Kreuztal is a relatively recent (1969) assemblage of much older communities, located about 70 km east of Cologne and ten km north of Siegen.
A visit to the Heimatmuseum, the local history museum in the Ferndorf section, will show you how deep the local roots have grown in the North Rhine-Westphalia soil, through displays of the region’s prehistory and early history, along with handicrafts and exhibits of home decor as it existed in the 17th and 18th centuries.
One of the oldest structures you will see here is the Krombach Evangelical Reformed Church. Built around 1250, it was reconstructed in 1706 with a main choir hall, a daunting West Tower, and severe square pillars in its nave. The carved panels of the pulpit are from 1764, and the altar table dates to 1781.
Originally built in 1523 is the stately Junkernhees Castle. Look for traces of the original moat, the half-timbered gable added in 1698, and the well preserved old mill and former brandy distillery established in 1796.
Other architectural attractions in the area include the underground Kaiser Wilhelm Gallery downtown and the remains of the 13th-century Altenberg mining settlement near Littfeld. Of more modern interest, you can visit a wind generator that is among the tallest in the world, the 150-meter Ewiger Fuhrmann, capable of an annual output of three gigawatt hours produced by its 66-meter-wide rotor.
For a superb panorama of the entire region, head to the tower at the top of the Kindelsberg, the second tallest peak in the area. At a height of more than 600 meters above sea level, you can see the entire municipality, and on a clear day your view will be unobstructed all the way to Bonn. :-)
Beyond sightseeing, Kreuztal offers all manner of shops for dining and shopping, live theaters and concerts for entertainment, and plenty of parks and sports facilities for recreation. If you happen to visit during the second week in May, be sure to look for one of the country’s two most highly rated triathlons, held here under the sponsorship of Turnverein Germania Buschhütten.