Earth : Europe : Central Europe : Germany : Western Germany : North Rhine-Westphalia : Sauerland-Siegerland : Soest
Bringing history to life
Soest is about 400 years older than almost all Central European cities and - until the late Middle Ages- remained one of the major and important cities in Germany. Even today, many architectural highlights from this period are waiting for the visitor in the city, e.g. the medieval city wall, to thirds of its historical spatial expansion preserved, on which you can circle the city. Throughout Europe, only Lucca in Tuscany and Westphalian Soest offer a tree-lined rampart that can be walked on at the same time. The architectural ensemble of the Old Town, built from green sandstone, is unique in the world. In addition to the 600 half-timbered houses, the walls and churches made of this material shape the picturesque back-drop of the 50,000-inhabitant city.
The historically most important churches, the cathedrals St. Patrokli and St. Maria zur Wiese, were also built from green sandstone. The mighty tower of the cathedral St. Patrokli is considered the most beautiful Roman church tower in Germany and is a monument of European standing regarding the history of tower construction. The late-gothic hall church St. Maria zur Wiese, dating back to 1313, is culturally and historically the little sister of the Cologne cathedral and comprises one of the few permanent cathedral building sites in Germany. Inside is a curiosity, the famous painting “Westphalian Last Supper: It shows Jesus at the communion table with his disciples. Beer, ham and pumpernickel, the black bread specialty of Soest, are served here.
Motif of German Im- and Expressionism
The karma of Soest allows only beauty and art, Will Frieg, art critic 1919
Soest was an important motif of German Impressionism and Expressionism, being "still quite a medieval city, a splendid nest," as Christian Rohlfs enthusiastically wrote in 1904. In the 10s and 20s of the 20th century, the city was home to an artists' colony. Its most important members were Wilhelm Morgner, Eberhard Viegener and Arnold Topp. Famous artists such as Otto Modersohn, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff and Christian Rohlfs often joined the local artist group.
In addition to the painters, also Bruno Paul- a pioneer of modern architecture and teacher of, inter alia, Mies van der Rohe- had worked in Soest several times by creating three city villas there between 1928 and 1931. He was also a prominent cartoonist of the satirical magazine Simplicissimus.
Closest airports: Dortmund and Paderborn
Reaching Soest by train is easy, and the station is very close to the historic old city.
Town hall One of the few representative Baroque buildings is the town hall (1713-1716) with its ninearched hall on the west side. The patron saint of the city, St. Patroclus, sits enthroned above this archway. At the back of the baroque building is the newer part of the town hall, which formerly also housed a gymnasium. The entire building complex encloses a green inner courtyard, in which open-air events often attract many visitors.
Right next door rises the mighty tower of St. Patrokli - also known as the "Tower of Westphalia." The Romanesque building was built as a collegiate church after 965. In the cathedral museum in the westwork, one can admire the important Root Jesse window, depicting the descent of Jesus. Also worth seeing is the apse painting from 1200 in the Marienchor. St. Patrokli is still considered to be the most extensive of its kind in Westphalia. In the Middle Ages, the 77m high Westwerk used to preserve the armory of the city. Even though St. Patrokli being colloquially known as a cathedral, it has never been a bishop's church. However, a high-ranking canon of the Cologne cathedral chapter presided over the then college of spiritual canons.
opening hours cathedral daily from 10.00 am to 5.30 pm
Cathedral Museum by appointment (02921/6710660)
Special opening hours at the time of the Soester Christmas market: On all Advent weekends (Sat / Sun): 12am - 2pm
Museum Wilhelm Morgner
Right next to St.Patrokli, the Wilhelm Morgner Museum houses temporary art exhibitions and a permanent exhibition of paintings by the well-known Soest expressionist Wilhelm Morgner. His artistic ascent began in 1910-1912, but came to an abrupt end as a result of the First World War. Wilhelm Morgner fell at the age of 26 years at Langemark. However, he left behind a rich life's work, most of which is owned by the city of Soest (about 400 drawings and 56 paintings).
The museum also houses the "Schroth Room", a collection of concrete and post-minimal art by the collector Carl-Jürgen Schroth.
