There are three local villages that make up Rosendahl in the western Münsterland, not all that far from the Netherlands. There’s a fun legend that’s told around these parts. For you skeptics — you’re free to think what you like. ;-)
Being this close to the Netherlands, it’s not out of the ordinary to see windmills; and, this town has one of its own — the 300 year old Windmühle Höpingen.
One of the most visited of all the sites in Rosendahl is the Wasserschloss Darfeld. This early 17th century castle was built on top of the original 13th century foundations. But, unfortunately, that’s all you’re gonna get to see of the Schloss because it’s private property.
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Schloss Varlar is another one of Rosendahl’s castles; this one was originally a monastery built in 1123. It are the ruins of Barenborg that’s the real winner in town. The original burg goes all the way back to the 10th century (yeah, that’s around 900 A.D.) and the forested area is a haven for rare birds.
Most castles, since they were built for defense purposes, had a Torhaus; otherwise known as a gatehouse for guards. Check out the Torhaus von Haus Holtwick; it’s one the whole town is quite proud of.
More of Rosendahl’s history is learned over at the Local History Museum (Heimatmuseum) and Community Center. And, another place to see what it’s really like around walk or cycle along through the nature areas.
There are a few nature area leisure riding (or, walking) routes that you can follow along through the forested area around Rosendahl. One of them takes you along past a few local breweries. Hmm, maybe you better save that one for when you’re walking.
Speaking of nature, you gotta (MUST) see the Holtwicker Ei (which is NOT an egg). Legend tells the devil threw this 30 ton stone at Rosendahl’s church (and missed!). Scientists believe this granite stone is more than 200,000 years old, left from the last ice age.
Debate all you want about Rosendahl’s legend — in fact, do it while sitting at one of the town’s beer gardens for some great conversation with the locals.