Places of interest
Experiences for all senses and to make you smile
Beckum wouldn't be Beckum if it didn't have a few oddities to offer in addition to numerous sights.
Provost Church of St. Stephen and St. Sebastian with Prudentia Shrine
The church of St. Stephen and St. Sebastian was first mentioned in a document as a parish in 1134. It originally emerged from one of the oldest mission parishes in Westphalia and was one of the original parishes of the Münsterland. As the church belonged to one of the four episcopal chaplaincies, its occupation was reserved exclusively for Münster canons. In 1267, Bishop Gerhard von der Marck connected it to a collegiate chapter (abolished in 1812), the oldest in the diocese outside Münster. On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the foundation of the foundation, the church was elevated to a provostry in 1967.
Particularly worth seeing in the church is the baptismal font from the middle of the 13th century. The shrine of St. Prudentia is the most important medieval gold shrine in Westphalia in terms of size and quality. But the stately organ prospect by the Beckum organ builder Heinrich Menke (1721) is also an invitation to marvel. The musical instrument, built in 1913 by the Bonn organ builder Johannes Klais and restored between 2011 and 2013 by his great-grandson Philipp Klais, is the largest surviving late-Romantic organ in Westphalia.
Every day at 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. melodies ring out from the steeple of the Provost's Church, produced by twelve large church bells. This is a special feature that is unparalleled in the Münsterland region in terms of its type and scope. At the weekend, the carillon also sounds at 4:00 pm.
Historic Town Hall and City Museum
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City Hall and Municipality
The neo-Gothic building complex, erected in 1886, shows the importance of Beckum as an administrative centre. The district of Beckum existed from 1803 to 1809 and from 1816 until the municipal reorganisation in 1975. The Ständehaus, the largest representative building from more recent times, fulfilled three functions at that time: Hall building, administrative building and home of the district administrator. But the showpiece of the building is its interior design. Glass windows, floors and the wall paintings of the double-flight staircase were restored in 1984/85 according to the findings of neo-Gothic models. The original coats of arms of the towns of Ahlen, Sendenhorst, Oelde and the municipality of Wadersloh are artistically carved into the wooden column in the staircase. The wooden beam ceiling of the Estates Hall in the form of an inverted ship's hull is also a special sight. Today, this hall is used as a meeting room or for receptions.
The Beckum town hall on Weststraße has only had this function since 1985. The former district hall, where the mayor of Beckum has his office, housed the offices of the Beckum district administration from 1928 until the municipal reorganisation, and then the offices of the Warendorf district from 1975 to 1982.
Until 1985, the municipal administration of the city of Beckum was spread over various buildings in the city area: For example, the mayor's office and the meeting room, among other things, were in the old town hall (today's town museum). Other locations were Nordwall, Sternstraße, Ostwall or today's Neubeckum town hall (then a district administration annex).
In order to bundle the various administrative offices in the Beckum city area, the city of Beckum moved into the former district house, the building of the district health office and the former district stand house on the other side of the street in 1985. In order to accommodate all offices, a connecting building was erected between the historic district house and the former district health office. Therefore, today's main administration wing is winding, the individual floors are on several levels.
Carnival in Beckum
The people of Beckum are proud of a very long carnival tradition. The oldest evidence of this is reported from the Heischegänge of the Bauknechtsbruderschaft in 1467. The carnival room in the town museum provides an overview. Among other things, historical films, costumes, medals and posters are on display. Modern technology brings the carnival room to life and makes carnival songs and carnival speeches resound.
The carnival umbrella society "Well, here we are again" also gives a good overview of the Beckum carnival tradition.
The petty crimes known as the "Beckumer Anschläge" (Beckum attacks) probably occurred in the context of the social and economic decline after the 30 Years' War. The state decree of 1627 curtailed the old rights that Beckum had laboriously wrested from the bishops of Münster in the previous centuries. Like many other towns in the Münsterland, Beckum was deprived of its old freedom and condemned to economic and intellectual immaturity. The Beckum magistrate had to obtain prior approval from Münster for every major decision.
It was probably during this period of enforced inaction and lack of independence that the so-called Beckum attacks occurred; those pranks that the town was accused of for a long time to come.
The history of the "Beckum attacks", lore identical to the well-known Schildbürger pranks, is still alive today in the name of the annual "Pütt Days", the Beckum town festival.
