Not too many of us throw a dart at a map to find a long vacation destination or even a weekend getaway. We scour the internet, we listen to many of our friends and family’s suggestions looking for the right place to go.
BUT, sometimes there’s one thing that catches our attention and makes us say “we gotta check this place out.” In the case of Raesfeld in the Münsterland it’s going to be the Nature Park Hohe Mark or its Wasserschloss Raesfeld.
Oh, I’m not being entirely fair — there’s more to see and do in Raesfeld than you can imagine.
The Nature Park Hohe Mark is pretty awesome, it’s one of the largest nature parks in all of North Rhine-Westphalia and you’re able to see the gamut of Germany’s landscapes. In the park there are meadows, moorlands, pastures, and forests with many walking trails that will take you to see all of them.
If you’re not the outdoor type that knows the difference between them — think rolling green hills and tall trees and you’ll be fine.
Oh, speaking of trees, Raesfeld has this gnarled and bent tree that’s over a thousand years old. It’s too bad she doesn’t talk — imagine the stories that tree could tell. ;-)
Burg Raesfeld doesn’t talk in the traditional sense, but it has a story to tell, too. The Wasserschloss Raesfeld is now an entire complex with a restaurant in the basement, a handicraft academy, and has an information & visitor center. And, it has a zoo — but don’t go expecting tigers or lions to jump out at you, it’s not a typical zoo.
Even though not used for its original purposes, the 12th century castle still has its St. Sebastian Chapel and its Knights Hall that’s now used for concerts and weddings. This exceptionally large castle is well preserved surviving many World War II aerial bombings because of the Red Cross insignia that was painted on the roof.
Schloss Raesfeld’s museum has a special exhibit on the war years of the town (1939-1945) as well as many other exhibitions.
If you don’t think the nature park or the castle is enough to make you want to come here, then check out the Garden Academy with its gorgeous landscaping, the 19th century Tower Windmill, and its Monthly Market is always great for shopping.
And if you’re more after parties ‘n stuff, there’s the popular Kappesmarkt on the first weekend in November, the Bauernmarkt in June, a Schützenfest, Biergartenfest, Krammarkt, Sommernachtsmarkt, Frühlingskonzert, on and on and on it goes…
You see, if you are going to throw a dart to find a vacation spot — let’s hope it lands on Raesfeld. How good is your aim?