Designed by the architect Rainer Schell from Wiesbaden and built in 1962, the Morgner House itself is a typical building of the early 1960s and thus one of the youngest architectural monuments of the city of Soest.
opening hours Tuesdays - Fridays 2pm - 5pm Saturdays + Sundays 11am - 5pm
St. Petri Only the pedestrian zone separates St. Patrokli from St. Peter, the "Alden Kerke", the oldest church foundation in Westphalia. The oldest part of the building dates from the 8th century, but can no longer be identified. The chancel dates from 1277 and is of Gothic origin, while the spire carries typical Baroque features. The emperor's loft from 1200 in the nave is testimony to important guests who used to stay in Soest in the past.
Opening hours: Tuesdays - Fridays 9.30am - 5.30pm Saturdays 9.30am - 4.30pm Sundays 2pm - 5.30pm
Great Pond and Pond Mill To get to the "Great Pond", you cross the Theodor Heuss Park, a former private garden, that is entirely enclosed by a wall built from green sandstone. On the other side this wall is the "Pond Mill" that dates back to the 13th century. The adjacent "Great Pond" never freezes in winter, as it is fed by countless springs. Diagonally opposite the Pond Mill, on the other side of the pond, there is a replica of the "seesaw". This is a punishment instrument painted yellow -the medieval colour of digrace and dishonour- from which criminal offenders were tipped into the pond for misdemeanours.
St. Maria zur Wiese In the north of the old town,the towers of St. Maria zur Wiese (Wiesenkirche), one of the most beautiful late Gothic hall churches in Germany from 1313, rise up into the sky. The towers, however, were not completed until 1882. In addition to important panel paintings from the 14th and 16h centuries, St.MAria zur Wiese houses the "Westphalian Supper" window on the north portal. This painting,created around 1500 by an unknown artist, is particularly fascinating, as it shows Jesus at the sacrament with his disciples. However, here are ham, beer and pumpernickel on the table!
opening hours April to September: Mondays - Saturdays 11am - 6pm Sundays 12am - 6pm
October to March: Mondays - Saturdays 11am - 4pm Sundays 12am - 4pm
Green Sandstone Museum Just a few steps further north along the Walburgerstraße is the pretty Soest Green Sandstone Museum. Here you can obtain accurate information about the history of Soest's "trademark" green sandstone on the basis of numerous information boards and exhibits. For example, one learns what role the green sandstone played in art history and economic life in the Soester Börde. But it also shows workpieces and stone fragments of no longer existing sacred and farm buildings. Permanent reference to the present: A stone collection, which forms the basis of the current reconstruction work of the Cathedral Building Office at the Wiesenkirche.
opening hours Mondays - Saturdays 10am - 5pm Sundays 2pm - 5pm
St. Maria zur Höhe Back via Wiesenstraße and Hohe Gasse you reach St. Maria zur Höhe (Hohnekirche). Built around 1220 it boasts a magnificent ceiling and wall paintings. The Byzantine influence is most evident in the ceiling painting in the main choir, the "Engelreigen" (Circle of Angels).
opening hours April to September: Mondays - Saturdays 10am - 5.30pm Sundays 12am - 5.30pm October to March: Mondays - Saturdays 10am - 4pm Sundays 12am - 4pm
About the small Osthofe it then continues towards Osthofen Gate. This is the only surviving of originally ten town gates in the town wall. The new building dates from 1523 - 1526. Inside there is a museum on the history of the town with a world-wide unique collection of 25,000 medieval crossbow bolts.
opening hours Wednesdays and Saturdays 2pm-4pm Sundays 11am - 5pm
Town Wall Directly opposite begins the town wall (around 1180), which enclosed a length of formerly 3.8 km 102 acres of old town. Today, two-thirds of the wall has been preserved. On this wall, and also by the forces, before which the outer wall used to run, you can make wonderful walks today and look into some old town gardens.
Old St. Thomä and New St. Thomä "Leaning Tower" is the name of the church of Old St. Thomä, one of the oldest Gothic churches in the city (around 1270). The tower dates back to 1653. A lot of history surrounds its creation. The misalignment results from damage caused by rot in the entablature. Just a few steps further you will find the church of St. Thomas, a former monastery church of the Franciscans (1233), who founded their first monastery here in Westphalia. The former Minorite Church never had a bell tower. The monastery buildings have disappeared today, except for a few remains.
