Take a stroll around the historic town centre and then up the cliffs where you can see the ruins of a 13th century castle.
One of the most famous landmarks is the Rotes Haus (Red House ) built in the 1700's by a wealthy cloth maker.
Monschau is a very touristy place so there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and gift shops. The only shop that spoils the old world charm is the Egyptian brassware shop... it just didn't fit in with my mental image of "medieval Germany".
Das Rotes Haus was constructed in1752 by textile merchant Johann Heinrich Scheibler. He used it to live in as well to run his business. Fully furnitured with Rococo, Louis XVI and Empire items it gives a good impression of an upperclass way of living.
As said, there are still some questions about the castle (Burg). Who exactly built it and to what purpose (house of a nobleman or monastry). It is however clear that it’s erecting in the 12th century was the start of considerable growth of the village that was situated in the valley of the little river Rur. After a period in which the castle was neglected terribly it has been restored in old might. In summer there is a continuous theatre-festival here and … very special … a part of it is a youth hostel!
The textile-manufacturer and trader Schneibler built the Red House in 1760 as his home as well as office. Inside it still shows how the textile-industry of Monschau brought the town wealth and a good name in this sector. The interior is furthermore very beautiful, with as highlight the rococo-staircase of wood with amazing fine carvings It’s open from Easter until the end of November from Tuesdays to Sundays. There are guided tours around the hour from 10:00 to 16:00 hours.
Located just a few kilometres over the Belgian border, Monschau offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do, quaint shops, romantic old streets, half timbered buildings, a wonderful selection of restaurants & cafes, a historic mustard mill, various museums and the old friary to mention just a few.
Most of the timbered houses were built 300 years ago
The Rur is a river running through the Eifel platform and through the town Monschau itself.
During the winter period it is a very pleased river for kayaking, when there is enough water – In summer it is often a refreshing place for the many campers staying beside the river in one of the many camping facilities. (Indeed it is popular to spent your holidays in this area)
The ordinary recreant comes to its appetites on Lower-Rur, this is as from Heimbach, located exactly beyond the “Rurtalsperre”
The source of the Rur is located in “De Hoge Venen”, (Belgo-German border) on approximately 650 altitude. It is called the Higher Rur and a must for freaks of wildwatertechnics
The central marketplace is surrounded by medieval houses in red stone. The Romanesque church was built at the end of the 12th century. Here you will find many good restaurants “bierstuben” and souvenir shops.
It is the place to be during the Christmas shopping period
Entering the town and in opposite of the Brewery Museum you can visit two other touristic highlights : The craftsman market and “Die Glashütte”
The craftsman market is put on in the style of a village square.
Around an artificial brook run with Mill wheel are several market conditions, at which you can observe, how in traditional way goods are manufactured by hand.
Like shown in the pictures there is a shop were you can find all kind of
toys – so called “Modelbau”. A paradise for people between 7 and 77 years old. It brings back many memories.
The village square restaurant provides for the physical well-being.
The Roman glasswork is one of the most popular objects of interest in Monschau. In a guidance you experience, how before 2000 years products of glass were manufactured: Of the sand, over blowing the still liquid glass up to the fine cross section ornament of vases, glass ones, etc. melt.
The Monschau Christmas Market is small but beautiful, and might be the most beautiful Christmas Market in western Germany.
Through out the weekend there are free and exciting programmes including live brass band concerts, a living manger at 3pm and 5pm and Santa Claus who will be visiting Monschau's Christmas market in the afternoons and evenings.
The Monschau Christmas Market extends from Richters Eck through Rurtrasse along the town's church and monastery to the middle of it all on the market square where there is a large and beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
The nearest other Christmas market you will find in Aachen and in Cologne
Pay attention : Most Christmas Markets start in the last week of November and run through to Christmas Eve or a day or two before. They are usually open every day from 10am to about 8 or 9 pm.
The Red House was erected in the 1752 by Johann Heinrich Scheibler, clothmaker and merchant, as his residence and business domicile. Furnished entirely in Rococo, Louis XVI and Empire period styles, it reflects the splendor of upper middle class living embodied in an ensemble of rare unity.
You will find a remarkable carved interior of which the central spiral staircase is a beautiful example – a juwel
The restauration was recently carried out by the city of Monschau
PS : Look at the house in front of the Red House - a kind of triangle - can people live here ?
Coming from Aachen and entering the small city of Monschau you will see on your left “ The Felsenkeller Brewery Museum”
During a guided tour of the brewhouse – fermentation and rise cellars, you can learn how the popular Monschau “Felsquell” was manufactured according to the old tradition. A collection of old equipment gives an insight concerning how brewing has developed since 150 years.
Entrance fee : € 3
Here's a few more pics of another pleasant day spent exploring the cobblestone alleyways of medieval Monschau. There are shops to enter and cafes to quench your thirst and ease those persistant hunger pangs.
Moschau’s other famous article is it’s mustard. In the historical mustard-mill one can learn everything about this and enjoy the monumental watermill from 1886. The mustard is still made in a traditional craftmen’s way and in total Monschau had thirteen different tastes of mustard. In the mill one can try, as well as buy some samples. In town many restaurants serve the traditional mustard soup, which comes highly recommended
Monschau has a 2000 year old history of glass! This is something the citizens are very proud of and in the museum near the Burgau parking lot one can visit the museum. Here one also gives demonstrations in glass-blowing, producing plates, vazes, drinking glasses, bottles and more. After tat there is the polishing and – if necessary – the painting or decorating. The museum invites you the whole year through from 10:00 until 18:00 hours.
Guided tour through the brewery with explanations of the various processes, beer types and discription of beer production by the master brewer.
A look around the brew house, fermentation cellar, storage cellar, barrel filling station etc.
Visit to the Historic Felsenkeller (=Rock-cellar), which was carved from the slate mountain in 1830.