Places of interest
A historical city with a young face
European history was written in Münster. With the award of the “European Heritage Label”, the Historical Town Hall, where the Peace of Westphalia was signed in 1648, finally ending the Thirty Years’ War, now finds itself in an illustrious circle of other historical sites, headed by the Acropolis in Athens and the Capitol in Rome.
But even without this, it is obvious that Münster is one of the “Historic Highlights of Germany”: The panorama of the gabled houses on Prinzipalmarkt, the mighty St. Paulus Cathedral, the baroque Schloss, the traces of the Anabaptists, the venerable churches and the aristocratic houses – they all set their stamp on the cityscape.
However, the heartbeat of the 1200-year-old Hanseatic city is surprisingly young. Bustling life and a constant stream of new faces is ensured by the 60,000 students – who account for a share of the population that is unmatched by any other city in Germany with over 300,000 inhabitants.
Surprising contrasts are to be found at every step: Picasso behind the façade of the former town house of a member of the Westphalian nobility. Gems of baroque architecture standing side by side with icons of contemporary building design. Elegant shopping under the arcades of the Prinzipalmarkt, and farm produce just around the corner at one of Europe’s loveliest outdoor markets. A young female musician as night watch(wo)man in one of the city’s oldest public offices.
Anyone wanting to pause and catch their breath will find – especially by bike, given that this is “Germany’s cycling capital” – green refuges everywhere: in the Schlossgarten, along the Promenade or by the Aasee. Where they can then decide in peace: Another guided city tour? A visit to the vernissage in the Kunsthalle this evening? A glass or two of “Alt” beer at Kiepenkerl – or maybe a cocktail in the docks? Stay another day? Or make sure to come back again very soon?