Altena Things to Do

  • Inside the castle
    Inside the castle
    by himalia11
  • Drahtmuseum Altena
    Drahtmuseum Altena
    by himalia11
  • Inner court of Altena Castle
    Inner court of Altena Castle
    by himalia11

Most Recent Things to Do in Altena

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    Drahtmuseum (Wire museum)

    by himalia11 Written Aug 13, 2008

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    You may wonder what a museum about wire can offer. At least we weren't sure if it's worth a visit, but as it was included in the admission for the castle we took a look. Surprisingly it was really interesting! You can watch a film about how wire is produced and where wires are used, you'll see machines that were used to pull wires to get smaller wires and there are also several hands-on exhibitions, for example you could test how warm different material will get and make a lamp to glow by rotating a magnet.

    The admission to the Drahtmuseum is included in the admission to the castle (5 Euro adults, 2,50 Euro children). But you don't have to visit it the same day, you can come back at a later time.

    Open Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 to 17:00, Saturday/Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00. Closed Mondays, except on holidays like Easter Monday.

    Drahtmuseum Altena
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    Altena Castle

    by himalia11 Updated Aug 13, 2008

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    The castle was build in the 12th century and got ruined over the years. In the early 20th century, the castle then was reconstructed and now it houses a great museum with lots of different exhibitions. There are lots of different exhibition about the earlier times that was very interesting. There also were some coats of mails that you could try to wear yourself, but it was enough for me to try to lift one, they are terrible heavy! What I also liked much was the exhibition about all kind of sayings with explanations where it comes from. Everything is very well done and you can see that they put lots of effort into the exhibitions. It's no wonder that they have so much people monitoring the rooms!

    You are not allowed to take your bags into the museum building, but there are lockers where you can put them. Fortunately you can take photos inside the museum when you turn of your flash. Also be prepared that there are lots of stairs and you’ll have to go up and down many times! There's a restaurant in the castle which was closed, but it should re-open this month.

    There's also a Youth Hostel in the castle, which already exists since the early 20th century. It's said to be the first youth hostel in the world.

    Admission: 5 € adults, 2,50 € children, 10 € families

    Open Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 to 17:00, Saturday/Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00. Closed Mondays, except on holidays like Easter Monday.

    Inner court of Altena Castle Inside the castle
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    "Carl"

    by yumyum Updated Sep 16, 2007

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    This old narrow gauge locomotive is called “Carl”. It was built in 1907 and was used on freight and passenger trains to Luedenscheid. In 1961 the line was closed down. Now it’s rusting away next to the Fritz-Berg bridge.

    Carl

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    Castle Holtzbrinck

    by yumyum Written Sep 16, 2007

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    Castle Holtzbrinck was built around 1680. Today it’s a culture and meeting center. If you want to visit, enter via the courtyard on Kirchstrasse.

    Opening times are: Tuesday till Saturday 9.00-12.00, Thursdays 15.00-18.00.

    Castle Holtzbrinck
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    Lutheran church

    by yumyum Written Sep 16, 2007

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    The Lutheran Church was under renovation when we visited Altena. The tower dates back to the 14th century. The church received its present day form in 1738. It must have a beautiful baroque altar. The church was originally from 1315 and consecrated to the Holy Katharina. In 1538 during reformation it was turned into an Evangelican Lutheran church.

    Lutherkirche back side view
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    Mueckenburg

    by yumyum Written Sep 16, 2007

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    The Mueckenburg or castle Muecken dates back to the middle ages and was originally part of the outer defence system of Altena castle. It’s located at the “Totschlag” which is the narrowest part the the street leading to the castle where potential invaders could be hit dead (= Totschlag). In the 17th and 18th century there were many reconstructions and extensions which led to today’s appearance.

    M��ckenburg

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    Deutsches Drahtmuseum

    by yumyum Written Sep 16, 2007

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    The entrance fee to the Altena castle also covers the entrance to this museum about the wire making in Altena. It starts from the middle ages with coats of mail to todays technical superconductors.

    The museum is located 300 meters downhill from the castle. It's closed on Mondays. If you don't manage to see both museums on one day, then you can use your ticket on another day as it has no date on it but a control coupon that will be torn away.

    wire museum
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    Castle chapel

    by yumyum Written Sep 16, 2007

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    The castle chapel dates back to the mid 12th century. The chapel was an important place for the nobles. They were christened, married and buried here. The chapel was not open to the public. The town’s people had to visit the church downtown. Today you can view nicely renovated altars from Herscheid and Plettenberg.

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    Monument of Richard Schirrmann

    by yumyum Written Sep 16, 2007

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    You find the monument of Richard Schirrmann at the bottom of Fritz-Thomée street. Richard Schirrmann was a teacher in Altena and he is the one that founded the first YouthHostel which started the movement that led to the worldwide youth hostel association. He was born on 15th May 1874 and died on 14th December 1961.

    Richard Schirrmann plaques from various YHA associations
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    Weltjugendherberge

    by yumyum Written Sep 16, 2007

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    Altena castle is home to the first youth hostel in the world. From here the youth hostel movement started in 1909. The actual youth hostel was opened in 1912. You will see the original interior of the youth hostel.

    On the castle grounds there is another more modern youth hostel if you want to stay there overnight.

    Weltjugendherberge bunk beds dining/recreation room
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    Altena castle

    by yumyum Written Sep 16, 2007

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    The Altena castle is in dire need of renovation as the outside walls start to crumble. The renovation works of the walls and the courtyards will start in September 07. The museum can still be visited.

    The castle was originally from the 12th century. Later more and more was added. The entrance fee costs Euro 5 and in the ticket price the entrance fee to the Drahtmuseum 300 meters downhill is also included. Various concessions and a family ticket are also available. There are also lockers for your daypacks and bags which are not allowed inside the museums. Closed Mondays.

    The castle museum is well worth visiting. There are many different chambers with different themes up to the present day. There is also a section about the dark side of the second world war.

    Altena castle entrance arch Burgfried
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    Reformed church

    by yumyum Written Sep 16, 2007

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    The reformed church only dates back to 1907. It can be found sort of opposite the Castle Holtzbrinck.

    reformierte Kirche
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