Porta Westfalica was formed in 1973 after fifteen small towns merged together in this region of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Its name may beckon back to the time of the Romans, which in Latin means “Gate to Westphalia.” But in fact, it was christened by 19th century scholars, referring to the gorge that is the entryway into this region.
There’s an abundance of architectural styles to see here. Let’s start with the Emperor Wilhelm monument. Standing tall at two-hundred-and eighty-eight feet, this sandstone monument is one of the town’s most important symbols. Its elevated location grants a splendid panoramic view of the gorge and the surrounding mountains.
The TV Tower is another place to check out the lovely vistas, at 142 meter or 465 feet. This used to be the site of a column to the great German leader Otto von Bismarck until the tower was constructed in 1979.
From the height of the town, we can now venture to its depths. Since 1883, this iron ore pit has been an important industry for Porta Westfalica. Now it is much more of a tourist attraction as guests can explore its museum and learn about the history of mining.
Another place to take in some local history is at Wittekindsburg Castle and cross church. The church’s foundations are all that remains now and can be dated back to the tenth century. It is an important excavation site.
Apart from exploring old ruins, you can entertain yourself with a variety of other activities. This area is particularly famous for its ideal kite-flying conditions. There are also 64km/40mi of nature trails that will take you past some of Porta Westfalica’s old wind and water mills.
If you would rather not use your feet you can take a trip on a covered wagon, or float down the river on a canoe.