In the western Münsterland is the ultimate in medieval towns, Velen.
Most of its history that you get to see comes from the early 14th century. Of course, some of the town has changed over the years mostly with the advent of modern conveniences. Which means you get to enjoy life of the Middle Ages, only under better circumstances.
They might not have had indoor plumbing back in 1319, but they sure could build one heck of an incredible castle. Schloss Velen is, simply put, gorgeous. And, no better way to feel like nobility than being able to spend the night here, since it’s now a hotel. Oh yeah, it even has a moat.
You’ll find another castle in town (sorry, not a hotel), the Schloss Ramsdorf. Ramsdorf was built in 1425 and now some 585 years later, it houses a wonderful local and natural history collection. Don’t forget to visit the early 15th century St. Walburga Church, too.
In the heat of the summer many local residents and visitors take a dip in the popular Artesi Well. You might want to wait until after you’ve ventured out on the walking, hiking, skating, and biking trails that spoke out into the countryside. Since this area of the Münsterland sits along the “100 Schloss Route,” you’ll find many more castles and manor houses around.
It’s in the Fall when you’ll find Velen “letting its hair down” during its Kolle Kearmes Festival. Visitors from all over Westphalia come to dance, sing, eat, and shop on the first weekend in October. There is another festival held in the beginning of May, but the autumn festival is on a much grander scale.
You’ll love walking along the small winding streets of Velen, some leading along old 15th and 16th century mills and farms.