Muenster, Germany: A Tour of the Historic Center at Night

Muenster's Historic Town Hall, viewed at night
Earlier this year, my husband Art visited Muenster, Germany, for a scientific conference. While most of his time was spent in meetings, one evening he went on a bus tour of the historic city center. Muenster, a medium sized city located in northwestern Germany, has a long history going back to the Middle Ages. It was the site of the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War in 1648.  During World War II the city was heavily bombed and the historic center was largely destroyed. After the war, the decision was made to rebuild the old city to match its prewar state. So, when you visit today, the heart of Muenster looks very much like it would have hundreds of years ago, except, of course, that the shops along Prinzipalmarkt Street bear the familiar logos of today’s brands.

The tour included a stop at the town hall, or rathaus, Muenster's landmark, where the Peace of Westphalia was announced. Portraits of the delegates to the peace negotiations can be seen in the Hall of Peace.
Prinzipalmarkt, the main shopping street of Muenster, with shopping arcades located under the tall gabled houses.
Art always enjoys the chance to eat typical German foods (which remind him of the year he spent in Germany as a high school student.) On his first night in Muenster he treated himself to schnitzel and pilsener. His souvenirs of the trip were also food–fresh whole grain bread from a local bakery, a jar of raps honig (honey made from rapeseed blossoms) and a box of Lubecker marzipan (a perennial favorite of ours.) While it is possible to buy German marzipan in specialty stores in the United States, it always tastes better fresh from the source! We wondered if the muenster cheese available in American supermarkets had its origin in Germany, but, it turns out to be a version of a cheese named after the Alsatian abbey of Munster in the Vosgian Mountains of France.

To get to Muenster, Art flew from LAX to London, from there to Dusseldorf, Germany, and from Dusseldorf to Muenster by train. I thank Art for sharing his photos of his night tour of Muenster with The Intrepid Tourist.

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