Bergneustadt — Popular Vacation Spot With Colorful Churches

A town built on the hills of the Bergisches Land region in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bergneustadt has become a popular vacation center for Germans and tourists alike. The Agger Dam provides recreational facilities in the summer, while nearby cross country ski trails are lit during the winter.

Consisting of eleven smaller villages, Bergneustadt is the second oldest city in the area, dating to the 11th century. A local history museum, housed in a half-timbered house in the Old Town area, highlights the living history of this town of 20,000 people.

One of the most famous attractions is the Bunte Kerken (the Colorful Churches) in the Wiedenest district, 2 km from the city center. Dating to the 11th century, the Church of the Holy Cross boasts colorful medieval frescoes on its ceiling. Covered over during the Reformation and for the following 300 years, the murals have been fully restored.

Legends tell that the Church of the Holy Cross was visited by a Crusader who brought with him a relic of the True Cross of Christ. A nearby “Holy Well” flows into a fountain which is believed to have healing properties.

The city is remarkable for its traditional half-timbered buildings in white, black, and green, that adorn the Old Town and Wiedenest areas. In the Old Town, don’t miss the Losemundbrunnen fountain where “Minch and Jettchen,” two washer women, take care of the town’s dirty laundry in public view.

Composed of twenty hills, ranging from 350-500 m high, this is a city built for walkers. With 170 km of marked hiking trails, and beautiful forests and views, Bergneustadt is a hiker’s paradise.

One popular walk is to the lookout tower in Zum Knollen. At 451 m elevation, the tower allows a panoramic view of the Cologne bay, Rhine Valley, Westerwald, and Ebbegebirge Nature Park.

Another popular attraction is the Bergneustadt-Auf dem Dümpel airfield where you can soar over the surrounding landscape in a glider or rent a small plane. On the first Sunday in November, the airfield holds a popular kite festival.

Tired after a busy and active day? Relax in one of the many fine restaurants or bars or take in a show at one of the many theaters. Music and theater are popular pastimes for the residents here, both as participants and spectators, and there are many opportunities to watch even the tiniest citizens perform and sing.

 

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