. The tower and catacombs aren’t open year-round, from April to October — but the coolest tour of the 13th century castle are only held three times a year. It’s because of the bats that call the place home, in case you’re wondering.

Don’t be so shocked about the bats. If you’ve come this far you’ve probably already seen wildcats, eagles, storks, and even European bison in the Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge Nature Park.

I am so in awe of Bielefeld, a town so great it once printed money on linen. What? Yes, linen was big business here — so why not print currency on the product that helped spread the money around? ;-)

Oops, rather than just Bielefeld, I really should say I’m in awe of the entire Teutoburg Forest / Eggegebirge Nature Park!


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