Cycle Tour in Münsterland | Holy Trails | Lippetal and Wadersloh
Liesborn Abbey on the "Holy Trails" cycle tour
© Münsterland e.V. / Tobias Hoiten
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 meadows, fields and farms line the path. On the Herringerfeld road you come to a newly designed refuge where you can take a leisurely break. The trail continues along the meadow and field landscape to beautiful Herzfeld. This small community is also known beyond the region for its special patron saint, St. Ida.

St Ida Basilica St Ida Basilica
© Münsterland e.V.
St. Ida in Herzfeld

The neo-Gothic pilgrimage chapel of St. Ida is worth a visit because of the significance of its namesake. The history 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 of 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 impressive castle in the Lippe Renaissance style rises picturesquely on the left side of your path.

Idyllically situated on 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. 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 please note: 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 in Lippe Valley SS. Cornelius and Cyprianus in Lippe Valley
© Münsterland e.V.
SS. Cornelius and Cyprianus

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.

You can see every inch of the castle's history. 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
© Münsterland e.V./Philipp Fölting

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. In the direction of Diestedde , you can enjoy the cultivated meadows and fields until you reach the district. A highlight of the small village is Crassenstein Castle. On the way there, you will pass the Geological Garden with its earth clock, which illustrates the history of the formation of the earth in the educational garden.

Crassenstein Castle
Today,Crassenstein Castle has a classicist appearance; 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 the castle
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.

View of the church in Wadersloh View of the church in Wadersloh
© Heiko Macher
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!

Map | Holy Traces Cycle Tour

  • approx. 65 km
  • Circuit
  • easy
  • Day trip
  • Locks
  • Rail journey
  • Liesborn
  • Heartfield
  • Oestinghausen
  • Hultrop
  • Lippborg
  • Diestedde
  • Wadersloh
Hubs for your bike tour

The circular tour "Holy Traces" follows the network of nodes. Simply download the map from the download bar below or follow the junctions from Wadersloh Liesborn: 31, 87, 52, 9, 10, 12, 11, 8, 7, 2, 6, 23, 35, 80, 46, 63, 79, 31.

Info and service for the bike tour

Not all offers and services along the cycle route are yet fully available. 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 mid-2023.

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 cycle 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.

Good arrival

Climate-friendly travel by train Climate-friendly travel by train
© Münsterland e.V. / Philipp Fölting

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 cycle for about 2 minutes to the museum.

If you do come by car , we recommend parking directly at the Museum Abtei Liesborn.

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