Situated in the heart of continental Western Europe, North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) has always been the crossroad of economic and cultural relations between many different peoples. Great historical events have shaped the state and many monuments preserve their memory.
Probably the most well known landmark in NRW is the cathedral in Cologne that reflects the power of the archbishop, one of the most powerful men in medieval times. The spires can be climbed to a height of 160 meters above the ground where the view over the city and surroundings is phenomenal.
A less religious sight, but also very famous one, can be found near the city of Detmold, in the Lippe region: the Hermann Monument that commemorates the victory of Germanic tribes against Roman legions in the year 9 AD. The statue symbolizes Germanic home rule and has a height of 53,46 meters.
In Aachen to the west of the state, the cathedral hosts the burial site of Charlemagne and has been the church of coronation for more than thirty German kings. The city also claims a rich architectural heritage from its Roman past to the present day. Not far from Aachen and Cologne lies Bonn, the former capital of West Germany and hometown of Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig van Beethoven whose places of birth can be visited.
The birth place of Germany’s economic power can be visited in the National Mining Museum in Bochum and another important location nearby is the Villa Hügel. Here, the Krupp family built one of the most prestigious and splendid residences in Germany. The manor has now been transformed into an impressive museum.
Many castles, cathedrals and smaller monuments can be found between the left banks of the Rhine and the eastern borders of the Teuteburg Forest. All in all, NRW is a culturally rich and diverse state with much to discover.