Up, up and away to Siegen, the city on a tremendous hill. If you are walking around Siegen, come prepared with good walking shoes or boots. The city is really on a steep incline, but the views from the top make it all worth while.
From the train station, make your way straight down Bahnhofstraße until you reach the Kölner Tor. From here, be prepared to fight gravity on your journey to the City Hall, where the tourist information center is located. Walk straight up the hill and bear left at the Markt. The city hall is relatively easy to find, but the tourist office is on the second floor of the building. Save some time and energy and check out the tourist maps available just to the right of the main entrance.
Das Obere Schloss
There are two castles in Siegen, one up, one down. The one of the top of the hill is the Obere Schloss, complete with a beautiful park, beer garden and the city museum. On the far side of the castle are two lookout points, where you can get a beautiful view of the city below and the surrounding hills. The museum entrance is straight through the castle doors. Inside are 3 different types of attractions: Historical portraits of the royal Siegen family, Paintings by native son Rubens, and a section devoted to mining, complete with a chance to walk through an actual mine below the castle. The mine extends quite some way, and as long as you are wearing good shoes and don’t mind a few puddles, the experience is great!
Go back through the park and head downhill, until you reach a few narrow streets, which turn into the Altstadt, where you can see some of the original houses of Siegen. Many houses were destroyed in the war, but there are a few pastel paintings of the marketplace as it once was in the museum in the castle.
There are two beautiful churches in Siegen, but they were both closed on the day that I visited. I am sure that they are both worth a visit. From the outside, you can see the crown spire of the Nikolai church, which is the symbol of the town of Siegen. The Marien church has limited opening hours, so check ahead of time if old churches are a trip priority.
Museum für Gegenwartkunst
I loved this museum. It was so random and great. I saw a wonderful exhibition called, “Seeing and Dancing”, which was filled with modern dance videos from the 1970’s. It was truly the strangest exhibition I have ever seen, but it was super enjoyable for its variety and surprising weirdness. I spent a few good minutes chuckling to myself at a few of the pieces, which may not have been good etiquette, but didn’t seem to disturb the other museum guests. There is also a permanent collection of paintings from a variety of modern artists. Enjoy! museumfuergegenwartskunstsiegen.de
How to get there: There are no fast trains to Siegen, so be patient! Regional trains run south from Essen, east from Aachen and Cologne, and north from Frankfurt. The area is really beautiful and hilly, so the train ride from any direction is wonderful.
Great things: The hill, for those looking for a workout, and the two museums.
Date of visit: May 18, 2007