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bineba Bad Berleburg - A travel report by Sabine
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Bad Berleburg,  Germany - flag Germany -  Nordrhein-Westfalen
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bineba's travel reports

Bad Berleburg - Back to Nature in Wittgenstein

  13 votes
Page: 1 2
I haven't lived in Bad Berleburg for nearly 20 years, but I still call it 'home'. For this report I tried to look at the town through the eyes of a tourist. And you now what? I quite liked what I saw.


View from Baerenbruecke
View from Baerenbruecke
Bad Berleburg is a small spa town in a region called Wittgenstein, part of the Siegerland-Sauerland area in South-East North-Rhine-Westphalia. It is roughly 2 hours drive east of Cologne and north of Frankfurt in one of Germany's most densly wooded areas (you have to drive nearly one hour to get to the nearest motorway) and the climate is one of the healthiest in the country. In the 1950's Berleburg started to develop a thriving health industry and since 1971 it can add 'Bad' to its name, indicating that it is a spa town. It is a very 'down to earth' place and has few of the trappings usually associated with spa towns, but what it has plenty of is nature and fresh air. Bad Berleburg was first mentioned in records in the 8th century, but archeological finds point to a much earlier settlement. Today it has about 7500 inhabitants, but with the 20 plus villages taht belong to same commune, it has about 21000. These villages are well worth a visit in their own right, many have been finalists and winners of national awards for being so pretty. The only colour comes from the wonderful flower displays, as the predominant architecture of the region are houses and churches in black and white half-timber, covered in the grey slate which used to be mined locally.



Favourite spots:
Schloss Berleburg
Schloss Berleburg
The hill top old town of Bad Berleburg is dominated by the beautiful 16th century baroque castle of the Fuerst von und zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. There is an interesting museum you can visit, showing art, furniture, porcelain, uniforms, etc. The castle also hosts an International Music festival every July attracting major classical music stars and from May until October there are free concerts in front of the castle every Sunday morning. But my favourite part of the castle is the park, with its lakes, ancient trees and wildflowers. I does remind me of school trips with our biology teacher, learning first hand about the local flora and fauna. Much better than sitting in a stuffy class room!

What's really great:
Marktplatz with sculptures by Wolfgang Kreutter
Marktplatz with sculptures by Wolfgang Kreutter
There is always a festival or market going on. Every town and village has a rifle clup and throughout the summer there are their annual festivals or 'Schuetzenfest', when the champion shot who manages to shoot a wooden bird of a tall pole is crowned 'Schuetzenkoenig', the parties go on for 2 or 3 days. The 'Stuenzelfest' is a major agricultural show and festival celebrated every June and attracting people from near and far. Have a look at the prizewinning animals, go on the rides and visit the many beer tents! Bad Berleburg hosts many markets throughout the year, a Wool Market, Wood Market, Autumn Market and Christmas Market. My favourite is the Bread Market every October Here you can taste the delicious breads baked in the communal wood-fired bread ovens of the villages. Most of these ovens had become derelict, but have now been lovingly restored by the villagers to keep a tradition alive.
On summer Sundays there's Let's Dixie, free jazz concerts held in the market place.

Sights:
Our mascot, the Baer
Our mascot, the Baer
Apart from the museum in the castle the is the town museum (Museum der Stadt Bad Berleburg) on Goetheplatz. This museum has a fascinating collection of artifacts to tell you the story of Berleburg. There is a replica of an old shop on the ground floor and themed collections elsewhere. It also house the 'Sauer-Bibel', the first bible that was printed in the USA on a printing press made in Berleburg.
You can visit the Slate Mining Museum In bad Berleburg-Raumland, where you'll be taken on a tour of the mine.
Hof Espe is a working farm but also houses a Museum of Agriculture & Traditions.

Accommodations:
The Ludwigsburg
The Ludwigsburg
There are numerous Bed & Breakfast accomodations (Pensionen) in Bad Berleburg itself, and also in the various villages starting from about 15 Euros a night. Hotels from about 35 Euros.

Please note: the local Youth Hostel will be closing for good in October.

Check out the website of the local tourist board:
www.bad-berleburg-tourismus.de

Hangouts:
Typical house in Bad Berleburg's old town
Typical house in Bad Berleburg's old town
My favourite pub 'Der Tonkrug' was attacked by arsonists in July and was completely burned out, but it should be back by the end of the year. (Hochstr. 15, www.tonkrug.com)

The Britannia Inn is a nice mixture of an English & German pub with a nice beer garden. The land lord, Mike is English, so if you don't know your 'Pils' from your 'Berliner Weisse', he'll be able to explain.
(Am Breitenbach 11, www.britannia-inn.de)

'Zum Weissen Ross' is a historic pub and restaurant which has been in the same family for over 275 years. Nice beer garden by the river Odeborn.

Restaurants:
Nature pure
Nature pure
The Britannia Inn (see above) is also a very good restaurant, serving meat and fish dishes as well as vegetarian food. There is a very popular Sunday lunch buffet.

'Zum Weissen Ross' (see above) also serves great food, with local venison a speciality.

Hotel-Restaurant-Cafe Wittgensteiner Hof next to the castle.
www.hotel-wittgensteiner-hof.de

In the village of Christanseck you'll find the Hotel Wittgensteiner Schweiz, a working farm (Hof Teiche) and Hotel, Restaurant (meat comes from the farm) and Cafe (homemade cakes and waffles)
www.wittgensteiner-schweiz.de

For more cakes try Cafe Wahl and Cafe Harth in Bad Berleburg.

If you prefer international cuisine, there are Greek, Chinese and Italian restaurants in town.

Other recommendations:
Sculpture on the Rothaarsteig hiking trail
Sculpture on the Rothaarsteig hiking trail
The new hiking trail Rothaarsteig (www.rothaarsteig.de) passes through Bad Berleburg-Kuehude. You can do as much or as as little as you like, but the whole trail is 154km long and goes from Brilon to Dillenburg. Near Berleburg is the Sculpture Trail, full of surprises!
www.rothaarsteig.de
If you prefer to explore the region on two wheels there is the brand new cycle trail 'Eder Radweg', taking you from the spring of the Eder until it joins the Fulda near Kassel. This mostly traffic free trail is about 140 km long.
In winter there are more than 100 km of cross country skiing tracks available and in nearby Winterberg are downhill slopes, ice skating, ski jumping and a bob sleigh run.


Published on Saturday August 21th, 2004


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Mon, Aug 23 2004 - 06:51 AM rating by christianj.

Hi Sabine,

an excellent report - so many details and (historical) informations. I will visit this place when I'm the next time in the Siegerland for business.

Regards, Christian

Sun, Aug 22 2004 - 12:50 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii sabine,
i gone through your report and found it very very interesting ,and well written,thanks for your effort and pain in writing this .
ravi

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