Sunday, 8 June 2014

Discovering Osnabruck, Germany, the City of Peace

Since the Peace of Westphalia was proclaimed on the steps of its historic town hall in 1648, Osnabruck has been known as the City of Peace. Osnabruck’s location in the northeastern region of Germany made it a center for trade during the Middle Ages. The city was part of the Hanseatic League, a collection of merchant guilds that promoted free trade and defended trade routes along the northern coastline of Europe. Cities within the Hanseatic League were governed by a common legal system and shared military resources on behalf of all the members. This allowed Hanseatic League cities to establish trade routes throughout northern Europe and provided Osnabruck and its residents with exceptional prosperity during this period.

Exceptional Architecture

Many of the towers erected to fortify the town of Osnabruck during the medieval period are still standing today. The brick Steinwerke, also known as the Vault Houses, were built approximately 800 years ago and provide Osnabruck with a sense of character all its own; some of these architectural marvels are still open to the public and offer a look back into the history of the Westphalia region. The Felix-Nussbaum House was designed by Daniel Libeskind and commemorates the life and death of the noted German and Jewish painter.

A Close-Knit Community

Osnabruck’s unique physical layout makes it easy to travel from one part of town to another quickly; the entire city has been designed to be compact and convenient to navigate for residents and visitors alike. Most community activities take place in the Marktplatz, a central marketplace that plays host to local festivals, Christmas markets, weddings and other celebrations. St. Mary’s Church, St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Town Hall of the Peace of Westphalia form the borders of this central gathering spot. The Museum am Scholerberg is another popular educational attraction located in Osnabruck.

Educational and Employment Opportunities

The German Federal Environment Foundation is headquartered in Osnabruck. The city also boasts the world-class University of Osnabruck and the University of Applied Science of Osnabruck, a top-notch technical college that offers a number of international study options for foreign students. Osnabruck is a popular tourist destination and offers numerous employment opportunities for residents; it is currently the third-largest city in the German state of Lower Saxony.

Surrounded by Natural Beauty

Osnabruck holds a singular distinction as the only city in Germany located in a nature reserve. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has established the Natur- und Geopark TERRA.vita to provide a living reminder of the Earth’s history and its natural beauty. Osnabruck is located within the Geopark TERRA.vita and offers easy access to hiking, biking and exploratory trails within this scenic park.

For visitors to this area, Osnabruck offers an exceptional mix of unspoiled landscapes, outstanding Mediterranean and German food and delightful venues designed to please almost any shopaholic. The rustic charm of the surrounding countryside and the range of available activities make this one of the most attractive destinations for tourists in the northern Germany region.