Despite its humorous reputation as the German city that doesn’t actually exist (just google “The Bielefeld Conspiracy” for the fun details!), you will find much to do and see in this very real place.
Below are my top Bielefeld Sights for your pleasure…
Undoubtedly, the main Bielefeld sight is the Sparrenburg Castle. Schloss Sparrenburg sits loftily above the city on a large hill. The hike up to it will offer some lovely views of the surrounding area.
It was built in the 13th century by Ravensberg’s counts and was the administrative seat of the city. Its tall, imposing walls acted as a protective barrier against attacks and raids by those traveling through the Bielefeld pass.
One of the highlights of any visit is exploring the underground passageways that sprawl around the Castle. Any trip to Bielefeld is not complete until you’ve seen this crown jewel.
Alter Markt (Old Market Square)
The Alter Markt is the literal and figurative heart of Bielefeld. Here in the center of the city, you can see some of its most impressive architecture that dates back to the 1500s. (The Crüwell House is particularly notable.) It is also the site of many of Bielefeld’s most famous and fun festivals.
Nicolai Church is located just off of the Old Market Square and is a beautiful sight to behold. It is Bielefeld’s oldest church, dating back to the 1200s. The interior boasts intricate and precious carvings of Bible scenes as well as a wooden altar from the St. Luke’s Guild of Antwerp from 1524.
This former nobleman’s estate is the place to go for a bit of traditional Bielefeld. The
Grest’scher Hof once belonged to the town mayor Caspar von Greste but was later transformed into an orphanage and a cholera station.
It currently holds the title for oldest grammar school in the city.
Visitors come here to view its charming oriel (a bay window) and tower.
Ravensberg Spinning Mill
This Bielefeld sight was once among the largest spinning wheels of flax in the world. The Ravensberg Spinning Mill was constructed in the 1850s and could spin up to 20,000 whirring spindles at any given time.
These days, this former industrial site has been transformed into a picturesque park with two museums and a restaurant on the premises.