Nestled in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany is the city of Solingen. Long has it been known to be the “City of Blades” because it is at this very city where the finest swords, knives, and razors are made. In the Middle Ages, the sword smiths of Solingen made their mark and preserved their best-kept sword-making secrets as well as the heritage of hospitality. Today, these traditions live on making it one of the most interesting places to visit in the world. So, to spark things up, here are the 10 best things to do when in Solingen.
1. Experience Medieval fantasy in Schloss Burg, the Castle of the Counts
Schloss Burg is easily found in Burg an der Wupper. Count Engelbert built this fortress and for 300 years, it has been the center of the counts of Berg. This is why Schloss Burg is also known as “Bergisches Land.” Because of its rich Medieval history, its visitors will surely be mesmerized by a walk-through of how it was to live in the Middle Ages. The structure itself speaks of so much about the past specially with the Kemenate, Gallery of Ancestors armory, the chapel, the Knights hall and its majestic walls.
As the largest castle in North Rhine-Westphalia, it is widely known as a tourist attraction and a preferred event space for the Medieval Fantasy Convention. This event is a convergence of so many fans of medieval times as well as TV shows and films that have this period as its setting. Think “Game of Thrones,” “Vikings,” and “Harry Potter.” So, excited yet? You better be!
Schloss Burg Castle
Address: Castle Wermelskirchener Str, 42659 Solingen
2. Have a refreshing time with the family-friendly Fauna Animal Park
Whenever you visit Solingen, it is most recommended to make a stop at the Fauna Animal Park. Contrary to nature parks with large animals, this petting zoo is just right for that warm fuzzy feeling that comes along when anyone gets in touch with nature’s gentle side. The farm is filled with fauna like llamas, nasenbären, goats, porcupines, and meerkats. Upon every visit, animal feed packs are readily available for purchase to fully enjoy the experience. In addition to fauna, the park also has a cafe by the garden and a playground for children.
Fauna Animal Park
Address: Lützowstraße 347Solingen-Gräfrath, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
3. Enjoy a leisurely visit to the Freizeitpark Itterta
When visiting the mountainous Solingen, it is necessary to go to Freizeitpark Itterta. The amusement complex is located in the Itter Valley far off village Obenitter. Specifically, it is situated in the forest area near Sonnenschein, the Hedgehog Forest and the Mittelitter. The park has its own restaurant, a historic water carousel (1907), an animal walk, an outdoor pool, an outdoor ice rink, a pond, and of course, a fairytale forest. What is most special about the fairytale forest is that it features twelve huts through some old trees that show some scenes, props and dolls from famous fairytales.
Address: Ittertalstr. 50, Solingen
Facebook: Familien Paradies Ittertal
4. Appreciate birdwatching at Solingen's bird haven, the Solinger Vogel- und Tierpark
Birdwatchers are in for a treat! Located northwest of the Ohlig heath, this animal park is home to about 400 animals from 125 species. Its main attraction is the bird population including rare species of parrots, songbirds, palm vultures, and vulture trenches. Adults who visit the bird sanctuary will need a ticket worth 5.29 USD, while children will only have to pay 2.35 USD. Aside from regular visits, booking the park for private celebrations is welcome. They even have a kiosk that provides sweets, drinks, and souvenirs.
Solinger Vogel- und Tierpark
Address: Hermann-Löns-Weg 71, Solingen
Facebook: Solinger Vogel- und Tierpark
5. Go for a walk in the park at Botanischer Garten Solingen
The garden dates back to 1952 but formally opened in the 1960s. It is located at Vogelsang 2a, Solingen and is open to anyone who needs some peace and quiet at any time of the day (and any day of the week). The beautiful landscape has various sections. One is the Alpine Garden that includes the Aster, Arabis, and the Geranium, to name a few. Another section is the Mediterranean Garden that is home to plants from Southern Europe and Central America like fig, olive and laurel trees, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. The Tropical House features the palm trees, sugar cane, cocoa, cinnamon, wild rice and a large aquarium. It also has some orchids from Nicaragua and Vietnam. Other sections include the Cottage garden, the Biblical Garden, the Flora Frey Garden, Pergola, Perennials Garden, Rose Garden, Medicinal Garden, Herb Garden, Wild Bee Trail, Fern Walls, Iris Garden, Primelgarten, Heather Garden, and the Pond Area. The Botanischer also has its own Reading Room and a collection of conifers.
