Sure it’s easy to confuse the town of Freren with the Samtgemeinde Freren, the latter of which is the Collective Municipality. Confusion aside, both offer a great opportunity to enjoy the Emsland countryside.
And while the town wasn’t actually granted “city rights” until 1723, the history of Freren goes back much further than just 300 years ago.
Think thousands of years ago, which is why Freren lies along the Straße der Megalithkultur, or Route of Megalithic Culture in English. Freren is found on the #11 stop, a big mass of gigantic stones from around 3000 B.C. You know what, don’t look at it like just a pile of rocks — this is a wonderful way to educate yourself on the funerary practices of a long-gone culture.
What else can you do in the town of Freren? I’d say go visit one of its many old churches — like the Church of St. Anthony in Messingen. I know it doesn’t look that old, the present day structure is only from the 1860s. You want older? That would be the Church of St. George in the town of Thuine, whose oldest part of the building is from the 12th century.
My personal favorite is the simple Church of St. Servatius, which started out as a tiny Romanesque chapel — maybe because of its delicate gold & marble high altar. Who knows?
It’s all right if don’t agree — but I know we can all agree to have a good time. Freren certainly makes it easy to do — they’ve got everything from two 2-day Kirmes celebrations, to an Erntedanfest (Thanksgiving Festival), an Oktoberfest, a Winter Festival, and a Christmas Market to name just a few.
That being said, sitting around eating and drinking isn’t the only way to have fun in and around town. Heck no, you’ve got plenty of choices of outdoorsy stuff — and totally your choice if you want to swim, kayak, take a hot air balloon or covered wagon ride.
I wonder what the folks from all those centuries ago would think of the modern day Freren today… probably the same as I do — it’s great. ;-)