The word “leer” translated to English may mean “empty,” but the town of Leer is certainly anything but. Located in the East Frisia region (Ostfriesland), close to the Dutch border, Leer is situated along the Ems River.
Leer is perhaps best known for its unique marketplace, the Gallimarkt. The tradition was begun back in 1508 by Count Edzard. This “Oktoberfest” celebration, which started as a cattle market, has become the seventh largest in all of Germany.
When the Gallimarkt isn’t in full swing, let Leer’s active music and theater culture keep you entertained. Classical concerts, children’s puppet shows and DJs featuring the most modern music styles, are some examples of what’s on offer at any time. And when you’ve had your full of culture, it’s time for castles!
The Castle Evenburg is a recently-restored gem. This cream-colored chateau has Gothic spires that jut out like candles on a birthday cake. The old moat and gardens add to its charm.
Then there’s Castle Haneburg with its own allure. It is the most versatile of the bunch, having served as a National Socialist farmer school, a military hospital, a home for the elderly, and most recently, a school. Built in 1570, this rusty-colored Renaissance building has certainly seen many incarnations.
Not to be forgotten is the more austere Castle Philippsburg. Established by Baron Philipp von Wedel in 1730, it is renowned for its annual Fairy Tale Night, when the park is opened to the public.
Castles aren’t the only diverse buildings of Leer. The town showcases several lovely churches of varying denominations. Here, a pilgrim can find Reform, Lutheran, Catholic and Protestant-Reform churches.
But before you leave, be sure not to miss Leer’s famous Town Hall building. This beautiful structure is the cornerstone of this “empty” city that has so much to offer.