Around Lake Aa
The recreational area of Lake Aa, darting from the outskirts right into the city centre, is a leisure and sporting paradise. Numerous joggers run around the 40-hectare reservoir each day. The zoo, horse museum "Hippomaxx", the natural history museum with adjoining planetarium and the Mühlenhof open-air museum are visitor magnets. It is also possible to hire rowing boats and pedalos at the lake. The eye-catching Giant Pool Balls, three enormous concrete billiard balls created by Claes Oldenburg on the occasion of the first sculpture exhibition in 1977, grace the lake's northern banks. Lake Aa is also a popular location for events.
"Allwetterzoo" (All-weather zoo)
Over 3,000 animals live in the "Allwetterzoo" in largely natural surroundings and eco-systems. Bears, lions, monkeys, penguins, parrots and co. feel at ease in twelve large animal houses and in the outdoor enclosures. Approximately one of the five kilometres of paths through the zoo's grounds is covered, providing protection from rain and sun, hence the name "all-weather zoo".
The entrance price includes a visit to the sea lions' "Robbenhaven" and the "Hippomaxx" horse museum.
"Hippomaxx" - Westphalian Horse Museum
The horse adorns the Westphalian coat of arms, and the Münsterland region is a stronghold of equestrian sports. It comes as no surprise that the city has dedicated a museum to the noble creatures. The "Hippomaxx" charts natural and cultural equestrian history and the co-existence of humans and horses over 1,000 square metres. Spectators can even watch their four-legged friends perform in the arena.
Natural History Museum and Planetarium
Visitors to the Zeiss Planetarium, located at the heart of the LWL Natural History Museum, can investigate foreign planets and astronomical events from the comfort of their armchairs. The planetarium’s dome measures 20 metres in diameter, and seats 270 people. The natural history museum invites its visitors to travel back in time to the Mesozoic era. There, they can make the acquaintance of the dinosaurs and experience Westphalia’s transformation from mammoth steppe to agrarian countryside. Great temporary exhibitions!
- LWL-Museum für Naturkunde - Westfälisches Landesmuseum mit Planetarium (LWL Natural History Museum – Westphalian State Museum with Planetarium), Sentruper Str. 285
ph. 02 51 / 5 91 05
Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am – 6 pm
Mühlenhof Open-Air Museum
The Mühlenhof showcases the Münsterland's rural culture and craftsmanship in almost 30 buildings of various sizes. Some houses were moved to the museum from their original locations, while others were reconstructed according to original models. The museum's landmark is a post mill, the reconstruction of which marked the museum's inauguration in 1961. Romantic souls can hold their marriage ceremony at the Mühlenhof.
"Solaaris" water shuttle
The extraordinary solar ship transports passengers from the city centre (Lake Aa terraces) to the Mühlenhof open-air museum and the zoo. "Solaaris" runs every hour from 10 am to 5 pm between end of March and October.
Tickets are valid for the bus to and from the boat, also.
- Information: ph. 02 51 / 849 33 30