Westphalia's oldest brewery
The Stiefel Jürgens brewery is the oldest brewery in Westphalia, where it can be proven that beer has been brewed since 1680. During the First World War, all breweries were asked to hand in their copper kettles for armament purposes. Thanks to the resolute efforts of the great-grandmother of the current brewmaster Heiner Jürgens, this was prevented at Stiefel-Jürgens and brewing operations could be resumed. Incidentally, the name Stiefel-Jürgens comes from the "honourable guild of Schomakers", which used to meet in the pub. However, as there were several pubs with the name Jürgens at that time, a boot was hung in front of the door at each meeting so that everyone knew where the shoemakers met.
Tuttenbrock recreational lake with water ski cableway park
Phoenix Activity Park
Bridge monument A2 "Hesseler
The former bridge over the A2 in the Hesseler district of Vellern is the first road bridge in the world that was built in 1938 using the "prestressed bed method" and is therefore a listed building. The "relocation" of the bridge to the motorway service area Vellern-Süd was highly controversial, because the preservation and equipping of the bridge monument caused considerable costs. On the other hand, where else can you take a rest on a historic bridge at a lofty height? Because the bridge has been made accessible, equipped with seating and can thus serve as a resting point for travellers. There is also a display board with explanations.
Wild horses and Heck cattle at Brunsberg
Soestwarte on the Höxberg - a special experience
The tower of the Soestwarte on the Höxberg (total height: 23.30 m), one of the last witnesses of the medieval town fortifications and defences, is one of Beckum's landmarks. From the top of the tower you can enjoy a magnificent view far into Münsterland, to the Teutoburg Forest and the heights of the Sauerland. Inside the tower, colourful frescoes depicting the "Beckum attacks" (Schildbürgerstreiche) provide welcome entertainment for visitors making their way up the spiral staircase to the beautiful view.The Höxberg, south of the town, attracts many recreation-seekers every year, including numerous cycling groups and families. At 162 metres above sea level, it is literally Beckum's high point. You can see this from the great view of Beckum (at station 9 of the cement route you have a great panoramic view and a nice place to rest) and on the other side as far as the Haarstrang (on a clear day you can see it from the Soestwarte or at the mill).
Please note: Currently the Soestwarte cannot be climbed!
A shooting range with a small-calibre stand, an extensive animal enclosure, an aviary with native and other bird species, the old windmill as well as restaurants and hotels are in the immediate vicinity.
Gold fittings from the prince's grave
The tomb of a 7th century prince was uncovered in 1959 and contained extremely valuable grave goods: two precious swords, a throwing spear and richly decorated golden fittings. Ten horse skeletons were also found in the immediate vicinity of the prince's grave, four double horse burials and two single horse graves. Both the location of the graves and the precious riding gear indicate their belonging to the princely tomb. The finds can be seen in the Westphalian State Museum in Herne, and replicas in the Beckum Town Museum. An information board about the find site can be found in Cheruskerstraße.
An oversized replica of the ring pommel sword from the Beckum princely tomb adorns the roundabout at the end of the town in the direction of Hamm. It is a reminder of the nearby site where the prince's tomb was found. The artist Paul Tönnißen created the 3.50 m high sword sculpture together with the metalworker Martin Große-Lohmann. The blade is stuck in the ground as a sign of peace.
Stone box grave in Dalmer - Exciting insights into the Neolithic Age
At first glance, the stone giants, some of which are covered in moss, appear rather inconspicuous, with only fragments still protruding from the ground. Together with the Antiquities Commission for Westphalia, the town of Beckum would like to draw more attention to a special treasure and renew the information signs at the Beckum megalithic tomb. Two sculptural information elements will point out the stones from a certain distance. On site, visitors can expect exciting insights into an exciting relic of cultural and historical significance. Thus, the sleeping giants no longer seem so inconspicuous, even to laymen. Photo: from left: Jürgen Wenning (Sparkasse Beckum-Wadersloh), Mayor Michael Gerdhenrich, Gerd Sprenker, Stefan Wittenbrink (both Beckum Local History Society) and Johannes Waldmüller (City of Beckum).
