A medieval excursion to Detmold & Teutoburg Forest

Alara Benlier | Live the World

November 23, 2022

With its more than 500-year-old history, fantastic nature, and historical places, Detmold used to be the capital of the Principality of Lippe. The city merged into the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1947, but it still has its own regional identity and a separate Protestant territorial church! In here, you can explore the amazing Teutoburg Forest, which witnessed an epic battle, the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. Besides, you can also enjoy the gorgeous historic old town! So, if you want to explore Detmold, here is your guide!

© iStock/venemama

With its more than 700 architectural monuments, Detmold is a must-visit city. Thankfully, the city center has mainly survived intact the two world wars. As a result, today, you can notice three main historical eras in the old town; the late Middle Ages, the Biedermeier period (1830-1860) with classicist plaster buildings and the Gründerzeit (since 1875) with its historic residential and commercial buildings. The market square with the Donopbrunnen fountain forms the center of the old town. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, you can enjoy the colorful market as well!  In 1979, the city of Detmold was also awarded a gold medal for its successful renovation of the old town!

© iStock/Teka77
© iStock/Xurzon

With its many famous health spas, therapy locations, numerous cycling, and hiking trails, the Teutoburg Forest can be found in Detmold. In here, you can check out many spas and ride on the scenic paths through the mountains. While visiting, firstly, you have to check the Hermannsdenkmal, aka Hermann Monument, which stands 386 meters above Detmold with grace. It is probably the most famous excursion destination in Detmold! Hermannsdenkmal was built in memory of the "Battle in the Teutoburg Forest" in 9 AD. Thus, the foundation stone for today's borders in Europe was laid. From the monument platform, there is a beautiful panoramic view over Detmold and the Teutoburg Forest.

Your second stop must be the Externsteine! Seventy million years ago, the flat-lying lower Cretaceous Sandstone was pressed vertically in the course of the mountain formation, creating that way the famous Externsteine! This place is identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and it is the location of the Irminsul idol, which was later destroyed by Charlemagne. The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages. Since then, the Externsteine has been the center of cultural-historical and natural development. 

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