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Münsterland Touristik e.V.

A paradise for cyclists ­ passing one hundred castles and palaces

The Münsterland region on the Dutch border in north-west Germany is known for its baroque palaces, stately homes and old country estates. Without large-scale human intervention, this somewhat sparsely populated landscape has evolved over the centuries to become one huge country park. Münsterland's past has been marked by turbulent events of great historical importance. Relics dating back to Roman times testify to a bygone age.

Historical towns

The Münsterland region is full of idyllic villages and delightful towns. An excursion to Werne is well worth your while with its pretty half-timbered houses and Gothic town hall. There is plenty to discover in the picturesque town of Warendorf including the medieval market square, St. Lawrence's Church and the Franciscan abbey. Beckum's favourable location at the crossroads of two trade routes has brought the town modest prosperity since the Middle Ages, which is most evident from its old town hall where the municipal museum is now located. Westphalia's most exquisite reliquary shrine, the Prudentia shrine, is kept in the Parish Church of St. Stephen and St. Sebastian and you can visit a museum forge in the Kolpinghaus. Many nearby towns with historical old quarters are deserving of a visit such as Oelde, Telgte and Emsdetten.

Münster Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. Paul in Münster is almost as old as the city itself, which was first settled in the 6th century AD. The monastery, founded in the 8th century AD, is thought to have given the town its name. Münster Cathedral is the centre of the diocese. It houses an astronomical clock from 1540, a handcrafted masterpiece displaying the phases of the moon and zodiacal constellations, with a carillon and a perpetual calendar that goes up to the year 2071.


The name Kiepenkerle was given to the peddlers in the Münsterland region, who used to travel around towns and villages selling their wares to local people. They were typically equipped with panniers (Kiepe in German) made from wood or wickerwork. The Kiepenkerle with their trademark blue tunics and clogs have been an important part of Münsterland tradition for a long time. Although their days are over, they have not been forgotten and you will often see tour guides dressed in their distinctive costume.

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest

An autumn day in 9 AD has gone down in the annals of history as the date of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest or the Varus Battle, when the Romans suffered a crushing defeat in their northern territories. It is believed that Hermann the Cheruscan (Arminius) and his alliance of Germanic tribes annihilated three Roman legions together with auxiliary troops and followers on Kalkriese Hill near Osnabrück. The victory ended the Romans' efforts to conquer lands east of the Rhine for their empire. But how did the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest come about? Embark on a journey of discovery in a holiday region that opens the way to a treasure trove of history. Walkers and cyclists can choose from the many themed trails and routes that offer fascinating insights and excellent views.

A hundred castles and palaces by bike

Flat terrain and many themed cycle routes make Münsterland an ideal destination for cycling holidays. More than 4,500 kilometres of signposted cycle paths are incorporated into its network of trails. The 100 Castles and Palaces Route is the most glorious of all: around 960 kilometres in total, it takes you through well-maintained parkland and conservation areas to castles, palaces, manor houses and the moated estates so characteristic of the region. The tour takes in the palatial houses at Nordkirchen, Raesfeld, Lembeck and Westerwinkel as well as the castles at Vischering, Bentheim and finally Münster, the bicycle capital of Germany.

Münsterland cuisine

Töttchen is a speciality in the Münsterland region. This sweet and sour ragout was originally made from beef offal prepared with onions and vinegar. Today a somewhat refined and modified version of the dish is available in many local restaurants. Instead of offal, it is made with veal and calf's tongue.

Romance and charm

Mainland Europe's only surviving herd of wild horses lives in the Merfelder Bruch. The large reserve (now over 350 ha.) with around 300 horses dates back 150 years to an initiative by the Dukes of Croy to create a conservation area for the animals.

Food and drink

Around 60 restaurateurs are making dining out in the Münsterland region an experience to remember. Each one contributes to the Regionale Speisekarte (regional menu) campaign. There's always something new to discover made exclusively with local produce.

History and tradition

Bocholt Textile Museum acquaints you with the textile production of yesteryear. At the heart of the complex is the production hall with its saw-tooth roof, which was characteristic of the original textile factories.

Nature and scenery

Vreden is home to the most northerly flamingo colony in Europe. The Flamingo Route, part of Zwillbrock's biological research station, has more than 300km of cycle paths and 30km of walking trails leading to the observation towers.