In the Heinsberg District of North Rhine-Westphalia lies the town of Wassenberg, an area bordering the Netherlands and dating back to the Stone Age. Head over to the town’s local history museum and see relics found from prehistoric to Roman times.
Wassenberg is the place for you to feel like royalty from days long past since the Castle Wassenberg is now a restaurant and hotel. The castle itself dates from 1085 but most of what we can see (and stay) today dates from around 1420. The brick tower from early 1400′s is now an observation tower.
What a view!
There are a couple of other castles to visit while in Wassenberg. The Schloss Effeld is a water castle manor house from around 1256 while the Schloss Elsum isn’t too much younger, having been built in 1288. The Schloss Elsum was redone sometime at the turn of the 15th or 16th century and destroyed by bombings in 1945 during the Second World War, causing it to have to be rebuilt again in the 1950′s. The old windmill from 1600 was destroyed by lightening in 1884, today it’s a fine restaurant.
More reminders of medieval times are the remnants of the town’s fortification walls and military towers.
Wassenberg is also home to quite a few churches and chapels worth visiting. The Birgelener Pützchen, a tiny forest chapel that dates from 750 with additions added on in 1933. The Church of St. Martin is a masterpiece from the 12th century, though the towers date back only to the 16th century. St. Martin’s Onsbeck is even older, the church and the tower were built sometime around the year 1000.
St. George Wassenberg and its 36 meter high tower is quite an impressive backdrop, dating from 1118. Interesting enough, the different time periods and styles through the centuries only enhance the beauty of this 900 year old church.
When you come to Wassenberg you’re able to sleep in a royal castle, see centuries old art at any one of the numerous historic churches in the area, and have dinner in a 400 year old windmill. That’s enough to make anyone feel like royalty! ;-)