Liesborn Abbey on the "Holy Trails" cycle tour
© Münsterland e.V. / Philipp Fölting
Your bike tour for a day
Sacred traces

In sacred footsteps

Here you will encounter stories of great saints, impressive church buildings and beautiful river landscapes. If you go on this 65-kilometre cycle tour in the south-east of Münsterland between Lippetal and Wadersloh , you can discover a lot and experience history up close. The tour takes you into the countryside and across the border of Münsterland into the district of Soest.

Starting point Liesborn Abbey

You start your tour with a highlight: before you get on your bike, the Liesborn Abbey Museum awaits you. Liesborn Abbey Museum is waiting to be explored. In the baroque abbey residence of the former Benedictine abbey in Liesborn, the first saints already play a major role:

Saint Roswindis/ Roswitha von Liesborn
As the first abbess, Roswindis, also called Roswitha, went down in the chronicles of the monastery as a historical figure. The stories surrounding her are even more legendary: as an unknown sister of Charlemagne, she was personally appointed by him - immediately after he founded the monastery - as the first abbess and confidant of his empire in Liesborn. According to the monastery chronicle, her grave is under the tower of the abbey church, which the penultimate abbess Oderatis had built around 1100.

SS. Cosmas and Damian and the lower arm of St. Simeon
The former monastery church has a double patronage. The two patron saints of doctors and pharmacists - Cosmas and Damian - are found in the church's reliquary. But the most unusual piece awaits under the altar: surrounded by a golden shrine, an arm relic of St. Simeon is kept here. Saint Simeon held Christ in his arms as a newborn and immediately sensed the significance that lay on the child. How the monastery came by such a valuable relic still fires the imagination today. Today, the stone Simeon in front of the church points to the valuable church treasure (original in the museum).

Let's go

Now get on your bike! From Liesborn you start into the Münsterland farming communities in the direction of Lippe Valley. Extensive meadows and fields as well as numerous farming communities and farms line the path. Around Herringerfeld you come to a newly designed refuge where you can take a leisurely break. The trail continues through the meadows and fields to beautiful Herzfeld. This small community is also known beyond the region for its special patron saint, St. Ida.

St. Ida in Herzfeld

St Ida Basilica
© Münsterland e.V.

The neo-Gothic pilgrimage chapel of St. Ida is an exciting highlight because of the significance of its namesake. The story of St. Ida dates back to the early years of Christianity in Westphalia. Ida was probably closely related to Charlemagne and belonged to the Carolingian dynasty. She was married to the Saxon duke Ekbert from the family of the Ekbertines. During the time of the Saxon Wars, she wanted to travel with her husband to his homeland near Osnabrück. On the banks of the Lippe in what is now Herzfeld , the entourage paused overnight. In a dream, an angel appeared to the saint, who commissioned her to build a church on this spot. This dream vision now determined her actions and with this construction she founded the first Catholic parish in Münsterland. The stag that accompanies Ida is a symbol for the Saxons, who were being strongly harassed by the Franks at this time. Ida died on 4 September 825, and the portico with her grave became the first place of pilgrimage in Westphalia. The oldest pilgrimage route from the basilica to Hovestadt Castle can still be walked today.

To the picturesque Hovestadt Castle

The next stop on your tour takes you to an impressive building of the Lippe Renaissance: Hovestadt Castle. To get there, cross the river Lippe on your bike, the "natural border of Münsterland". After a while, the castle rises picturesquely on the left side of your path.

The impressive castle in the Lippe Renaissance style rises impressively from its well-fed moats. Idyllically situated on the banks of the Lippe, it makes a fairytale impression from all sides and with its well-fed moats (water channels) also offers a particularly beautiful photo motif. In its ornamental architecture you can easily spot people who follow you with interested glances. Hovestadt Castle dates back to a knight's seat first mentioned in the 12th century. Since the 18th century, the Plettenbergs have lived in the family estate, which is steeped in tradition, and have now opened the well-kept park to the public. The family takes care of most of the grounds themselves.

Guests are welcome, but beware: please do not cross the second bridge of the two-island complex. Here it can happen that uninvited guests are "caught" by an automatic locking mechanism on the private estate.

Pleasure on the tour

After a short stop at Brachum's magnificent building, you cycle along the green spaces of the castle through the Lippe valley. Pass the Jewish cemetery (Postweg, Schoneberg Jewish Cemetery). Along the way, you can take a break for coffee and cake at the country cafe Gut Humbrechting, idyllically located near the Ahse river. If you prefer something heartier, you can cycle on to the next farming community, Brockhausen, to the restaurant "Zum Dorfkrug".

Churches of St. Stephen and St. Barbara

Back in the saddle, this bike tour takes you towards Oestinghausen. On the way, you cycle through green fields and meadows, fed by small rivers. In Oestinghausen, it is worth taking a short break at the Romanesque town church of St. Stephanus from the 13th century:

The oldest building in Lippe Valley is under the patronage of St. Stephen. He is said to have been the first Christian to die for his faith around 40 AD. Even today, there is a tradition in Münsterland of "St. Stephen's stoning" on Boxing Day. People meet friends in a popular pub with a stone in their pocket. If you are caught without a stone, you have to pay for a local round.

Continue cycling towards the Ahsewiesen nature reserve. Here, the lookout tower of the nature reserve appears unmistakably on the right-hand side of the path. You should definitely plan a break here and enjoy the beautiful view! After the break on the tower, continue through the nature reserve towards Hultrop and, appropriately enough, to a saint who knows a lot about towers: St. Barbara.

