Historic centre of Monschau
Immerse yourself in a magical world
It is like a journey back in time: on the banks of the Rur, which flows through the middle of the Eifel town of Monschau, one lovingly restored half-timbered house follows the next, winding romantic lanes lead through the town and every glance around the next corner reveals a new picture to the visitor. There is something fairytale about strolling through the village and no one would be surprised to hear the clatter of horses echoing through the narrow streets from the cobblestones. The days of horse-drawn carts are over and today's Monschau combines tradition with modernity. The half-timbered houses or the magnificent "Red House", a patrician house that tells of the heyday of the cloth-making industry in the 18th century, tell of history. Monschau woollen cloth stood for the highest quality throughout Europe. At the beginning of the 20th century, however, the last cloth factory closed. The beautiful houses remain and give the town its unmistakable flair.
The castle, which towers high above the town, takes us back to the Middle Ages and the beginning of Monschau's history. It was built at the end of the 12th century by the Dukes of Limburg and continuously extended and rebuilt until the 17th century. The traces of the past are still visible, but life is lived in the here and now: in summer, visitors flock to the inner courtyard to watch one of the performances as part of the Monschau Festival, and the building is filled with young people and families, as the castle has been converted into a youth hostel. Back down in the valley, a stroll through the many small shops and boutiques should not be missed. In the halls of the craftsmen's market and the glassworks, visitors can browse the offerings of traditional craftsmen or experience how glass is blown on a guided tour.
Culinary and cultural delights
In the meantime, you can enjoy a snack: Have a leisurely coffee and watch the hustle and bustle in the alleyways or enjoy a fine meal in one of the restaurants. Here, a lot of emphasis is placed on regionality and guests can't help but sample the culinary delights: the finest chocolates, Printen, traditional Monschauer Dütchen or mustard, which is made in a historic mustard mill. After eating and strolling, culture: small galleries present regional artists, top-class musicians play in the Aukloster and the Forum for International Photography, which regularly shows exhibitions of well-known photographers, is located in the Art and Culture Centre (KuK).
A fairytale winter
A visit to Monschau is a pleasure at any time of year, but when it starts to snow in winter, the delicate flakes transform the Eifel town into a fairytale place. Christmas trees adorn the town, cafés and mulled wine stands offer hot drinks to warm you up. A stroll through the Monschau Christmas market on one of the four Advent weekends is particularly atmospheric. A sophisticated traffic and parking guidance system makes it easy for those unfamiliar with the area to find a parking space - at any time of year.
Excursions into the surrounding area
After discovering the medieval town centre, nature attracts visitors to the surrounding area: the Eifelsteig trail runs over hilltops and through romantic valleys, and hikers can walk from Monschau to Einruhr or be enchanted by thousands and thousands of small wild daffodils in the meadow valleys in spring. Those who prefer to get on their bikes can cycle along old railway lines, as the Vennbahn, one of the longest railway cycle paths in Europe, is very close by.