The town of Osnabrüeck is the only major German city located within a nature park. The Natural Reserve of the Northern Teutoburg Forest, Wiehengebirge Hill or TERRA. vita for short is the largest one of its kind in the country, covering 1,200 square miles.
Osnabrüeck played a significant role in the development of Germany’s history. In 9 AD, 10,000 Roman troops came through an area nearby called Kalkriese. Bounded on one side by bog and the other by forest, they found themselves marching through a narrow choke point where they were then ambushed by Germanic tribes hiding among the trees. The Battle of Valus and the resulting slaughter of the better-trained and equipped Romans was one of the turning points in the fall of the Roman Empire and the ermanic victory is still a symbol of national pride.
Today, you can tour the awardwinning museum at the battle location, which includes interactive exhibits and rare artifacts that have been found over the last 26 years Osnabrück is alive with culture, charm and historical personality. You can find half-timbered homes with ornate facades, an abundance of retail shopping areas and seasonal festivals and museums, including one featuring the works of the
renowned artist Felix Nussbaum. Nussbaum was born in Osnabrück in 1904 and his surrealist paintings are widely regarded throughout the country.
For foodies, Osnabrüeck is the veritable pot at the end of the rainbow. There are coffee houses, sidewalk cafes, a turn of the century ice cream shop (Fontanella Eis Café), a three-star Michelin restaurant (La Vie), a confectionary with gourmet chocolates (Leysieffer), and a family-owned cake shop where I had to visit twice just to make sure the first experience was real (Café Am Market).
Where to stay: Steigenberger Hotel Remarque is located just across from the main city center. The property is sleek, modern and very comfortable.