The first item on our To Do list after we arrived in Osnabrück on the ICE from Amsterdam and settled down in our room at the Steigenberger Remarque Hotel was to wash our week’s worth of dirty clothes. So we hailed a cab and ventured out to find the nearest laundromat. An hour later the washing was done and we decided to walk back to our hotel which wasn’t much more than a mile away.
Osnabrück’s central district (Innenstadt) was once walled. A street called Heger-Tor-Wall circles the district where the wall once was. Now and then a piece of the wall becomes visible as you walk along. The original Heger Tor gate was built in the 19th century to honor Osnabrück’s soldiers who fought against Napoleon at Waterloo.
Uh-oh. Just checked the map. The street is mostly on the western side of the Innenstadt and it’s not all Heger-Tor-Wall. We started out on Johannis-Tor-Wall, moved on to Schloss Wall, then Heger-Tor-Wall and finally Natruper-Tor-Wall.
St Catherine’s church (Katherinenkirche), built in the 14th century, is located near Heger Tor. The Lutheran church was detroyed by Allied bombs in 1945, rebuilt in 1950 and remodeled again from 1990 to 1992. The church’s tower is the tallest medieval building in Lower Saxony.
We were standing on a corner near St Catherine’s checking out our map and wondering whether the old town provided a shortcut back to our hotel when a young woman on a bicycle came to our assistance ( I guess it was pretty obvious we were perplexed American tourists). Sausalito was emblazoned on her t-shirt and she explained that she was a flight attendant and had lived for awhile in the San Francisco area. She also told us that the old town wouldn’t be any shorter than just continuing on the Heger-Tor-Wall road.
So we thanked her and walked on and soon came to a three-museum complex: the ultra-modern Felix Nussbaum House, designed by the renowned architect Danel Libeskind (who also designed the famous Jewish Museum in Berlin), and two older buildings — The former Villa Schlikker, now called the House of Memories and the House of History (Kulturgeschichtliches Museum).
Felix Nussbaum was a Jewish artist and painter who was born in Osnabrück in 1904 and was murdered at the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. The museum was built in 1998 and remodeled in 2011 to connect to the two older buildings. One admission ticket (seniors get a discount) allows you to see all three museums. We stored our suitcase in a locker and visited the strange but striking Nussbaum House which contains about 180 of the artist’s paintings. We found the House of Memories not too memorable, though, and just walked through.
Click here for more information on Nussbaum and a sample of some of his paintings.
We thought this building across the street from the museums looked interesting. The Remise (The Shed) is a popular cocktail bar and restaurant.
Soon Heger-Tor-Wall turned into Natruper-Tor-Wall and there was our hotel. We thought our walk along Heger-Tor-Wall was a nice introduction to Osnabrück and after a short rest we ventured out again for dinner.
Next posting: Photos from our walks around Osnabrück’s Innenstadt on Thursday, March 24, 2012.