Osnabrück is another classically round place where it is not so hard to imagine the wall that once surrounded the city. Aiding this illusion are the many standing towers at various points around this ring. The towers are all in good condition and one that I approached even had an open door and a dark eery staircase inside. Therefore, if you are brave enough, a trip inside is possible.
A few of these towers are located in the area near Heger Tor. Specifically, the towers are located as follows: Bucksturm on Natruper-Tor-Wall, Bürgergehorsam on Hase-Tor-Wall, Vitischanze at the corner of Hase-Tor-Wall and the E.-M.-Remarque Ring, and the Pernickelturm on the E.-M.-Remarque Ring near the river Hase.
The Heger Tor area is quite special. The streets here are quaint and narrow with lots of small shops, including some pastry stores and a tasty ice cream stand called “Leysieffer” on Bierstrasse. This street is also home to the tourist information center. The people inside are unbelievably friendly and were happy to provide me with some tourist information in English. Please note that the website is only in German, so a trip to this center is worthwhile.
Felix Nussbaum House
There is a beautiful archway out of Heger Tor to the museum quarter, which has stairs on either side that lead up to the top. The museums are located across the street from the archway. One ticket buys you entry into the Cultural History Museums and the Felix Nussbaum House, which are separated by walkways. Felix Nussbaum’s artwork is displayed in an interesting modern building, which highlights his work well. The paintings are brilliant and the story of the artist is intriguing and also tragic. Placards in the museum are written in both German and English. As I was there, a man was giving an English tour to a couple of British tourists. If the story of the artist intrigues you, then a guided tour is possible.
A lovely walkway runs parallel to the river with a footbridge that connects back into the city, close to the town cathedral. Coming through from the footbridge, turn right and walk through the old cathedral passage way. It is both dark and wonderful. As I walked into the front door of the cathedral, a children’s choir started singing, accompanied by the organ. I can only wish that everyone could have this experience walking into a European cathedral.
Where the People Went to Pray
The Marienkirche is just a block away from the cathedral and also a worthwhile site. The alter holds a folding golden shrine displaying pictures of Christ. It is possible to walk around the altar to see the back folds as well. Outside of the church are the market place and city hall. The market place has many cafes and restaurants and is also adjacent to the public library. There is a unique fountain directly across from the church and there are many great places to sit and relax on a nice day.
Why Not Shop?
The shopping district begins quite close to the train station and weaves though the city on Großestraße. There were many more stores than I expected and it would be quite possible to make a day of shopping in this city.
How to get there: Getting to Osnabrück is simple. Most long distant trains on the way to Bremen and Hamburg stop in Osnabrück. There are also regional trains available from Münster, Bremen, Bielefeld, and Paderborn.
Great things: The town has the feel of Münster, but is smaller and easier to navigate. There are many great sights to see and no crowds to deter you. I did not want to leave when it was time to go home, so I recommend a full day to explore this city.
Date of visit: April 7, 2006
Osnabrück website: www.osnabrueck.de