City of peace right in a national park
The UNESCO-Geo Park TERRA.vita with its green outskirts reaches right into the center of Osnabrück. This makes it to the only German city that lies in the midst of a national park. In 2015 Osnabrück´s historic Town Hall received the European Heritage Label for being a landmark of European history!
The peacefulness of nature is part of the city's character. Osnabrück's political and cultural life believes in the maxim: "The task of peace - committed to peace". In 1648, the 30 Years' War was declared to an end in the Rathaus des Westfälischen Friedens (Town Hall of the Westphalian Peace). Every year this event is commemorated by the local children with a hobby horse parade. The negotiations of this first "European Conference" took place in Münster and Osnabrück, lasted about 1400 days and changed the face of Europe. This is also the place where the first "European Conference" was held. Osnabrück's Friedenszentrum (Peace Center) pays tribute to the famous author and son of the city, Erich Maria Remarque. Furthermore, Daniel Libeskind designed "Räume gegen das Vergessen" ("Rooms against Oblivion") in the "Felix-Nussbaum Haus" (Felix-Nussbaum House) that remember the German-Jewish painter. Felix Nussbaum was born in Osnabrück and died in the concentration camp Auschwitz.
Osnabrück's historic and modern sites incorporate both past and future. Nowadays, people still come together where merchants used to meet in the old days - the Marktplatz (Market Square) was and remains the heart of the city. The area around the Stadtwaage (City Scales), the St. Marien-Kirche (St. Mary's Church), the late Romanesque Dom St. Peter (St. Peter's Cathedral) and the high gables of the old merchant houses, hosts weddings, festivals, wine stands and Christmas markets.
With the first rays of the sun, the cafés and restaurants put their furniture outside and serve you all kinds of treats, from sweet cakes to savory Mediterranean food. The old trade roads of the former Hansestadt (Hanseatic City) turned into pleasant streets with attractive shops.
One of the city's greatest highlights are its Steinwerke (Vault Houses). While half-timbered houses actually were the norm in medieval times, Osnabrück already started to build its houses with brick 800 years ago which gave the city its extraordinary silhouette. Around 35 of these remnants of medieval and early modern age architecture may still be found in Osnabrück, which is unique in Germany. Also some of them are open to public.