The romantic, state-approved health resort, with its Kneipp medicinal baths, situated in the Erft valley, is surrounded by a completely preserved town wall with four gates and many fortified towers. Active Kneipp cures (hydropathic treatment) are taken in the modern buildings, two large gardens and the central Kurmittel-house. The historical town centre has a special charm, with its medieval town hall, the Romanesque House, the Collegiate Church founded in 830 A.D. and the Windeckhaus, one of the most gloriously colorful half-timbered houses in the Rhineland. Visit the unique Apothecary Museum and the Heino-Rathaus Café. Check out the Roman glassworks and the pewter foundry. In the nearby Münstereifel Forest a special attraction awaits you: the largest fully manoeuvrable radio-telescope in Europe.
Historical Blankenheim, situated below Grafenburg Castle, invites you to visit the source of the river Ahr, the old village buildings and the half-timbered houses in romantic narrow streets. In the Eifel Museum there are exhibitions of natural history and cultural history. The Karneval Museum in the Georgstor Gate shows 400 years of carnival tradition, including the annual Ghost Parade held during Shrovetide. Around the castle pond everything is provided for child-friendly recreation: boating, hiking, crazy-golf and tennis. The Freilinger Lake offers extensive water sports facilities. The juniper nature reserve in Lampert valley is a miracle of nature: along 400 km. of signposted footpaths orchids, gentians and other flowers bloom from spring to autumn.
Dahlem-Kronenburg, a state-approved health resort, was founded in 1277. Since then Kronenburg managed to acquire its town charter and fame through its former iron industry, which collapsed in the 19th century. Today only remains of the castle buildings can be seen. The idyllic castle village is home to numerous artists, who have their studios there. Every year the Kronenburg Arts and Culture festival is held.
The Town of Euskirchen
Around the chief town of the District of Euskirchen lie numerous castles, e.g. Flamersheim Castle and Ringsdorf Castle. For extended hiking tours and recreational activities the Steinbach reservoir is recommended. A particular highlight is the Rhenish Industrial Museum in Kuchenheim. The Rhineland Countryside Commission has opened a textile factory and plant to the public, which dates from around 1900. Visitors are now able to see what the industrial past of the town was like.
Dense forests at the foot of the High Venn and the massive reservoir dam (Olef valley dam) characterize Hellenthal. The dam wall, built in 1965, is unique in Germany. The Free Game Reserve is famous throughout the region and beyond, with its collected birds of prey, who demonstrate their skills (weather permitting). In Losheim there is the largest and most important church nativity exhibition in Europe. Another European number one is the EURO-Technica, an entirely digitally controlled model railway. Hellenthal used to be one of the most important ore-mining regions, whose mining facilities were shut down at the beginning of the 20th century. Today the old, closed lead-ore pit can be visited, as it has been converted into a visitors' mine. During winter Hellenthal offers numerous winter sport facilities (downhill and cross-country skiing). The winter sport centre "Weisser Stein" (white stone) is, at 690 metres above sea-level, the highest point in the District of Euskirchen.
Densely wooded side valleys and picturesque villages await you in the parish of Kall. Steinfeld Monastery, with its basilica, is one of the most important cultural centres in the Eifel and the Rhineland, an outstanding sight worth seeing. As well as the annual Eifel Music Festival (held on the Sunday before Corpus Christi), music lovers are regularly offered organ vespers and concerts on the world famous baroque organ.
The history of Mechernich goes back to the time of the Romans and Celts. Moreover, it is closed associated with the mining of lead ore, which is illustrated today in a visitors' mine. The Kakus Cave is one of the most significant pre-historic sites, situated in the Kartstein Nature Reserve. The town includes Kommern, which is one of the most impressive half-timbered villages in the Rhineland. Mechernich offers further destinations for excursions, such as the Rhenish Open-Air Museum (April - October 2001: exhibition on the history of Rhenish emigrants to North America from the 17th to 20th centuries) and the Big Game preservation park. The historical knights' jousting tournament at Satzvey Castle is held on several weekends in spring and autumn, a very popular event which is famous beyond the Rhineland. The so-called Zikkurat is a new centre for arts, culture and recreation. Here space for various events was created in the grounds and buildings of a stoneware factory, such as a beer-garden, film-set, beach-sports court, open-air concerts.
The parish of Nettersheim, awarded the name "Federal Capital of Nature and Environmental Protection", is where rest and relaxation are very close to nature. The Nature Reserve, with its exhibitions on nature, archaeology, geology and history, offers visitors a variety of things to see and ways to relax. For more than 15 years a great deal of effort has been put into information and education on the subject of nature and the environment. More than 800 different varieties of ferns and flowers and a unique animal world await visitors on adventure footpaths, fun for families learning while hiking. Targeting children and young people, a youth guest-house with more than 200 beds has been built. But there is plenty for visitors who enjoy the peace of the landscape for relaxation and recreation.
The valley of Schleiden lies in the middle of the North Eifel National Park, on the Eifel plateau of lakes. The Kneipp health resort of Gemünd is a year-round centre for hydro-therapy and medical care. In Gemünd there are a lot of things worth seeing on an excursion: the Forest Centre, the gothic Castle Church in Schleiden, built in 1523 with its baroque king-size organ, one of the best organs in Germany. A special tip for hikers and cyclists: enjoy the footpaths through the Kermeter forest and cycle along the newly opened Urft Lake at the weekend to the oldest dam in the Eifel.
The most northerly parish of the District of Euskirchen is situated in the middle of the Kottenforst-Ville national park. In Weilerswist there are numerous historical buildings to remind us of the past: e.g. the 12th century Swister Tower, Kühleggen Castle with its moat, built in the 16th / 17th centuries, or Metternich Castle (17th century).
This is the place to see if you are interested in how the Romans used to bathe. In 1931 the best preserved Roman baths north of the Alps were discovered in Zülpich and subsequently opened to the public. The town walls with four tower-gates date back to medieval times and the country castle of the Elector of Cologne was built in the 19th century. The Zülpich water-sports lake is a popular destination for swimmers and water-sports enthusiasts. The lake has excellent qualities for wind-surfing. For those who prefer quiet relaxation, the Neffel Lake is recommended, situated as it is in a nature reserve.