Botanischer Garten Solingen
Address: Vogelsang 2a Solingen-Gräfrath, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Facebook: Botanischer Garten Solingen
6. Have a good memorable laugh at the Laurel and Hardy Museum
Wolfgang Guenther, the curator of The Laurel and Hardy Museum in Solingen, Germany, is producing a special edition of...Posted by The Laurel & Hardy Magazine on Sunday, 4 September 2016
Some good ‘ole American slapstick comedy from the 1920s could be just the trick to make a Solingen visit instantly delightful. Thanks to the privately owned Laurel and Hardy Museum, the City of Blades has a lighter side to it. The museum prides itself with a curation of movie posters, programs, press materials, photographs, sculptures and private documents of the two artists - Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Some interesting things to see here include Laurel’s checks, and the only copy of a recording by Stan and Olli. Of all the exhibits here, the Kinofilme films by Laurel & Hardy are the most valuable. It is only in the museum of Solingen that these films are performed.
Laurel and Hardy Museum
Address: Locher Str. 17, 42719 Solingen, Germany
Website: Laurel and Hardy Museum (in German)
7. Get schooled on brand piracy and plagiarism at Museum Plagiarius
In the 70s industrial designer Rido Busse wanted to make a bold statement about plagiarism. This declaration led to the establishment of Museum Plagiarius. Nothing quite explains what plagiarism really means other than Plagiarius. The museum exhibit displays more than 350 originals along with their plagiarized versions. Every year, the institution also publishes the most disrespectful plagiarism from every country of the world. The museum’s main goal is to teach the public about the risks and negative effects of counterfeiting.
Address: Railway station 11, 42651 Solingen
Website: Museum Plagiarius
8. Satisfy your thirst for curiosity at the Sengbachtalsperre, Solingen's drinking water dam
Sengbachtalsperre is kept in the quiet valley of Wupper. This reservoir provides the locals with its essential drinking water. It was constructed in the 1900s and is one of Germany’s first drinking water dams. Knowing these useful and important pieces of information while hiking on the reservoir’s walkways and its surroundings will leave visitors with a deeper sense of appreciation for the life-giving resource.
Address: Sengbachtalsperre, 42659 Solingen, Germany
9. Experience floating over the Wupper at the Müngsten Bridge Park
The famed hanging ferry at Müngsten Bridge Park is a must-try! Interestingly enough, this is the highest railway bridge in Germany. It interlinks Remscheid and Solingen and it was specifically designed for the park. The unique ferry allows visitors to be transported in mid-air to the other side of the river via two cables. It operates on a mechanism similar to the muscle pumping pedal train. The ferry is open every day of the year.
Müngsten Bridge Park
Address: Müngstener Brückenweg 71, 42659 Solingen
10. Take your fill in the one-of-a-kind dining experience with Schloss Burg Gastronomie
If the Schloss Burg isn’t quite enough to satisfy your craving for all things Solingen, then enjoying a meal in its very own restaurant is promising. The medieval castle that was built in about 1130 was a place where people would take their fill on hearty meals and beverages. This traditional hospitality is very much alive today with every dinner plate that serves the best of Solingen’s dishes. For family lunch includes a variety of cold and warm dishes, and of course some wicked desserts and table wine. So, when in Solingen, this dining experience is highly recommended.
Schloss Burg Gastronomie
Address: Schloßplatz 2, Solingen
Facebook: Schloss Burg Gastronomie
Solingen: where Medieval meets modern
For those who feel that they lived in the Middle ages in their past lives, then Solingen is the place for you. What is amazing about Solingen is that it has managed to stay relevant and, in fact, important in the 21st-century with its tight-knit cultural heritage and beauty.
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