Last week it was all about beach going and soaking up the sun on the Baltic Coast, but that’s not on the agenda for today. Oh, I’m definitely not complaining, because I don’t mind meandering around half-timbered houses and scoping out old churches like I’ve done here in Gronau (Leine).
As its name implies, Gronau (and the Collective Muncipality of the same name) lies along the Leine River, just 15 km southwest of Hildesheim, along the Sieben Berge — said to be the home of Snow White’s friends, the Seven Dwarfs.
Its location of legend isn’t all Gronau has going for it, by the way. As I said, there are quite a number of half-timbered houses, but it’s the churches you’ll really need to see.
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Probably the most famous of Gronau’s churches is St. Matthew’s, whose 65-meter tower has been dominating the town’s skyline for over 500 years. The St. Joseph Church is also a must-see, and if you don’t mind trekking about in a cemetery there’s medieval church inside.
Castles are always a sure winner to see; and if it wasn’t for Schloss Rheden’s light and bright exterior, you’d think it’d belong in an Addams Family episode. Wait, I’m not sure if that came out right… so let’s move on. ;-)
Over in the hamlet of Betheln is the Kloster Escherde, once a former Benedictine monastery from the early years of the 1200s. Even older is the Beusterberg, some kind of Stone Age settlement area, making it over 5,000 years old.
You won’t find that kind of history in the Heritage Museum in the village of Brüggen, but you’ll find a very pretty 17th century castle nearby.
You know what else is pretty here in Gronau? Yup, you guessed it, the relatively flat Lower Saxon countryside. There are plenty of cycling paths around town, and you’re awfully close to the Weser Uplands to explore around there, too. Nature lovers will no doubt love the Leineaue unter dem Rammelsberg (a nature reserve), and the Gronauer Masch, a nature reserve home to lots of waterfowl.
When partying is on your mind, good thing the town can accommodate. The Village Festival, an annual July event, is always a good time, as is the Summer Festival in July and the Osterfeuer. Hey, nothing against a party with setting things on fire, right? ;-)
With all this it’s easy to understand why you and I won’t be complaining about spending any time here here in Gronau (Leine).