During our recent trip to Germany, I was able to see more of Hamm City - my husband’s hometown. I learned more of its history and development as a livable green city. We were fortunate that the weather gave us blue sky and sunshine which made our trip more enjoyable.
Castles and The Roman-Lippe-Route
We first went to Schloss Oberwerries. It is a Baroque castle located in Hamm-Heeseen district on the right side of Lippe River. The castle consists of large complex buildings surrounded by water. The gatehouse is the oldest facility which dates back to 1667.
There is a courtyard with tables and chairs for people to enjoy an afternoon tea or coffee. The castle has also a hotel, conference rooms, and educational facilities for various activities.
Before heading back to our car, we made a short visit to the Lupia. It is a muscle-powered ferry as part of the Roman-Lippe Route. The route is a cycle path that runs from Detmold through the Ruhr region until Xanten. And it is the same path of the Roman Empire exploration.
After testing our muscles crossing the Lippe River via the Lupia, we headed to Heessen. This lovely district has red brick houses and cobble-stone paths.
We made a brief stop at Christliches Hospiz Hamm to have a look at St. Anne Chapel. This chapel and the old infirmary beside it catered to leprosy patients of the Bubonic Plague. During the Thirty Years War, the whole area was destroyed. And in 1728, the chapel was restored with a Renaissance style of octagonal brick building with ridge turrets.
Turning Coal Mines to Urban Greenery
Hamm is also part of the Industrial Heritage Trail. This trail links tourists attractions related to industrial heritage in the Ruhr area such as museums and cultural spaces. The buildings and facilities are mostly former mining and manufacturing sites. With the mines being closed, the city switched the empty mines into parks and open spaces for culture and the arts . The old buildings, on the hand, are now hubs for small offices and workshops.
The most popular is the Elephant Glasshouse at Maximillian Park. We already visited the park in winter and early summer. Hence, we opted to see the other former mining sites - Radbod and Heinrich Robert.
Hamm City Wellness and Health Space
The day before we headed back to Tokyo, we went for a quick exploration to the Kurpark or Spa Park. In the late 19th century, brine underground water was discovered in the east part of the city. And to benefit from its healing properties, they built the Gradierwerk Saline. It is a wooden structure covered with blackthorn twigs where the brine water slowly falls down. People can sit on the benches or walk around the Saline while inhaling its salty mist.
After clearing our lungs and feeling energised, we walked around to see the other areas of the park.
With all the stress and health issues flourishing in urban communities, this style of green space where people can walk around; relax; and rejuvenate , should be replicated and encouraged.
To know more about Hamm City, please visit their website: https://www.hamm.de/startseite.html.