The busy town of Gütersloh is divided in half by the busy train tracks. You find the older streets and building to the west, and the more industrial and residential development to the east.
The whole town is surrounded by a patchwork of agricultural fields on the northern lowlands and holds some beautiful panoramas.
The first place to head for is the old Meiers Mühle — the old water mill. Balanced on the edge of the meandering waterway, this wooden structure is certainly something to behold. Spread over 4 to 5 floors, the mill’s facade is punctuated with numerous tiny windows and seemingly — too many blue doors! The stream itself is very picturesque and runs virtually unnoticed south of town.
There are plenty of other old buildings around western Gütersloh, many are wooden fronted and are huddled very close together in places. There are also some modern touches, and the modern Rathaus (town hall) has a very unusual motif on its tower actually made of different sized bells attached to the wall.
With the pedestrianized plazas and streets spilling onto the streets, there is always time to pause and relax and admire both architectural styles.
If you want to burn off some calories, head north to the low ridge of the Teutoburg Forest. This beautiful natural rift runs for miles west to east in a thin strip before opening out into a giant wooded area. This energetic outdoor adventure is certainly worth the extra effort in any season. Pack a big lunch to make the most of the trip and remember to head out early.
If you’d rather drive, head east for Paderborn. A very pious city with a huge Dom (cathedral) which has one of the largest crypts in Germany, and to this day protects the 11th century lindenwood sculpture of the Imad Madonna.
The city once held a bishopric under Charlemagne, and as a result is absolutely crammed full of beautiful monasteries and decorative churches as well as numerous religious sculptures and adorned fountains at every turn.