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Popular Points of Interest in and near Bad Bentheim
Bentheim Castle and Night Watchman's Walks
Castle Bentheim is the largest hilltop castle in northwest Germany, receiving mention for the first time in 1050. For five centuries it has been owned by the Counts and Princes of Bentheim and Steinfurt. The town’s most prominent emblem, the castle stands in the town’s center where it simply cannot be overlooked. The popular tourist site can be visited nowadays as a museum, with or without a guide. The high keep, known as the Pulverturm, or
Powder Tower, affords visitors a good view over Bad Bentheim.
A popular activity in the town is the Nachtwächterrundgänge, or Night Watchman’s Walks. These take place Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 9 o’clock. The meeting point is the lower castle gate at the Burg Bentheim. These walking tours are staged by the town travel office and are free. On these nighttime tours through Bad Bentheim visitors are treated to stories and legends about the town and the castle as well as historical data and facts, making for an interesting insight into the town’s history.,P>Hours: March - October, daily 10am - 6pm. November & December, Saturday & Sunday 10am - 5pm. January & February, Sundays 10am - 5pm.
Castle Admission: Adults 3.50 €, Concessions 3 €.
Burg Bentheim (Bentheim Castle) is the early medieval hill castle in Bad Bentheim, Lower Saxony, Germany . The castle is first mentioned in the 11th century under the name binithem.
The castle is built on a protusion of bentheimer sandstone, which not only provided building materials for the castle itself, but was also a valued export product. This Bentheimer Höhenrücken is the last protusion of the nearby Teutoburger forest. Its elevated position in an otherwise very flat landscape, provides an excellent view and thus a strategic location to build a castle.
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Travel Insider Tips for Bad Bentheim
Bad Bentheim Overview
The town limit is 49 km long, with a north-south reach of 14 km and an east-west reach of 12 km. The area under Bad Bentheim’s jurisdiction, along with all its constituent communities, has a total area of 100.16 km².
Bad Bentheim, a town shaped by the Evangelical Church, belongs to Lower Saxony’s district of Bentheim. It borders on two other towns in Lower Saxony, Schüttorf and Nordhorn (Nordhorn vacation rentals | Nordhorn travel guide) as well as on the more characteristically Catholic towns of Gronau (Gronau vacation rentals | Gronau travel guide) and Ochtrup in North Rhine-Westphalia’s Steinfurt (Steinfurt vacation rentals | Steinfurt travel guide) and Borken districts respectively. Bad Bentheim lies right on the Dutch border, its immediate neighbours on the other side being de Lutte and Losser, both Catholic places in the province of Overijssel (Twente region). Not far away lie the Dutch cities of Almelo, Enschede and Hengelo, and on the German side Lingen (Lingen vacation rentals | Lingen travel guide), Rheine (Rheine vacation rentals | Rheine travel guide), Münster (Münster vacation rentals | Münster travel guide) and Osnabrück (Osnabrück vacation rentals | Osnabrück travel guide).
Things to See in Bad Bentheim
The town’s most prominent emblem, the castle – Burg Bentheim – stands in the town’s centre where it simply cannot be overlooked. The popular tourist site can be visited nowadays as a museum, with or without a guide. The high keep, known as the Pulverturm, or “Powder Tower”, affords visitors a good view over Bad Bentheim.
The Bad Bentheim Sandstone Museum (Bad Bentheimer Sandsteinmuseum) is a museum housed in an historic Bentheim farmer’s townhouse (the farmer in this case was an Ackerbürger, who lived in town and had a townsman’s rights, unlike many farmers) with additions, which shows the history of Bentheim sandstone (quarrying and use, trade and work) and the stone’s geology. Exhibits like, for instance, Romanesque baptismal fonts from the 12th and 13th centuries or fossils, to mention the two permanent exhibits, may be seen here.
Another museum is the Museum for Radio and Broadcasting History (Museum für Radio- und Funkgeschichte) in the Haus des Gastes (“The Guest’s House”) right beneath the castle on Schlossstraße, which runs alongside it. In the same building is also found the tourist information centre.
The Franzosenschlucht (“Frenchman’s Gorge”) is found right next to the open-air theatre, the so-called Bentheimer Freilichtbühne (open-air stage). The Bad Bentheim open-air plays have an unusual venue set in three disused quarries, thereby offering an extraordinary natural backdrop. In summer plays are staged here. Often special events are held here such as nighttime performances.
