Extertal’s history is interesting enough to make you want to visit. Throw in some great recreational activities around its 11 hamlets, no matter the season, and you’ve got something great to do for a few days (or longer).
Getting here is a bit tricky, but worth the effort. There are some regional bus lines from places like Lemgo or Hamelin as it’s right in-between the two. If you’re coming from Hanover or Dortmund the A2 Autobahn is a good way to get here.
North Rhine-Westphalia is naturally beautiful and visitors come from all over to hike in the Teutoburg Forest. It is a small mountain range within Westphalia, but the view from the higher elevations look on for what seems like forever. In the Fall the leaves turn bright orange, red, and yellow; the German version of a New England’s Autumn.
Winter is just as active as any other season when the snow bunnies and hard-core downhill skiers come to town. Cross-country skiing is just as popular — so why not try your hand (or, would that be legs?) at both.
More outdoor fun is found within the nearby Naturpark Weserbergland Schaumberg-Hameln (try saying that fast 5 times ;-). Found within the park are golf courses, more hiking & biking trails, swimming, rock climbing, and even caves to explore.
Once back on flat land, make a visit to a few of Extertal’s museums. There is an old Railway Museum but, the Music Museum at Castle Sternberg will take up the better part of your time.
Castle Sternberg itself was built around 1240, so the castle itself is an area attraction. It was enlarged in the 15th and 16th century and now houses a gigantic collection of musical instruments. It’s also dedicated to the preservation of long-gone medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music styles.
In the early part of the 20th century the castle was used as an SS training facility. It also was used as Bride School for the future wives of Nazi officials and officers, with an emphasis on being a “proper housewife.”
Politics of the 20th century aside, Extertal is fun, dynamic, and quite historical. Ca hardly think of a better way to spend a few days around here.