No, I should say I was a bit confused. I was reading up on the beautiful neo-Gothic church of St. Petronilla, thinking how could a town this old (it was plundered and pillaged repeatedly during the 17th century Thirty Years’ War) only have a church that dated to around the mid-19th century.
Unheard of. Unthinkable. Shouldn’t there be a medieval church here somewhere?
Yeah, there should. You would have seen it too, if you were here before it was torn down in 1861, to build the current St. Petronilla. That’s too bad; the original one from the early 9th century was built by Charlemagne — although you’ll find some medieval artwork in here from its predecessor (like the 13th century baptismal font).
Right next door is the Heritage House Ahlers, a 500 year old farmstead. Even if you don’t have a “green thumb,” you should see it anyway.
Another historical site in Wettringen is the Spieker Termühlen. It was built sometime in the 1570’s with stone walls almost a meter thick. It had to be solid, it was used by soldiers for defense purposes.
Wettringen’s history isn’t limited to just some musty old buildings. Over at the Tourist Office they have exhibitions on spinning and weaving; and the chance to buy some locally created artwork.
Here’s your chance to use the local currency — and I don’t mean the Euro. Wettringen has its own currency, the Herz Taler or Heart Thaler (it is equal to the Euro, just so you know), that is accepted in many of the local shops. You can’t use it, however, outside the town limits. That’s pretty smart, keep the cash flowing locally.
At least hiking around Wettringen won’t cost you much; neither will a round of tennis or swimming that’s available in town.
The best place to swim is the Haddorfer See. This lake has everything you can think of for a few days worth of fun, there’s swimming (of course), camping, fishing, surfing, other watersports, a playground, a restaurant, and cycling trails.
Don’t worry if you get a bit tired, there are six cabins near the lake where one can sleep inexpensively. I’m pretty sure you can pay for it with those Wettringen Thaler, by the way. ;-)