As you walk through the streets of Monschau, you immediately understand precisely why this picturesque village is called “The Pearl of the Eiffel”. It looks like you’re back in time over two hundred years, by the typical half-timbered houses that are in the village and the fairytale-like location. This beautiful town is located in the northern part of the Eiffel and very close to the Dutch and Belgian border. This makes Monschau ideal for a weekend getaway destination not too far from home. What are the highlights of Monschau in the Eiffel?
The highlights of Monschau, the pearl of the Eiffel
The town of Monschau
Monschau is a town of 12.000 inhabitants in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and lies in a small and deep valley of the Ruhr at four kilometers from the Belgian border. Monschau has only been known as such since 1918 by an imperial decision, formerly the name of this town was Montjoie. The picturesque town center with the various slate-covered houses gives the city a beautiful and picturesque view.
The city center has a variety of cozy cafés, fine restaurants and souvenir shops. Most of the restaurants serve brewed Felsenkeller Zwickelbier fromMonschau and this is a great beer. There are also a number of hotels in the town where you can stay overnight.
What are the highlights of Monschau in the Eiffel?
1. Be amazed by the buildings
The town’s biggest attraction are the special and fairytale-like houses in the town. In total there are 400 half-timbered houses in the old city center and all of them are monuments. They were built in a special way to keep the cold out of the houses and the roofs are very steep and the living space is far in the back of the house. The colors and shapes of the facades are particularly beautiful. The houses seem to be somewhat skewed, but if that is false, or not, I do not know. Most half-timbered houses were built in the 17th century and were renovated in the original state as well as possible.
2. Go hiking on one of the many paths
The area of the town is beautifully green and hilly. The municipality has built several hiking trails in the immediate vicinity of the town. In the local Tourist Office you can buy a map with the various routes mentioned on it. The routes are in different distances, from two kilometers to 25 kilometers. The routes have different colors and these are clearly marked with signs. With a short walk of a few kilometers you will see all the sights of the city. Due to the hilly landscape, there are many beautiful views. The many signs along the hiking routes also provide educational information about the surroundings and nature.
3. Visit the castle
The castle was built in the 13th century and years later it walled. Since 1543 it was the castle of Emperor V until the French took it and sold the castle. The new owner was unable to maintain the castle and therefore it became a ruin. After the first world war, there was new life blown into the castle because it became a youth hostel. Now it is a beautiful castle to visit. In the summer the castle is used for concerts and opera.
4. Get a tour through the beer brewery museum
For more than 150 years, people have brewed the Felsenkeller beer in Monschau. During the tour you will receive all information about beer breweries. You also visit the Felsenkeller, which was dug into the mountain in 1830. In this underground cellar, the beer was kept cold in the time when there were no refrigerators. In the Brauhaus you will enjoy a delicious beer.
5. Visit the glass blower
The glass blower and the accompanying museum are nice to visit. In the glass blower factory you can see how glass is blown with old-fashioned craftsmanship. You can see that everything can be made of glass like glasses, plates, vases and various works of art. It’s nice to see a glass blower. In the museum you will see glassware that is exhibited.
6. The christmas markets
During the Christmas season there is a cozy Christmas market every weekend in Monschau city center. There are several attractive Christmas stalls and you can buy all the typical Christmas market products. Warm Glühwein is also abundant.
How do you get to Monschau?
The easiest way is to go to Monschau is by car. Monschau is about 2.5 hours away from Utrecht. There are several parking spaces on the outskirts of the city center.
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I believe these are the highlights of Monschau in the Eiffel. Have you ever been to Monschau and what are your highlights of Monschau in the Eiffel?