Neighboring the historic city of Moers in the Lower Rhine, is the agricultural town of Neukirchen-Vluyn. Sitting between the great Rhine valley to the east and the low morainic hills to the west this region has a long history of commercial importance. Castles dotted across the landscape also attest to its wealth through the ages.
Having been in the hands of both the Dutch and the French over the years before finally becoming German, there is certainly a cultural history and a merging of architecture and ideas to be found here. There are a selection of water and wind mills throughout the rather flat landscape which is perfect for cycling across and offers extended views over the valley.
Although very close to the densely populated regions in North-Rhine Westphalia, Neukirchen-Vluyn does tend to stay very peaceful and relaxed. Although you know you can hop across to the busier locations easily from here, it’s nice to know that it’s your choice.
Historic buildings aren’t as common as in other regions of Germany — although Bloemersheim Castle dating from the 16th century is close by and is worth a visit. Sitting on the banks of a lake, this stately house seems to carry itself off well. Its garden walks and orchards make for a great day out. Hüls castle and Moers Schloss are also quite close, with the latter being on the famous Oranier Route — a trail of important German locations that are linked to the Dutch Royal House of Orange.
Cultural activities throughout the year include the famous Carnival around Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in the state, which Neukirchen-Vluyn celebrates with Leeks! Also, there is the fantastic Märchenfestival in one of the old mills in town, where every July you will find recitals of old German language fairytales for all the family to enjoy and get involved in!
The area has large areas of peat bogs that were once used for local trade, but have since been protected. This offers you a unique opportunity to visit the wildlife and plants of this unusual environment. Although most of the landscape is either farmed or urban, there are still many spots where you can hear nothing but the wind blowing through your hair!