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Sightseeing in Monschau - what to see. Complete travel guide

In Western Germany, travelers can visit the incredibly charming town of Monschau. It attracts foreign guests as much as the big cities of the country. Monschau is situated in the valley of the picturesque Rur River, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia not far from the Belgian border. Why is this small town so attractive to tourists? Monschau is a great place to feel the atmosphere of the seventeenth century. This is the period when Monschau was developing and prospering. Even worldwide conflicts didn’t inflict much damage to the town. Monschau hasn’t lost its tidy and charming look. The air is very clean and fresh here, making it very pleasant to walk in this settlement.
The first mentions of the settlement on the site of modern Monschau date back to 1198. This is when the documents mention Monschau Castle – the building later gave its name to the town. The beautiful castle became widely famous throughout the country. In 1433, the dukes of Julich bought the castle in order to turn it into their residence. In the coming centuries, several ruling forces changed in the town. Many leaders tried to capture the small but cozy and picturesque town.
In 1795, the French were the rulers in the whole region of North Rhine-Westphalia. The invaders changed the town’s name from Monschau to Montjoie. During the French reign, the small town turned into an important center of the canton, which in its turn was a part of the Roer department. That being said, the French couldn’t keep their control over the region for a long time. Already in 1815, the territory of Monschau was added to the Kingdom of Prussia. During World War II, only American tank troops could enter the town. When they saw how narrow the streets of Monschau were, they understood that tanks couldn’t move there and left. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Local dwellings form the architectural look of Monschau. There are roughly three hundred historical buildings here. Tourists particularly admire the traditional houses with the timber framing built above the river. When looking at these houses, it feels like they are going to fall into the water. However, this doesn’t happen – the houses have been standing on this site for centuries. In the past, Monschau was famous for manufacturing cloth. However, local authorities decided that the factory was bad for the environment. The manufacture closed, and its building has turned into a local attraction.
Rotes Haus or the Red House is a popular landmark in Monschau. In the past, this estate belonged to the Scheibler family. Johann Heinrich Scheibler, the owner of the building, was a famous cloth manufacturer. However, when it was decided to stop cloth production in the town, the owner and his family left Monschau. Red House turned into a museum, during a visit to which visitors can learn about all stages of cloth production, see the most popular cloth patterns in Europe in the past, and look at the catalog with more than 6,000 different designs. The descendants of the Scheibler family visit the estate from time to time. They mostly gather in the Red House for family celebrations.
The Monschau Castle remains the most popular attraction in the town. The eye-catching fortification was built in the 13th century. Over the years, the castle has survived many attacks and plunders. It was also reconstructed several times. Despite all the troubles and challenges, the majestic historical landmark still welcomes numerous guests. The castle’s owners had to struggle and work hard to save the unique landmark and maintain it in good condition. In modern days, the castle has become a true pride of Monschau and a reminder of the complicated past of the town full of sad events.
Tourists enjoy walking in the long passages of the castle just like the dukes did centuries ago. However, if you want to see Monschau Castle is its full splendor, visit the castle in the evening. The building has a fantastic illumination – thousands of lights decorate its walls. In summer, the historical complex regularly hosts interesting festivals, one of which is dedicated to classical music. Famous performers and orchestras from all parts of the country arrive in Monschau to participate in the event.
Do you like beer? If the answer is yes, you will find it interesting to visit the Brewery Museum. During an excursion in this museum, visitors learn more about the history of the popular foamy drink and all stages of beer brewing. That being said, the most pleasant and interesting part of the visit to this museum starts closer to the excursion’s end. All visitors are welcome to sample different species of authentic German beer.
The fairytale town of Monschau is located roughly forty kilometers from Aachen and one hundred kilometers from Cologne. Travelers can easily arrive in this town from the abovementioned German cities. The choice of transport is up to travelers – they can pick a car, bus or train. Car rental in Aachen is an easy and comfortable way to reach this town. There are also daily buses and trains to Monschau. The time in transit is roughly one hour in this case.
Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Monschau
♥   Castle 'Ordensburg Vogelsang' , 14.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Reinhardstein Castle' , 15.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Castle Blomendal' , 29 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Franchimont' , 29.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Landsfort Heerlen' , 41.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Monschau
♥   National Park 'De Meinweg' , 67.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Eifel' , 71.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'De Groote Peel' , 91 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Hunsrück-Hochwald' , 108.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'De Maasduinen' , 114.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Monschau from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Kolner Dom

From the series “The Most Iconic Temples in the World”
The well-known architect Gerhard has worked at the Domprojekt. As the legend tells, the devil helped him. This was the only way to explain the construction of such a grand architectural project. Every day, more than 20,000 people visit the Cologne Cathedral, which is to be graced by its magnificent interiors and the golden sarcophagus with its main sanctuary. The latter is a real masterpiece of jeweler art. For the decoration of the sarcophagus thousands of precious stones were used. In the cathedral there are also other sanctuaries - the Gerokreuz and the Milan Madonna, a unique statue from the 13th century. All those who are interested can climb up the Domgipfel and enjoy the panorama of Cologne, for which only 509 steps have to be overcome. … Read further

Kolner Rathaus

From the series “Famous Buildings of Renaissance Architecture”
During the reconstruction of the basement there were found ruins of the ancient Roman buildings. Today all rebuilt elements of the historical buildings are open for everyone. Another peculiarity of the Kolner Rathaus is the musical instrument that makes wonderful melodies with the toll. It has appeared in the town hall in 1958. This construction has 45 bronze bells. A lot of people come to listen to the sound of them.  … Read further
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Monschau

All about Monschau, Germany - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Monschau, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Monschau in few days.
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