Hamelin exists beyond the overwhelming narrative capacity of the Brothers Grimm and the imagination of generations of children around the world, fascinated by the audacity of a flautist who freed his community from a terrible plague of rats before the existence of rodenticides and of all animalistic opposition. In fact, the well-known tale is based on a popular legend with some hint of remote reality, as can still be seen in the Rattenfängerhaus, the house of the rat catcher in the city of Hameln/Hamelin.

But this is not the only legend of the German region of Weserbergland – the Highlands of the Weser River, which extends through the Länder of Lower Saxony, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia – that inspired Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and other storytellers. Cinderella or the adventures of Baron Münchhausen also have their origin in these fascinating lands, where an overflowing nature coexists with a rich medieval and Renaissance heritage that is well worth discovering.Länder of Lower Saxony.

The Renaissance of the North between valleys and mountains

The fact that the region has been considered for years a no man’s land, away from the big industrial centers, has allowed it to preserve its rich heritage intact. In the past, however, it was a splendid focus of attraction for hard-working craftsmen and artists, attracted by the power of a local nobility who built villas and magnificent castles along the course of the Weser, dominating its hills. All this to the point of configuring its own architectural style, known as the Northern Renaissance, which has been preserved over the centuries because after the Thirty Years’ War the region failed to raise its head, falling into oblivion. secular that made it alien to the subsequent wars that ravaged the heart of Europe.

The landscape of this region is characterized by gentle mountains and valleys, with abundant oak, spruce and larch forests punctuated by cleared grazing areas. Solling-Vogler Nature Park has protected flora and fauna since 1966, including native species such as various lichens, the ceramic fungus, the stag beetle and the dusky beetle, the medium-spotted woodpecker, the Exmoor ponies, the owl of Tengmalm and the black stork.The bike is ideal for discovering Weserbergland.

On a route through fairytale towns

As taste is in variety, the best way to discover Weserbergland is to combine visits to its charming fairy-tale towns and its fascinating natural environment, on routes that can be done by car and by bicycle, with practical and comfortable trails. Many run along the river until they reach Bremen (yes, the city of musicians). The restaurant and accommodation alternatives are as varied as they are complete. Without forgetting, in a mainly fluvial environment, the spas, which allow active tourism to be combined with relaxation.

On any of the chosen routes, the cities of Bückeburg, Hamelin and Hannoversche Münden are mandatory stops, considered by the humanist Alexander von Humboldt as one of the seven most beautiful cities in the world. Once the capital of the small Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe, Bückeburg boasts a charming historic center and monuments befitting its former status, such as a castle surrounded by an English-style landscaped park, with the princely mausoleum, and the only school of horse riding from Germany In addition to two interesting museums: the history museum, which allows you to discover the fascinating and unknown past of the principality and the Schaumburg-Lippe region, and the Helicopter Museum, which takes a complete tour of the development and history of this aircraft.Castle of Buckeburg.

Following in the footsteps of the flutist

At this point, the visit of Hamelin is essential. Today, the city lives around the Pied Piper and his famous legend, although of course its rich history and his heritage go much further. Strolling through the center of this charming medieval town reveals the Renaissance past with which the municipality flourished between the 15th and 16th centuries.

The exquisite architecture of its streets is in perfect condition thanks to an arduous restoration effort. It is worth looking especially at the sgraffito on the facades of its historic houses and the lintels of its doors, which show their owners and the date of their construction. On Osterstrasse, Hamelin’s main artery, there are two of the most outstanding Renaissance houses: the Stiftsherrenhaus and the Leisthaus, which houses the permanent collection of the Hameln Museum.

The tower of the Nicolaikirche of Hamelin offers a panoramic view of the city and a well-preserved medieval center

Following in the footsteps of the famous flutist hypnotist of rodents, it is essential to go to Bungelosenstrasse (literally, the street without sound), the last place where the flutist’s entourage passed on a distant June 26, 1284. On the corner of that same street with Osterstrasse, is the Rattenfängerhaus, the house of the rat catcher. It currently houses a private museum of wood carvings and antiques, as well as a popular restaurant where you can taste the traditional dishes of the area: pumpkin soup, sausages and pretzels.

It is also worth climbing the Nicolaikirche tower, from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and its medieval center, which has hardly changed since it was built. In its church there is a colorful stained glass window with the image of the flutist, which is a recreation of the one that already existed in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.Center of Hamelin.

Medieval heritage

At the confluence of the Fulda and Werra rivers, which join to form the Weser, Hannoversch Münden is also an example of the region’s distinctive architecture. Of medieval origin, it still preserves sections of its old wall. Extremely beautiful is the Gothic church of San Blas, and the Welfenschloss, a palace built by Duke Eric I in 1501, in Gothic style, as a residence and administrative center. After its partial destruction in a fire in 1560, Duke Eric II had it rebuilt in the Renaissance style. 

Previous articleLocal politics is key to achieving a better world by 2030
Next articleThe 15 most beautiful cities in France that you have to visit