Roetgen’s close proximity to Aachen and Belgium made it a perfect stopping point for smugglers. The town embraces this long ago tradition, so you can visit an old Smugglers’ hideout.
Please, we’re talking about smuggling coffee, tobacco, and that kind of stuff — so don’t freak out thinking it’s something totally wretched. ;-)
This Westphalian town’s forests were the perfect hiding places for these smugglers. Today they make great scenery while hiking and biking. The Bleesweg is a highlighted trail between the German-Belgian Forest.
Stop by the Dreilaegerbach Dam, a drinkable water reservoir that’s criss-crossed by many hiking trails within the Eifel area; a region once belonging to the Romans and the Prussians (not at the same time, though ;-).
Other sightseeing around town (other than in the footsteps of the Smugglers) includes the Wild Boar Park, the Old Nagelschmiede (a museum of ironworking in the Eifel through the 18th/19th century), and a Forest Nursery (a kid’s nature experience).
Can’t leave the Lady Chapel, which was part of the original church from the 1630’s. Now the 19th century St. Hubert Catholic Church stands instead alongside it.
Here’s a tip… If you travel to see the Moorlands make sure you stick to the paths. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. OK?
I know I’m flip-flopping between the cultural and the natural; and I’m sorry. But, I got so excited thinking about the Roetgen Therme, a sauna experience with hot tubs and summer garden, a perfect place to relax after running contraband.
Whoops, did I say that out loud? Let’s change the subject, shall we? ;-)
Over at Roetgen’s Rathaus (sounds like the name of a restaurant, doesn’t it?) there’s pretty sculpture to look at while you’re conducting town business.
Then there’s the business of Christmas. Not the overly-commercialized business of Christmas, no this is the charming Christmas Market where you can buy yourself (or those you love) handmade greeting cards and other little odds & ends, all the while drinking mulled wine or hot coffee.
Kind of like an old smuggler, wouldn’t you say? ;-)