Being in the Lower Rhine region, it’s a relatively new town having been named with the reorganization of the municipalities of Waldniel and Amern in 1970. Even though Waldniel has technically existed since 1020 A.D. and Amern since sometime in the 12th century, there have been archeological finds revealing the area’s been inhabited since 2000 B.C. There’s even evidence that the area was once developed for agricultural use since at least the Bronze Age.
That’s quite an impressive history, isn’t it?
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Since religion dominated life in medieval society, it’s no wonder that there are a whooping six churches scattered throughout Schwalmtal, dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries.
The Protestant Church in Waldniel dates from 1665, the Parish Church Sankt George is a 19th century Late-Gothic church with its alter dating from 1430. The Parish Church Sankt Anton dates from 1491 with church items dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The Parish Church Gertudis Dilkrath also dates from around the same period as Sankt Anton.
The Catholic Parish Church Sankt Michael is a Late-Gothic church, only dating from the 1880’s but its tower stands at an imposing 84 meters high! However, none are as old as the Parish Church Sankt Jakobus that dates back to 1258.
If you’re not having history overload, take a stop over at the Local History Museum in Waldniel for a look at daily life at the turn of the last century. Or, stroll by the Bergermühle, once an old mill and observation tower. For a bit of history while recharging your batteries, head over to the Lüttelforster Mühle, once a mill from 1300, now a restaurant.
Oh sure, Schwalmtal isn’t all history books and old buildings! Go relax by fishing or sail around the Hariksee tucked within the forest. For great summer fun head over to the Heidweiher, a beach for some great summer bathing! :-)