St. Barbara in Hultrop is a modern church, but with original baroque furnishings. St. Barbara can be seen on the altarpiece. The saint, who was beheaded by her own father because she refused to renounce the Christian faith, was previously cruelly tortured and imprisoned in a tower. Saint Barbara is one of the 14 helpers in need and is regarded as the patron saint of towers and fortresses: in Münsterland this is not entirely unimportant given the many churches, castles and fortresses. Her day of remembrance is 4 December.

SS. Cornelius and Cyprianus

SS. Cornelius and Cyprianus
© Münsterland e.V.

On your way, you will cross the Lippe a second time. On the other side you will reach Lippborg, a district of Lippetal. There you should take a short detour to SS. Cornelius and Cyprianus:

The church contains a reliquary of Blessed Clemens August Cardinal von Galen and refers to the close ties of the "Lion of Münster" to the region, as his family was based at Haus Assen and he himself often visited the region. The reliquary is designed like a written document and shows the Cardinal's significant words when he loudly rebelled against the Nazi regime in a speech in front of St. Lamberti in Münster. The relic arrived as a gift to the parish after the cardinal's beatification.

House Assen

The Quabbe flows leisurely through the village of Lippborg and out of town through the green meadows to the Quabbe mill. Thanks to renaturation, the river, together with the Glenne and the Liese, is now in good condition, even though the water level is affected by the warm summers. The route continues through the woods to a castle hidden among the trees in Lippe Valley . Turning onto Assenweg, you reach the main entrance to Assen Castle:

A castle whose lived history can be seen in every inch of it. Stylistically dominated by the Lippe Renaissance, the moated castle is one of the most beautiful Renaissance castles in Münsterland and Lippe Valley. Until 2016, the Order ran a boarding school for boys at the moated castle. Today, Assen Castle is a spiritual centre with a varied (Christian) calendar of events.

Rest on the tour

As the house is not always open or can be visited on request as part of a guided tour, it is worth taking a short break at the lookout point. This is guarded by Anna Selbdritt. Around 1880, Saint Anne was the protector of women and mothers and the guarantor of a happy marriage. She is invoked in cases of unfulfilled desire to have children and is also the patron saint of widows, housewives and workers.

Crassenstein Castle

Crassenstein Castle
© Gemeinde Wadersloh / Heiko Marcher, weitblick medien

After the rest in Assen, continue cycling in the shade of the trees back towards Herzfeld. Here you will once again come across a refuge. Heading towards Diestedde , you can once again enjoy the cultivated meadows and fields until you reach Diestedde. A highlight of the small town is Crassenstein Castle, but on the way there you pass the Geological Garden with Earth Clock, which illustrates the history of the formation of the Earth in the educational garden.

Today,Crassenstein Castle appears in a classicist guise; not much is visible of the 14th century feudal castle or the Renaissance castle with four pavilion towers. It is assumed that the former builder, the Burgrave of Stromberg, wanted to protect his possessions in Diestedde and the Liesborn monastery by building the castle. Today the castle is used as a public school and boarding school.

The old mill at thecastle
The old mill is located near the castle. In the immediate vicinity is also the "Femeeiche", a place of jurisdiction, about which there is a short radio play . Here the 900-year-old oak tree tells its story. In eleven minutes you get a special insight into the history of the village, the castle and also the mill.

St. Margaret

From Diestedde, the route continues to Wadersloh. From a distance you can already make out the high towers of Sankt Margaretha .

The neo-Gothic church is a special architectural feature because stones from Liesborn Monastery were used in its tower. When the monastery was no longer used as a place of faith after secularisation, its stones were brought to Wadersloh to rebuild the tower. Special features are the 15th-century baptismal font and the statue of Nepomuk: the bridge saint found throughout Münsterland.

After this stop, your cycle tour takes you back to Liesborn, where you have earned a break and some refreshments!

Your route in Liesborn

  • approx. 65 km
  • Circuit
  • easy
  • Day trip
  • Locks
  • Rail journey
  • Liesborn
  • Heartfield
  • Oestinghausen
  • Hultrop
  • Lippborg
  • Diestedde
  • Wadersloh

Info and service for the bike tour

Not all offers and services along the cycle route can be fully used yet. Here we keep you up to date on what you can experience on your cycle tour.

Liesborn Abbey

  • open
  • Due to renovation work, the museum is not barrier-free until the beginning of 2022.

Hovestadt Castle

  • Interior visit not possible, private residence
  • Visit to the chapel possible by appointment

Assen House

  • Participation in church services possible
  • Guided tours on various dates.

Crassenstein Castle

  • Public school

Hotel tip:

You want to combine your bike tour with an overnight stay in Lippe Valley? Haus Tourneur is located directly on the route in the immediate vicinity of the Lippe and Hovestadt Castle.

Your journey

You can travel to this cycling tour in an environmentally friendly way using public transport. From the Lippstadt bus station, take bus R73 in the direction of Wadersloh. Get off at the bus stop "Lippstädter Straße" and ride your bike for about 2 minutes to the museum.

If you are travelling by car , we recommend parking directly at the Museum Abtei Liesborn.

A short holiday, a long dream A short holiday, a long dream
© Münsterland e.V. / Philipp Fölting
Short holiday, long dream
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