Burghof Museum If you now cross the Grandweg, you will reach the Burghof Museum, an old patrician's house (1559), which today displays exhibits on the history of art and the city. There is also a permanent exhibition of copper engravings by Heinrich Aldegrever. Behind the Burghofmuseum is the Romanesque house, one of the oldest houses between the Rhine and Weser from the period around 1200.
opening hours tuesday - saturday 10am - 12am; 3pm - 5pm Sundays 11am - 1pm
From the Ulricher Tor you can look out over the Katten Tower (1230), the last surviving defense tower of the former inner town wall.
Paulichurch Between Ulricherstraße and Paulistraße lies the Paulichurch, which was rebuilt in the middle of the 14th century in the typical Soest church construction of a Romanesque to a Gothic church and contains beautiful stained glass and numerous figure sculptures. It was originally created around 1200. In 1530, the Dominican Father Johann Kelberg delivered the first evangelical sermon. He and his brother Thomas Borchwede were the pioneers of the Soest Reformation movement. Since 2009, the Paulichurch houses Westphalia's first columbarium - an urn burial ground - in a Protestant church. The most striking feature of this columbarium is that the St. Pauli Church not only urn cemetery but at the same time still worship of the Ev. St. Petri-Pauli parish Soest is.
opening hours Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays 2pm - 5 pm Short term changes are possible due to worship services!
Soester city archive The Soester city archive accommodates in the house to the mirror, a former patrician house, the largest medieval documents and document stock of Westphalia, u.a. with the famous old cowhide, the oldest Soest city law (13th century). At the same time, it is the seat of Soest city archeology. A special treasure is the Nequam Book, the "Book of the Good" in 1315. It contains the names of those citizens who were expelled from the community. Gothic miniatures dramatically illustrate the jurisprudence of the time.
opening hours Mondays - Fridays 8.30am - 12.30pm Thursdays 2pm - 5pm
Throughout the year, the city stages its history: at the beginning of February for instance, as part of the event "Winter Beams" (“Soester Winterstrahlen”), a spectacular light show will illuminate the city and immerse its architectural highlights in a special light.
Every second year on the first weekend of August, history will literally come to life again when the Feud of Soest (“Soester Fehde”), a battle having taken place from 1444 to 1449, is reenacted. The Feud of Soest being one of the top 5 reenactment events in Europe, around 900 fans of the Middle Ages from 12 different nations - dressed in authentic medieval clothing and amour - will come to Soest for the occasion and camp for three days in the now drained moat at the foot of the city wall. When the battle for the city is reenacted, they will storm the city wall using authentic medieval weapons and cannons.
At the beginning of September, the harvest of the Soester Börde, the soils of which are among the most fertile in Germany, is celebrated with a far-mers' market.
In November - for more than 680 years - Soest hosts the All Saints` Fair (“Allerheiligenkirmes”), the largest inner-city fair in Europe.
The year closes with the Christmas Market, an "insider tip" that already attracts more than 600,000 international visitors to the beautiful scenery.
January: Soest Winter Beams
March: Soest Pubs Festival
May: Bördetag (festival in the old town)
June: Seesaw in Big pond (medieval tradition: people were punished by seesawing them in the Big pond))
July: Winemakers market
August (just every 2. year): Feud of Soest
September: Börde Farmers Market
Oktober: ProBierBar (biertasting event)
November: All Saints fair
Dezember: Soest Christmas market
Christmas eve: Gloria Singing
Local specialties include Pumpernickel—a heavy, slightly sweet rye bread, which is common all over Westphalia, but Soest claims to be the place of its invention; and Möpkenbrot—a coarse cooked sausage, made from bacon, pig's head, pork rind, blood and rye grist. Bullenauge ("bull's eye") is a coffee liquor topped with a dash of cream. It is typically drunk during kermess. Dudelmann is a cordial that is exclusively served during kermess season. Beekeeper Amelunxen's mead and honey liquor are typically associated with a visit to the All Saints' funfair, as well.
