Netphen lies in the heart of the Siegen-Wittgenstein district, where the Sieg river meets the Lahn. The river valley plays host to the main town as well as a number of nearby hamlets, and you should come prepared to hike, take photos and chat up the locals as you explore the area.
Since the many small hamlets are lumped together to make the larger community, you should expect to be greeted and treated like a visitor to a real community when you arrive.
In the main town area of Netphen, there are several regional cultural hot spots to visit. The Heimatmuseum is a historical facility, showcasing prehistoric and early history of the area, which has been settled for more than 2,000 years.
It’s also a good information prep zone, as the museum also provides a good explanations of what makes the community tick, including its Hauberg forestry system, the charcoal making facilities and the Hude practice found here.
Hude is a kind of eco-friendly agricultural system combining forest care with domestic grazing, and scientists from England and the rest of Europe come here to study it. This is also the place to go to learn about upcoming events as it serves as the local tourism office.
The tourism office will likely point you at the Obernautralsperre. Don’t resist them — this is a good spot! The Obernau Reservoir is located here, so you have watersports, hiking and biking available.
Out by the reservoir, you will also notice Alte Burg, or Old Castle. It’s a neat sight any time of year, but bookmark it especially for New Year’s. Netphen hosts a party at the castle then, with fun runs and games. On the building front, the other castle, Wasserburg Hainchen, has been recently reconstructed and features a filled moat.
Back in the main town, the Martini Church has survived since the 13th century.The Roman tower there is usually lit during the night, making it stand out. Even older attractions are the Nenkersdorf Watermill from the 12th century, and the Walpersdorf Charcoal Kiln which is one of the oldest traditions and forms of economic prosperity in the city.
Netphen also offers you the chance to pick up snacks from small shops in each hamlet and the main town. Park yourself in the forest with a traditional pastry or plop in the main square to soak up the Old World charm and chat with the locals.
The area is definitely a haven for those looking for peace and quiet, and those ready to have a break from modern Germany.