Mighty Wilnsdorf Smelts Its Visitors… Including You?

Wilnsdorf is a fascinating town in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age.

For you history buffs, you’re sure to get a kick out of seeing the Obersdorf Iron Age Smelting Furnace, the blast furnace known as Silberquelle, was once used as far back as 500 B.C.

Mining was big to the economy for centuries, with the last mine closing in 1957, the Heimststube Rinsdorf was originally a chapel built in the late 18th century — it now houses a museum with documents and equipment from the towns long mining days.

In a more modern time, if you consider the Middle Ages modern, the R√∂dgen Parish Church was built on a Romanesque foundation (there’s something for you to get excited about too, Art Historians) back in the 1300s. Even though the old church was torn down and rebuilt in 1778 the church carillon has three bells with the oldest dating back to 1515.

Since the chuch is home to both Catholics and Protestants, the tall imposing tower was rebuilt in the center so both denominations could use it. (BTW, the Evangelical part houses an organ from 1680, so lots of history in this old building.)

The Eremitage, one of the oldest half-timbered structures in Wilnsdorf, with its arched doorway and white walls, was built in 1684 and has a forest alter, a chapel, a Saint’s cottage, and even a hermit’s grave.

The forum kultur wilnsdorf (it’s usually spelled with lower case letters, but not quite sure why) near the Municipal Hall is a local folklore museum and cultural meeting place. The museum has two floors of a realistic look into life in the Siegerland at the turn of the last century. A nature exhibit explains the area’s plant and insect life, while you can “make a trip through time” with an exhibit that takes you from the Stone Age, onto the Middle Ages, then to Modern Times of the area.

As you can see, Wilnsdorf is a town where the history of the ages comes alive.

 

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