A trivia question could be, where did the town of Westerburg get its name? Is it the name of a river? No. It’s because it lies in the Westerwald? Nope. Give up?
It got its name from its castle — rightfully deserving the title of the town’s landmark.
While the town’s landmark is its medieval castle (and it’s lovely 13th century chapel), there’s too much other stuff to see and do around town. A quick trip to the Tourist Information Center, located at Neumarkt 1, will give you all the tools necessary to see the best of the place — including where to find a local city guide to take you all around.
I’d wager they’ll also tell you to go see the Liebenfrauenkirche, an old pilgrimage church. Just as I’m sure they’ll tell you to call ahead to schedule a tour of the Ofenbauer Museum in the village of Gershausen, and they’ll be able to point out the very pretty half-timbered Burgmannenhaus. Another of Westerburg’s museums is the Trachtenmuseum, giving you a glimpse into traditional “costumes” of the area.
Many of the town’s old buildings tell a tale of the its history, but the town is really much older than it lets on. In fact, graves dating back to around 700 B.C. have been found here. I guess it makes the 19th century Jewish Cemetery not seem that old, huh?
Forget about old for a few minutes, now it’s time to party. One of the biggest events is the 3-day Pfefferkuchenmarkt, or Gingerbread Market, at the end of November — which is followed by the Nikolausmarkt in early December. Summer’s just as much fun as any other time, that’s when the Burgmannfest is held (June), with the Kirmes and Kirmesmarkt in August.
When you’re not partying in Westerburg, you can always be playing. You’ll find all sorts of outdoor recreational activities out here in the Westerwald — winter’s got skiing, tobogganing, and sledding; whereas you can go fishing, hiking, Nordic Walking, cycling, and golfing when the weather’s a tad warmer.
Cold or warm, you’ll never want to leave this town known as the Heart of the Westerwald — but one thing’s for sure, it surely stole my heart.