Germany off the beaten track

Marienberg fortress high above the Main river in Würzburg. © CTW/ Andreas Bestle

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Practical information

Why go?

On the road signs it says in black and yellow: Osnabrück "The City of Peace". The steel sculpture of the "Friedensreiter" (Peace Rider) was created by the artist Volker Johannes Trieb and reflects how serious the city is about this statement: "The task of peace - committed to peace". This is the maxim that defines political and cultural life in the old bishopric and young university city. Each October, when hundreds of primary-school children ride their hobby-horses up the steps of the "Rathaus" (Town Hall) and receive a pretzel from the Lord Mayor, they ride in celebration of the Peace Treaty of Westphalia. This is a very conscious, living sign of peace culture. The most important year of Osnabrück's history was 1648.

For nearly four centuries, scholars have debated the actual site of the Battle of Varus. The battle took place in the year 9 A.D. when Germanic tribes lured Roman legions into an ambush only to mow them down. In 1989, more than 6,000 archaeological finds in the hamlet of Kalkriese near Bramsche, lying north of Osnabrück, confirmed the location. Evidence shows where, on the northern slope of the Kalkriese mountain, a Roman army was vanquished.

The Felix Nussbaum Museum with works by the Jewish painter murdered in Auschwitz was designed by Daniel Libeskind and evokes a thoughtful mood. Almost everyone knows the novel "Im Westen nichts Neues" (All Quiet on the Western Front) by the Osnabrück author Erich Maria Remarque. The "Friedenszentrum" (Peace Center) named after him and the peace prize of the same name pay tribute to his work.

When to go?

Germany is a popular travel destination all year-round, with a typical four-season climate. Winter temperatures vary from west to east, with around freezing temperatures in the west and well below freezing in the east of Germany. Summer temperatures are typically between 20°C (68°F) and 30°C (86°F). In terms of tourist numbers, May through to September are the most popular months to visit Germany. However, the winter holidays with their enchanting Christmas Markets are also a major highlight. Those who enjoy the benefits of uncrowded attractions will favor January through to April.

Summers in Osnabrück are warm and pleasant. Rain showers are frequent but do not last too long: the sunshine index is high, whilst the amount of rainfall guarantees a green and fertile landscape.The winter in Osnabrück is fairly mild and snow is rare.

Long periods of fine weather can be followed by unsettled conditions.  To be on the safe side, make sure you bring a sweater and wet weather clothing with you.

What to eat?

Those who prefer plainer cooking will relish the fresh local ingredients which go to make a typical Osnabrück meal. In spring, there is Spargel (asparagus) in every conceivable variety, in winter there is Grünkohl (hearty kale), served up with Kasseler (smoked pork chops) or Grützwurst (smoked sausage). Both are popular specialties from the regional cuisine which has produced fusions of East and West, North and South. Culinary trends are currently dominated by the desire for local fare - a return to tradition and simple enjoyment.

A few selected pubs, bars and restaurants also offer Osnabrück Pils on tap. This new Pils generation is drawing on the best brewing traditions. Talking about beer: in an old residency opposite the Bishop's Chancellery, the small brewery Rampendahl produces its own beer.

Osnabrück is home to a surprising range of well-known products. For example this noble delicacy, which simply melts in your mouth in the parent house in Krahnstraße: Leysieffer's Himmlische (Leysieffer's heavenly chocolates). Leysieffer' s exquisite confectionery specialties and fine breads, cakes and pastries have been melting in the world's mouths since 1909.


Map of Germany

That´s Germany

Hanseatic town fortifications – in the Middle Ages massive town fortifications were built as a protection. The Hanseatic City of Osnabrück still bears witness to the power of the merchant city.

VIP: Erich Maria Remarque

Erich Maria Remarque – exhibition and archive dedicated to the acclaimed author of “All Quiet on the Western Front“ in the “Friedenszentrum” (Peace Center) on the “Marktplatz” (Market Square).

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