For the 5th time already, I attended the congress “bewegte Kindheit” (moving childhood) in Osnabrück. Up until now, I only walked back and forth between the castle, several university buildings and some gyms without paying too much attention to the city. This time, things went a little differently.
Since I started this travel blog, my view on trips to places that aren’t Berlin has changed completely. I walk this earth with open eyes and I am able to see the beauty of cities and countries. This year, I didn’t take the bus to get from A to B. I walked. One evening – I reached the hotel completely knackered – a look at my fitness tracker told me that I had done 32000 steps in one day. And what I discovered in Osnabrück between three presentations and two workshops…
The Town Hall of Osnabrück
The late Gothic town hall was built in 1512. Back in the day, it was a modern building, meant to represent the political power and significance of Osnabrück. The hip roof is 18 meters high and surrounded by 6 little towers. The front is decorated with little figurines. Two staircases lead up to the main portal from either side. It was here that the Peace of Westphalia was declared and the Thirty Year’s War found its end. This peace treaty is regarded as the first step towards a united Europe. The Hall of Peace can be visited, it currently is home to the Golden Book of the City.
As part of one of our workshops, we performed a dance in front of the town hall. Too bad, no one from inside the building applauded.
The Churches of Osnabrück
I only noticed that in a few cities so far, but it is fascinating how many churches can be found in the city centre of Osnabrück. I only took pictures of them in passing, the time I had was by no means enough to visit them all properly. The St. Petrus Cathedral was erected in the times of Charles the Great and remains the centre of the bishopric to this day.
Just next to the town hall is the gothic St. Mary church and only a few meters further down, a short walk on foot, you find the gothic St. Katharien church. Its tower is 103 high and rises above pretty much everything else in the Old Town. That came in handy for me and my bad sense of directions; the tower was a good way marker that guided me through the town. On my seven-leagues-boots day, I also passed the St. Johann church and another really gorgeous church next to the cathedral school. I am sure there are many more churches dotted around the city and I sincerely hope I get the opportunity to visit them on another occasion that isn’t a congress visit.
Opposite the Osnabrück Event Hall, in which our conference was held, is the Ledenhof. The building has a somewhat flashy façade which was really the reason why I came over to have a look in the first place. The manor was owned by the Leden family and is one of the most important buildings in Osnabrück. It consists of a main building and a tower that holds the staircase. The diagonally painted on pattern on the façade was recreated after historic models.
Some of the events of the congress took place in the four wings of the baroque Castle of Osnabrück. Today, the castle mainly serves as space for the university. Earlier, in the years that followed the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, it was the representative seat of the prince-bishop. The castle garden has a very open layout and serves as a venue for open-air concerts and events.
Walking through the city with open eyes and an open mind will make you discover many nice opportunities for a little shopping and some really magnificent old buildings.
After 32000 steps I was convinced, this city deserves another visit.