Hagen, the “gateway to Sauerland”, spoils its visitors with a wealth of varied museums and impressive historic buildings.

In the southeast of the Ruhr Valley, Hagen invites visitors to one of the best-known cultural hubs in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Ruhr Valley city of Dortmund lies just a few kilometres north of Hagen. Around 40% of Hagen’s landscape, which is criss-crossed by the Ruhr, Lenne and Volme rivers, is covered by forest. A wealth of various museums characterises the city; among them are the Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum which houses significant works of classical, modern and contemporary art as well as the Hagen Open-air Museum in the quaint Selbecke district. The Open-air Museum has around 60 reconstructed craft buildings and workshops on display spanning 42 hectares. You have to try the famous beer from the historic Schwelm brewery during your trip. The beer is produced on the museum’s premises.

Some of the most-visited tourist caves in Germany are the Dechen Caves and Cave Museum, just east of Hagen in the area of Iserlohn. This famous destination on a short trip or mini-break in the region of Hagen snatches its visitors off into an exciting underworld of fairy-tale caverns and magical stalagmites and stalactites. Impressive discoveries like the skull of a woodland rhino are on display in the Cave Museum. Concerts that are held inside the caves are a special attraction during a city trip to Hagen.

The picturesque moated Werdringen castle on the Ruhr peninsula in the district of Vorhalle is perfect for an eventful excursion. The Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte (Museum for pre and early history) is housed in the rooms of the 13th century fortress. Interesting prehistoric archaeological artefacts and fossils dating from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages are displayed inside. Visit the colourful medieval market held annually at the castle in September. A massive army camp, hearty drinking songs and a spectacular knight play create an authentic ambience.

A fortress stands atop the castle hill in the district of Hohenlimburg. The 13th century Hohenlimburg Castle of the Counts ranks among the few hill castles in Westphalia that are still preserved in their original form. Marvel at the castle's splendid court culture in the Castle Museum. The private German Cold-Roll Museum in the rooms of the castle engages visitors with the history of the delicate trade of wire manipulating which is still widely used in the Lenne valley.

The 370-metre-high Kaiser Friedrich Tower, which was opened in 1910, sits enthroned above the Hagen district of Haspe. The impressive brick tower is one of the three towers along the 6km-long Drei-Türme-Weg (Three-Tower Path), which begins in the city centre at the foot of the Goldberg mountain. From this height you will get superb views over Hagen and the natural landscape. The former tower caretaker accommodation in the adjacent farm buildings has been converted into a cosy restaurant that now attracts visitors with a range of hearty snacks.

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