Lindlar counts 1109 as its year of founding, making the town a full nine centuries old. The tower of its original parish church has survived intact since the 12th century, as the oldest structure found here.
The church’s roof has been replaced many times since then. Its nave was completely rebuilt in 1826, too. But you can still get a feel of the role the church once played as the center of local community life.
The expanses of greenery that once thrived in the area were gradually cut back to make room for farming and sandstone mining. Fortunately, the establishment of the Bergisches Land Nature Park has ensured that nature’s splendor will be preserved.
The local forests and meadows are an attraction for holidaymakers from Cologne, 30 kilometers to the west. They come here for hiking, fishing, camping and the delightful hillside landscapes, leading locals to claim, “We live and work where others vacation.”
For visitors, the town has developed a variety of quaint little shops to complement its authentic half-timbered houses. You will want to spend time on the downtown streets, just leisurely strolling, browsing and shopping.
Restaurants here offer local fare, of course. But you can also find Italian, Greek and other international cuisines.
Theatrical performances add to the cultural scene, as do weekly markets for crafts, produce and knickknacks. The markets are held at the Bergischen Open-Air Museum, which has permanent displays emphasizing the lives of mountain people — well worth seeing.
Many fortifications can also be seen in the vicinity, including the 15th-century Chateau St. Hoven. Its trees are a thousand years old.
Schloss Georgehausen is a water castle dating back to 1466, which now contains a restaurant and the clubhouse for a nearby golf course. Meanwhile, the ruins of 14th-century Eibach Castle and 15th-century Neuenberg Castle are also fun to explore.