Rheurdt — Up For A Good Time With Nature?

In order to understand the “Ökodorf” (Eco Village) of Rheurdt, you should understand its geography. The town is closer to the border of the Netherlands than it is to the city of Cleves, for which is in the same district.

OK, for those of you thinking “who cares where it is… just tell me what there is to see & do,” I’ll get on with it. ;-)

Just like most towns in Germany there is a castle, this one being Schloss Leyenburg. Its current Rococo architecture belies its medieval origins from the 14th century; and it was once a summer hunting lodge for the von Leyen family — moguls of Germany’s silk industry.

As beautiful as its artwork by Dürer and Raphael are, you don’t really want to spend too much time indoors around here.

Trust me, when you’ve got a place like the Naturschutzgebiet Staatsforst Rheurdt/Littard (translated to the Nature Reserve and State Forest Rheurdt/Littard; don’t we just love long names?) you most certainly won’t ever want to come indoors.

The majority of the trees in the forest are known as deciduous, which means they’re the ones that change from the bright greens of spring and summer to the bright reds, orange hues, and vibrant yellows in the autumn.

Bah — New England, USA thinks they’ve got the monopoly on Fall Foliage. No way, this is autumn the good ol’ German way.

One of the best places to walk or hike is the Oermter Berg. For the longest time the mountain was decorated with vineyards that belonged to the Kloster Kamp, or Kamp Abbey, in nearby Kamp-Lintfort.

OK, so maybe they don’t make wine anymore — but you’re always welcome to Vesper services at the Abbey Church on Sundays at 5pm.

Any other time, the monastery has a museum (with all sorts of historical artifacts from the monastery’s 900-year history), a stunning Rococo Hall (often used for concerts and other events), and is the venue for art events during the summer. I love its sprawling terraced Baroque gardens the most. But, that’s just me — you can like any part you want. ;-)

Rheurdt has a castle. It has a medieval monastery. What else more could it have? Oh, how about a 19th century windmill (called Turmwindmühle) and a Local History Museum (known as Heimatmuseum)?

When you’re ready to go back outside, find one of Rheurdt’s Grillplätze — or BBQ grilling areas for a wonderful day of picnicking fun. Just remember to save a bite for me. ;-)

 

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