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Bergisches Land - a region of nature, culture and industry

The Bergisches Land is a region in the heart of western Germany. This area of hilly countryside in the central highlands is named after the Counts of Berg who ruled here for hundreds of years. It off ers excellent opportunities for lengthy walks in unspoilt natural surroundings with a number of waterways and a remarkable array of reservoirs and deep ravines. Nestling in this splendid scenery are a number of towns with a great past - the Bergisches Land is one of Europe's oldest industrial regions with countless monuments to early industrialisation alongside medieval half-timbered architecture.
Unspoilt countryside and charming towns - Bergisches Land nature reserve
The Bergisches Land region is one gigantic nature reserve. It stretches from Wuppertal in the north to the fringes of the Westerwald forest in the south, and from the gourmet paradise of Bergisch-Gladbach with its star-rated restaurants in the west to the edge of the Sauerland region in the east. The Bergisches Land nature reserve is the ideal location for a day trip or mini-break surrounded by unspoilt highland scenery. Criss-crossed by a number of idyllic streams, it is a great place to spend the day relaxing. Visitors wishing to stay for longer will find excellent accommodation in the climatic health resorts of Nümbrecht or Eckenhagen. The Hanseatic town of Wipperfürth, the oldest town in the Bergisches Land region, is also worth a visit - the Coin Minter monument on market square commemorates the granting of the town charter in 1222 and permission to mint coins.
Altenberg Summer of Culture - Odenthal
On the western edge of the Bergisches Land nature reserve lies the village of Odenthal where the "Altenberg Culture of Summer" is held every year. The festival centres around a cultural programme offering a symbiosis of light and sound combined with information about the Bergisches Land region. All of the events are accompanied by a rich and diverse musical programme featuring jazz, chamber music and church music. The main venues are the Church of St. Pancras, Strauweiler Palace and Altenberg Cathedral. The latter is an imposing Gothic building, made of trachyte and tufa from Mount Drachenfels, which has been part of a Cistercian Abbey since it was founded in 1133.
Half-timbered buildings and the imperial bridge - Remscheid
Müngsten bridge, which connects Remscheid and Solingen, is known as Germany's highest steel railway bridge and has always been considered a feat of engineering. Underneath it is the popular new Müngsten Bridge Park with its aerial ferry, which attracted 300,000 visitors when it opened in 2006. Captivating visitors with its romantic charm, the historic centre of Remscheid-Lennep is well worth a visit. Situated to the east of Lennep is one of the region's twelve reservoirs - the Wupper Reservoir containing more than 25 million cubic metres of water. Visitors to the lake can enjoy swimming, diving, sailing, boating or simply taking a leisurely walk.
The "town of blades" - Solingen
Solingen is known far and wide as the "town of blades". The name of Solingen is a protected hallmark for quality knives and solid steel scissors. The German Blade Museum illustrates the history of table culture from Bronze Age implements through to modern-day cutlery. Solingen is also home to one of the largest reconstructed castles in western Germany, Schloss Burg on the Wupper River, whose museum offers an incredible insight into medieval history, culture and everyday life.
High above Wuppertal
One of Wuppertal's main attractions is its suspension railway, which has been transporting passengers high above the town since 1900. Other interesting highlights in the town include the gigantic zoo, one of the oldest and most scenic in Germany with 5,000 animals from every continent, and the flea market in Vohwinkel, which is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest one-day flea market. The town's most famous son is the political philosopher and companion of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, whose life and work can be traced at Engels' House and museum.
"Coffee and everything that goes with it"
One of the region's most popular culinary delights is the "Bergische Kaffeetafel", a feast of local specialities that goes way beyond the traditional "coffee and cake". Typically, it includes Hefeplatz (yeast cake) or raisin bread and various regional breads with honey and pear, apple and sugar beet syrup, as well as butter, cream cheese, cheese, and cold sausage and meat. Rice pudding with sugar and cinnamon, Bergisches Land waffles, biscuits and cake are also served with it. Of course, it would not be complete without the Dröppelmina, the traditional coffee pot.

Tradition and history

  • Engels' House in Wuppertal
  • House where Röntgen was born/museum in Remscheid
  • Historic centre of Solingen-Gräfrath
  • Historical Stadthalle and Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal
  • Product Design Forum in Solingen
  • Rhenish Industrial Museum - drop forge

Hospitality and gastronomy

  • Düppekochen (potato bake)
  • Pillekuchen (potato pancakes)
  • Kottenbutter (dark brown bread with smoked pork sausage spread, onions and mustard)
  • Bergisches Land schnapps and liqueur
  • "bergisch pur" quality marque
  • Sweet potato balls
  • Bergisches Land waffles

Romanticism and charm

  • Lüntenbeck House in Wuppertal
  • Trip in the suspension railway's imperial car
  • Bergische Sinfoniker orchestra
  • Bleachers' festival in Wuppertal
  • Carnival in the Bergisches Land region
  • Wahner Heide heath in Rösrath

Countryside and scenery

  • Botanical gardens, Wuppertal and Solingen
  • Müngsten Bridge Park with aerial ferry over the River Wupper
  • Ohligser Heide conservation area in Solingen
  • Eschbach valley in Remscheid