With the crowds of visitors who came to enjoy the “Skulptur Projekte” (“Sculpture Projects”) only just returned home, Münster is once again in the cultural spotlight with another major project. “Frieden.Europa” (“Peace.Europe”) is the city’s contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. And a very fitting event it is. After all, European history was written in Münster, where in 1648, exactly 370 years ago, the Peace of Westphalia was signed which finally ended the 30 Years’ War. As testimony to this, Münster’s Historical Town Hall – along with its counterpart in the city of Osnabrück – proudly displays the “European Heritage Label”. The joint “Frieden.Europa” project, with its three key elements – an exhibition collaboration between five of Münster’s museums, the redesign of the Place of Remembrance in the city’s Historical Town Hall and the international youth project entitled “Labor Europa” (“Laboratory Europe”) – along with the award of the Internationaler Preis des Westfälischen Friedens (International Westphalian Peace Prize), and the Katholikentag (Catholics Day) event under its motto “Searching for Peace”, are all highlights that will make 2018 a “peace year” and so do full justice to Münster’s historical heritage.
But even without this, it is obvious that Münster is one of the “Historic Highlights of Germany”: The panorama of the gabled houses on Prinzipalmarkt, the mighty St. Paulus Cathedral, the baroque Schloss, the historical traces of the Anabaptists, the venerable churches and the elegant aristocratic houses – they all set their stamp on the cityscape.
However, the heartbeat of the 1200-year-old Hanseatic city is excitingly young. Bustling life and a constant stream of new faces is ensured by 60,000 students – who account for a share of the population that is unmatched by any other city in Germany with over 300,000 inhabitants.
Surprising contrasts are to be found at every step: Picasso behind the façade of the former town house of a member of the Westphalian nobility. Gems of baroque architecture standing side by side with icons of contemporary building design. Elegant shopping under the arcades of the Prinzipalmarkt, and farm produce just around the corner at one of Europe’s loveliest outdoor markets. A young female musician as night watch(wo)man in one of the city’s oldest public offices. A snobbish professor paired with a St. Pauli football fan – an unlikely couple? Maybe, but the TV investigator duo of Börne and Thiel of “Tatort” fame are among the city’s most popular ambassadors. It is this fascinating mix that gives Münster its charm: the combination of long-established tradition and vibrant present.
The range of art and culture on offer is also fascinating, whether in the form of “Art in Public Spaces” which, in keeping with the “leitmotiv” of the “Skulptur Projekte”, is to be found everywhere in the city, or in one of the over 30 museums or in the often temporary locations of a pulsating young scene. The Old Town and the Schloss provide wonderful settings for events of all kinds: from the traditional Hanseatic Repast and the Schauraum Museum Festival, to leading equestrian and top-class gastronomy events, all the way to the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro and the Volksbank Münster Marathon.
Anyone wanting to pause and catch their breath will find – especially by bike, given that this is “Germany’s cycling capital” – green refuges everywhere: in the Schlossgarten, along the Promenade, or by the Aasee. Where they can then decide in peace: Take in the vernissage in the Kunsthalle this evening? A glass or two of “Alt” beer at Kiepenkerl – or maybe a cocktail in the docks? Stay another day? Or make sure to come back again very soon?
Foto University Hospital ©Presseamt Münster/MünsterView Foto :Münster city center around the cathedral ©Pressamt Münster/MünsterView
Foto : Aasee in Münster City ©Presseamt Münster / Berhard Fischer Foto : Old City Center ©Presseamt Münster / Tilman Roßmöller
Foto : Prinzipalmarkt ©Presseamt Münster / Angelika Klauser Foto : Historic City Hall ©Presseamt Münster / MünsterView
Foto : Lecture Hall University Münster ©Presseamt Münster / Joachim Busch Foto : ©Presseamt Münster / Britta Roski
Foto : ©Presseamt Münster / Angelika Klauser Foto : ©Presseamt Münster / Angelika Klauser