Muenster City Guide

On a city trip to Münster you find the days of the Hanseatic League coming to life and a bold display of modern architecture and art.

The former Hanseatic city of Münster attracts visitors from all over Germany and, for its ten-yearly sculpture exhibitions, art lovers from all over the world. The Flemish style gables and individual façades of the buildings along the Prinzipalmarkt are aptly known as Münster's "parlour" because as you stroll through the arcades here you go past very upmarket boutiques. At the Stadtweinhaus you can sit in the open air in one of the most prestigious restaurants in the city.

Right next door your city trip to Münster takes you into the Town Hall of the Westphalian Peace. In the historic Peace Hall you can learn about the history of the city and especially about the peace treaties of 1648 which ended the Thirty Years' War. The three cages hanging on the tower of the Gothic Church of St Lamberti tell quite a different story. On your short trip to Münster you should definitely visit this building, if only for the windows which are a brightly coloured mosaic of stained glass. At one time the cages held Anabaptists who were followers of John of Leiden and had been condemned to death.

The pop artist Keith Haring, Richard Serra and Claes Oldenburg all brought art to Münster, even before the Picasso Museum opened in the year 2000. Although Haring's Red Dog sculpture has moved to Ulm you can still admire Richard Serra's bronze sculpture and Claes Oldenburg's Giant Pool Balls at Aasee Lake. The Picasso Museum focuses on lithographs by this all-rounder whose likeness has been immortalised in the paving on Picassoplatz Square.

Go on the pleasure boat, Professor Landois, to explore Aasee Lake which stretches from the city centre past Sentruper Höhe residential area with its windmill, planetarium and all-weather zoo, as far as the district of Mecklenbeck. There is a unique open air museum which is a reconstruction of a village from five hundred years ago. You can hire pedalos for a reasonable price at the modern quayside which is lined with stylish cafés. You might also hear about the swan-pedalo which a female black swan once fell in love with, a liaison which aroused international interest.

Your city trip to Münster is bound to tempt you into a walk along the lovely Promenade, a green belt surrounding the city centre. It leads from the Baroque palace with its botanical garden past the Buddenturm tower in the district of Kreuzviertel to the Zwinger bastion, which now houses an art installation. With its city library and theatre Münster presents modern, avant-garde architecture on your mini-break, in contrast to the Italian flavour of the Dominican Church and its dome.

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