Ten churches including a whistling chapel can’t be wrong! This is the perfect city for church gawkers. Every church is unique and some are just downright spectacular. The cathedral is enormous and magnificent. Everywhere I stopped, there was someone taking a quiet moment to reflect and pray in each church. Paderborn is a holy city, indeed!
Royal Palaces, St. Bartholomew & the Cathedral
As previously mentioned, the cathedral is breathtakingly spectacular. This is one of the largest cathedrals I have seen in Germany. There is tons to see, including many side chapels, tombs, 4 organs, something called the Paradise Porch, a famous window with rabbits and many, many beautiful windows, decorations, and of course, the altar. Just about every detail within the cathedral is intricately crafted and fun to examine. The outside architecture is also quite beautiful and the tower, with its many windows, can be seen from quite far away.
St. Bartholomew is directly across the way from the cathedral, diagonal from the red doors with the lion heads. This is the oldest chapel in the city, which is evident from its architecture. It is also the smallest chapel in town and renown for its wonderful acoustics. Go in whistling and you won’t be disappointed.
The remains of the Royal Palaces are next to St. Bartholomew’s. They include both the visible foundation stones and what is now the Royal Palace Museum. This museum was quite popular and there were long lines to get in on the day I arrived.
If you like jewels, you will like what you see in the vault area (Schatzkammer) of this museum. The theme here is religious artefacts, and there are golden, silver and bejewelled relics a plenty here. The staffs and the many different monstrance were amazing. The rest of the museum is filled with wooden Madonna sculptures, paintings and statues. From the outside, the museum is covered in lead, which leads to the feeling that you are inside of a vault. Some of the rare parchments and robes in the vault have lighting that comes on only when you approach them. Learn about Saint Liborius as you walk through the building. You can buy a combination ticket for this museum and the Museum in der Kaiserpfalz, which shows some of the archaeology that was found after post-WWII clean-up.
The town hall is impressive and the architectural style is called Weser Renaissance. The building is centrally located near the marketplace and the large tourist information center. Explore some of the passageways down towards the Jesuit church and the Jesuit town wall.
These lovely springs run through the western part of the city. The parks offer a nice view of the cathedral and a pleasant walkway through parts of the city. Have lunch with the ducks if it is a nice day.
Adam & Eve House on Auf den Dielen
Circling through the springs and up past St. Michael’s church on Michealstraße, walk down Auf den Dielen, where all the old timber framed houses are located. Around the corner on Hathumarstraße is the Adam and Eve House. This house serves as the city history museum. It is highly decorative and worth a visit, if only on the outside.
Former Jesuit Church
Another crazy beautiful church. The altar is the main point of interest here, with its golden climbs circling up and up. The rest of the church is a pale baroque pink. This church is located right next to the town school, which was also the old Theological Faculty.
Franziskaner Church & Marienplatz
The Franziskaner Church is located right on Westernstraße, which is the street you take walking into the city from the train station. Along with all the other churches I visited in Paderborn, the ceiling here was intriguing. Note the red criss-cross patterns. The façade of the building is also wonderfully baroque and includes a working fountain.
Walking straight along Westernstraße, you come right into Marienplatz, with the tall statue of Mary. You are again in the vicinity of the Town Hall and the marketplace. The tourist office is here next to the Heising House
How to get there: ICE and Inter City trains run to Paderborn from Dortmund and Hannover. Many regional trains also run through the city, but are a little slower as they make more frequent stops at smaller towns.
Great things: The Cathedral was awesome, as were several of the other churches and chapels.
Date of visit: November 3, 2006 and March 13, 2009
Paderborn website: www.paderborn.de