Esens touts itself as the “Home for Art and Culture.” But what it should be doing is shouting that it’s “A Seaside Health Resort That’s also a Home For Art & Culture.”
Yup, Esens borders the North Sea, so go right on ahead — mudflat hike til you’re shoes fall apart. Or, the tide comes rolling back in — whichever comes first. OK, you could just take the ferry from Langeoog instead. ;-)
Don’t you think that Esens already sounds like a good time?
Where to go from here? Let’s see… Right over on the Kirchplatz is the Holarium, a museum that’s filled with all sorts of holograms and optical illusions.
Since you’re so close to Esens’ St. Magnus Church, let’s go there. Within the church is the Turm-Museum (Tower Museum, open April to September) with all sorts of exhibits on the town — but it is not a Local History Museum.
That’s the job of the Peldemühle. Yes, you read that right — it’s a totally charming windmill.
The St. Magnus Church itself is a beautiful brick building from the 15th century — and where you’ll find the sarcophagus of a 15th century East Frisian Chieftan, Sibet Attena. He used to live in the nearby Castle Osterburg, now called Beningaburg, but today’s castle sure doesn’t look like it did in his day.
Chief Sibet might’ve been proud of his castle, maybe not so much about his grandson. He was a “pirate,” after all. OK, some say that Balthasar von Esens was a pirate, others called him a freedom fighter. Some just called him by his nickname, Junker.
Whatever your take on this historical figure, it doesn’t change the fact that Junker Balthasar’s statue stands over at one of Esens’ wells.
No one could ever call Esens’ other famous son, Theodore Thomas, a pirate. Composer, yes. Pirate, never. Mister Thomas’ claim to fame is his part in the founding of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
This isn’t the reason Esens is an art & cultural town. There are many cultural events going on all the time including plays, concerts, cabaret evenings, murder mystery (my favorite), and literary events. The Skulpturenweg (Sculpture Trail) also helps to keep the “Art” theme going on here.
I did forget to tell you about one last museum in Esens. The town’s former Jewish school building is now a museum on the history of Jewish culture in East Frisia. Near the old 17th century synagogue a ritual bath called a mikvah was found in recent excavations.
You know, I think I understand why Esens just says it’s a “Home for Art & Culture” — because writing that it’s “A Seaside Health Resort That’s also a Home For Art & Culture And Filled With History” is just too long — even for us Germans. ;-)