Hotel-Restaurant Pilgrimhaus – ältestes Gasthaus Westfalens Jakobistraße 75, 59494 Soest, 02921/ 1828, [email protected] Opening time: daily 12 – 14 pm an 5:30 – 10:30 pm
Solista Walburgerstraße 8, 59494 Soest, 02921/9444066, [email protected] Opening time: daily from 9 am Lamäng Brasserie Kungelmarkt 4-6, 59494 Soest, 02921/ 767823, [email protected] Opening time: daily from 9 am
Aloisius Ulricherstraße 23, 59494 Soest, 02921/666440, [email protected] Opening time: daily from 17.00 Uhr Saturday at high season from 12.00 Uhr sunday und holiday from 11.30 Uhr Brauerei Christ
Walburgerstraße 36, 59494 Soest, 02921/15515, [email protected] Opening time daily from 12 am
Brauhaus Zwiebel Ulricherstraße 24, 59494 Soest, 02921/4424, [email protected] Opening time daily from 11 am
Hotel Domhof Wiesenstraße 18, 59494 Soest, 02921/9810436, [email protected], Kaminzimmer, Terrasse Opening time tuesday-sunday 11 am bis 2:30 pm and 5 to 11 pm Monday restday Hotel Gellermann Konrad-Stecke-Weg 8, 59494 Soest, 02921/590119-0, [email protected] Warm kitchen: daily 5 – 9:30 pm
breakfast buffet: Monday to Friday 6 – 10:30 am Saturday and Sunday 7 – 11 am
lunch: Friday – Saturday 11 am – 2 pm
Hotel-Restaurant Im Wilden Mann Markt 11, 59494 Soest, 02921/15071, [email protected] Opening time: Monday – Saturday 12 – 10 pm Sunday 12 am – 9 pm
Im Osterkamp Walburgerstraße 10, 59494 Soest, 02921/15402, [email protected] Opening time: monday, wednesday,thursday and Friday 11 am – 2:30 pm Monday – Thursday 5-11 pm Friday 11 am – 2:30 pm and 5-11 pm Saturday 11 am – 12pm Sunday 11 am – 10 pm Konditorei Café Fromme Markt 1, 59494 Soest, 02921/ 2107, [email protected] Opening time: Monday – Saturday 9 am – 6:30 pm Sunday 12 am – 6 pm
Culture house Alter Schlachthof Ulrichertor 4, 59494 Soest, 02921/31101 oder 31102, [email protected] Öffnungszeiten: Monday – Saturday from 6 pm
Forest-restaurant Steinkiste Körbecker Weg 8, 59494 Soest-Hiddingsen, 02921/73444, [email protected], Opening time: Monday – Friday 5-11 pm Saturday – Sunday 11 am – 11 pm Tuesday restday
Paradies im Stadtpark Stadtpark 1, 59494 Soest, 02921/14463, [email protected] Opening time: Thursday 2:30 – 6:30 pm Friday – Saturday 9:30 am – 9:30 pm Sunday – Friday 9:30 am – 6:30 pm Monday – Wednesday restdays
Hier & Jetzt Restaurant Café Nötten-Brüder-Wallstraße 21, 59494 Soest, Telefon: 02921/ 599 1899, [email protected] Opening time: Tuesday – Sunday 9am-22 pm Sunday: 9 am-6 pm Monday restday
Hotel Susato Dasselwall 5, 59494 Soest, 02921/37000, [email protected]
Hotel am Wall Dasselwall 19, 59494 Soest, 02921-3500-0, E-Mail: [email protected]
Hanse Hotel Siegmund-Schultze-Weg 100, 59494 Soest, 0 29 21/ 70900, [email protected]
City Motel Altes Stellwerk 9, 59494 Soest, 02921/3549052, [email protected]
Hotel Gellermann Konrad-Stecke-Weg 8, 59494 Soest, 02921 - 590119-0, [email protected]
Hotel-Restaurant Pilgrimhaus Jakobistraße 75, 59494 Soest, 02921 – 1828, [email protected]
Hotel Stadt Soest Brüderstraße 50, 59494 Soest, 02921 - 36220 oder -1811, [email protected]
Hotel-Restaurant Im Wilden Mann Markt 11, 59494 Soest, 02921 – 15071,[email protected]
Hotel Domhof Wiesenstraße 18, 59494 Soest, 02921 – 9810436, [email protected]
Youth hostel Kaiser-Friedrich-Platz 2, 59494 Soest, 02921 – 16283, [email protected] Weitere Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten: https://www.wms-soest.de/uebernachtenessen/uebernachten/