The Upper Ruhr Valley in North Rhine-Westphalia has the utterly likable town of Wickede. Not only does it have some lovely old buildings to visit (with lots of artistic sculptures about town), but there also seems to be a village celebration or two going on.
Not too shabby since a few of Wickede’s five hamlets barely have over a thousand residents.
The most famous building in town is Schloss Echthausen, where the oldest part of this old manor house dates back to the early 16th century. Don’t get too excited to see the inside of the castle, no visitors allowed on this private property; so pictures of the outside only.
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Echthausen has nothing on the Kloster Scheda (and they allow visitors). The old 12th century monastery was one of the wealthiest in all of Westphalia and lots of additional buildings (oh, more to see) were added through the centuries.
As if walking around the huge abbey isn’t enough exercise and sightseeing, there’s more. Wickede is located right along a bicycle path that goes on for about 230 km (approx. 143 miles) along the Ruhr River (maps are available at City Hall).
That’s also where you’ll hear all about many of Wickede’s festivals. June is the most festive with three of the town’s local city celebrations, known as Schützenfest (it’s kind of like pick a weekend in the month & there’s a festival). By festival hopping you’ll also have the chance to see some of the little village churches.
August brings on the Summer Celebration and the chance to eat some local delicacies, however, the big Potato Roast doesn’t happen until November. In the meantime, there’s more eating to be done during Wickede’s annual Harvest Celebration in October.
Wickede’s villages might be short on residents, but this truly fantastic town is really long on having a grand old time.