Cities & Culture

Osnabrück – the City of Peace in a nature and geopark

Osnabrück : castle with university ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

The name says it all: The negotiations for and signing of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 are the biggest events in the city's history, which still shape beautiful Osnabrück – otherwise known as the City of Peace – to this day.

The marketplace is the perfect place to begin your exploration of the city. The square is lined with typical gabled buildings, St. Mary's Church, the cathedral and the late-Gothic Town Hall. Osnabrück survived the Thirty Years' War almost unscathed, so the weary warring parties chose the city, alongside its neighbour Münster, as the venue for the peace agreement. The negotiations are commemorated in the Hall of Peace in the Town Hall. Similarly, the Felix Nussbaum House aims to ensure the past is not forgotten. This spectacular museum, designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, presents the life and works of locally born Jewish artist Felix Nussbaum, who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944.

Just outside the city, the Kalkriese Museum and Park mark the site where the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest is believed to have been fought in the year 9 AD, with excavations and numerous finds. It doesn't take long to discover that, despite the major historic events that happened here, this is a modern city in every way, offering an abundance of shops, live music, comedy, markets, festivals and must-see exhibitions in the Kunsthalle art gallery. Or for an exciting day out, you can explore the stunning scenery of the TERRA.vita nature and geopark, part of the UNESCO network of geoparks.

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