Erkrath is one of two cities in North Rhine-Westphalia that are closest to the place where a famous discovery in the field of paleontology was made.
Remains of what became known as Neanderthal man were uncovered there in 1856. Workers in a limestone quarry found “Homo Neanderthalensis” that year.
They originally thought the bones and skull they found belonged to a bear, but when they turned them over to an amateur naturalist in the area, he soon learned the true significance of the find.
If you visit the region today, be sure to include a stop at the Neanderthal Museum. It won an award for the best European museum and features displays, interactive multimedia shows, and guided tours that will inform and impress adults and children, alike. You can learn about the history, culture, diet, habits, and lifestyle of these fascinating Neanderthal specimens.
Erkrath itself offers many cultural attractions. You can enjoy cabaret shows, children’s programs, high drama, jazz concerts, and more at several different venues within the town. There are also organized markets held weekly in the town square.
Nearby areas offer more than twenty museums that focus on a wide variety of subjects, and your visit is sure to be educational as well as enjoyable.
Erkrath also is near Benrath Palace and Park. This is a lovely 18th century structure that now contains three museums and a beautiful garden.
There is a natural history museum, one that features information about the creation of European gardens, and a third that examines life in a palace during the 1700’s.
The grounds are well kept, and invite you to stroll through quiet surroundings while enjoying nature. You can see a kitchen garden, which would have provided the large population of the castle with fresh produce in years gone by.