The Haus Westerhoff is said to be one of the town’s loveliest farmer’s townhouses (Ackerbürgerhäuser), with its beginnings in 1656. Between 1989 and 1991, it was professionally restored. Today, artists and craftsmen display their works there.
Also worth seeing is the Reformed Protestant church with its Calvinistic interior décor, within which, among others, Count Arnold II zu Bentheim-Tecklenburg lies buried. It was built in 1696 on the site of the former early Gothic church from 1321, of which only bits are now maintained, such as a Gothic room and the Count’s crypt that lies thereunder. Today it is a plain Baroque church in the middle of which stands an old stone pulpit. In the graveyard around the church are found impressive, centuries-old gravestones of importance to art history.
The Roman Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist (Kirche St. Johannes Baptist) with its Baroque interior lies west of the Schlosspark and comes from the time of the Counterreformation. At Count Ernst Wilhelm’s behest, it was built in 1670 from Bentheim sandstone.
A popular activity in the town is the Nachtwächterrundgänge, or Night Watchman’s Walks. These take place Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 9 o’clock. The meeting point is the lower castle gate at the Burg Bentheim. These walking tours are staged by the town travel office and are free. On these nighttime tours through Bad Bentheim visitors are treated to stories and legends about the town and the castle as well as historical data and facts, making for an interesting insight into the town’s history.
The so-called Weggen wegbringen is an old tradition still practised in Bad Bentheim and the old county. The Weggen is a metre-long loaf of raisin bread brought by friends and neighbours after a child’s birth to the family to celebrate the newborn’s future. The Weggen is borne for this endeavour on a ladder.
Another cultural “hallmark”, in this case culinary, is the Bentheimer Moppen. These are rather hard, long-keeping biscuits baked with a great deal of caraway, and are eaten in Bad Bentheim and Schüttorf, as well as the neighbouring areas, mainly around Christmastime. They are supposed to be an especial treat if dipped beforehand in coffee. The caraway gives them a flavour that sets them very much apart from the usual Christmastime treats.
A popular meeting place in town for walking is the so-called Schlosspark beneath the castle. This is a geometrical 12-ha parkland laid out going by old records in the style of princely gardens of the 18th century. In a big lake at the park’s north end are found ducks that are often fed by visitors. Other animals, too, such as wild rabbits, may be spotted from time to time in the park’s bushes.
[ source: wikipedia ]
More about the History of Bad Bentheim
Bad Bentheim’s first documentary mention came about 1050 under the name Binithem. There are various etymologies put forth for the town’s name. It could refer to the rushes (Binsen in German) that grew on boggy land in the area in earlier times. It is also supposed by some, as with the Dutch region of Twente, that the name could go back to the Tubanti. Bad Bentheim, a former count’s residence, looks back on a history rich in tradition. For centuries, this market town was the hub of the like-named county (Grafschaft) of Bentheim. In 1945, the British occupational authorities stripped “brown Bentheim” of its district seat and transferred it to the working-class town of Nordhorn, which was more centrally located.
The town’s emblem is the mighty castle of the Counts of Bentheim, the Burg Bentheim, which was first mentioned in a document from 1116. About 1711, curative sulphur springs were discovered, from which grew the spa with its thermal brine and clinic.
Bentheim’s sandstone, known as Bentheimer Gold, which is or was quarried in the main town and Gildehaus, was shipped beyond the old county’s borders between the 15th and 18th centuries into the Münsterland, to East Frisia, into the Netherlands and to Belgium and Denmark. A few examples of important buildings made of this sandstone are the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, the theatre and the Church of Our Lady in Antwerp, the Catholic Church in Århus, the Martini Church’s tower in Groningen (completed in 1482) and the City Hall in Münster.
[ source: wikipedia ]
Bad Bentheim is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany lying in the district of Grafschaft Bentheim on the borders with North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands roughly 15 km south of Nordhorn and 20 km northeast of Enschede. It is also a state-recognized thermal brine and sulphur spa town, hence the designation Bad (“Bath”). In Bad Bentheim is also found the Burg Bentheim (castle), the town’s emblem.
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