Eschweiler is an old coal mining town to the west of Köln, and close to the border of Belgium and Holland. It sits neatly on the Inde river and has certainly been much fought over in history, along with the surrounding areas.
This town was almost completely destroyed in the late 1600’s, apart from one house (!), according to the locals. As a result, a massive proportion of its architecture and layout were developed after that time.
You will find that its buildings have therefore taken their style from a number of different sources.
It also suffered great losses during WWII, and has seen extensive rebuilding in some areas with more modern structures stealing the limelight.
St. Marien’s church still commands a second look when walking the streets of Eschweiler, with her huge, sturdy buttresses supporting her weight. And the Röthgen Burg — a large turreted chateau — is very secretive and shy, having not been brightly painted as so many others are. Its bold and brash companion is the magnificent Städtisches Gymnasium (the old high school), which completely dominates its surroundings.
Its rather modern Rathaus (Town Hall) is situated on the waterway, and is possibly one of the largest in the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia! It really is a monument to the amount of growth this town has seen in the recent decades.
With three further municipal halls, a cinema, art collection and the Talbahnhof culture center putting on regular cabaret and music, this town is really offering visitors their money’s worth.
And believe me, you will get a real feel for the town and its people in the weeks leading up to Lent. Eschweiler itself is, besides Cologne, the other center of the Rhineland Carnival every February — and puts on one of Germany’s longest carnival processions. Dancers fill the streets with circus acts and dressing up is almost as compulsory as the atmosphere that builds up to the huge and amazing finale.
In other words, it’s a site you really don’t wanna miss… :-)