Sponsorship and funding - stone box grave to become more present again
Thanks to a NRW grant and three sponsors, the city of Beckum only bears part of the total costs of 24,000 euros. 11,000 euros come from the Heimat-Fonds in the funding programme "Heimat. Future. North Rhine-Westphalia - We promote what connects people". The Sparkasse Beckum-Wadersloh, the Antiquities Commission for Westphalia of the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe and the Heimat- und Geschichtsverein Beckum are contributing to the costs. Mayor Michael Gerdhenrich thanked the sponsors at the edge of the ground monument for their contribution. "When you stand in front of it, you don't realise what a special feature you are dealing with. Therefore, the stone box grave is to become more present again. The extensive information and the sculptural elements will ensure this," explained the head of administration.
Integration into "Path of the Great Stones"
The information elements have not yet been installed, they are to be handed over to the public in a few weeks. The texts and graphics on the future panels are based on minimally invasive excavations by the Antiquities Commission. The site, which is steeped in history, will also be integrated into the "Way of the Great Stones" as part of the European "Megalithic Routes " or the Road of Megalithic Culture.
Monuments made of boulders rather rare
Originally, the megalithic tomb was 26.5 metres long and 2 metres high. In large parts of Europe, from 5 000 to about 2 000 BC, early farmers built various monuments from megaliths, including burial sites that were covered by earthen mounds. These were both burial sites and places of encounter. Such stone structures are among the oldest preserved architectural monuments and bear witness to the efforts of Neolithic people. The construction of such a megalithic tomb meant precise planning and great logistical effort involving many people. Limestone or sandstone slabs were more common, not erratic blocks as in Beckum. Another reason to draw more attention to this place.
The statue of Nepomuk in the Werse on Elisabethstraße was created by the Vellern sculptor Heinrich Gerhard Bücker and inaugurated on 16 May 1987. According to legend, John of Nepomuk was born in Bohemia in 1350. He studied in Prague and was one of the most famous priests and preachers of his time. He died in 1393 and was canonised by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729. He is regarded as the patron saint of bridges and against water hazards and therefore stands in the Werse.
Jewish cemetery. Picture source: Heimat- und Geschichtsverein Beckum e.V.
The Jewish cemetery was established on the former double ramparts outside the city walls to the east of the city. The preserved gravestones of the cemetery are of different architecture, type of stone and quality. Inscriptions can be found in both Hebrew and German. The cemetery was first mentioned in 1690, the oldest gravestone is from 1758 and the last burial took place shortly after the Reich Pogrom Night in 1938. Until the National Socialists came to power, Beckum was characterised by a lively Jewish community. The synagogue was located on Nordstraße in the centre of Beckum until 1938. A commemorative plaque has been placed there.
Stumbling blocks against forgetting
Stolpersteine, picture: Immig
Due to three town fires (1655, 1657 and 1734), only a few older residential buildings remain in the town centre, including Linnenstraße 7 (Ackerbürgerhaus restaurant), a half-timbered plank house from the 2nd half of the 17th century. Most of the other representatives of this type, however, are likely to have been built later, for example Weststraße 19 from 1785. Ackerbürgerhaus are historic building structures that have large gateways and are suitable for a farming business. They are thus a combination of farmhouse and townhouse.
A visible sign of the prosperity that cement brought to Beckum was, for example, Villa Mersmann, which the owner of the former Mersmann factory had built in the middle of Beckum on Wilhelmstraße at the beginning of the 20th century. It is one of the most beautiful and largest villas in the city; the living space in the attic alone for the staff (domestic servants, gardener, chauffeur, etc.) was more than 200 m². Today, the villa - after undergoing extensive renovation and modernisation a few years ago - is used as a residential building.
Villa Friedrichshorst Witt-Stuhr, Marianne
Villa Friedrichshorst. (Image source: LWL)
The stately villa was built in 1899 on the grounds of the Friedrichshorst estate as an upper-class residence for the director of the Wicking-Portland cement works. The settlement and expansion of the neighbouring cement works were closely connected with the Neubeckum-Warendorf railway line, which had opened a year earlier. For the lime works located in the Beckum area, this made it possible to transport the bulk goods produced there quickly and cheaply. At that time it was still customary for the directors to live in the immediate vicinity of the works. The directors' villa was built on the other side of the railway line in the immediate vicinity of the industrial plant. At that time, the villa also included a coachman's house with stables for the horses. It was demolished in 1985. Until 1997, the villa was available for rent to various factory employees for almost twenty years.
Marian column from 1909 (Image source Wikipedia)
In front of the North Gate, a municipal burial ground was laid out in 1819 on the site of a bastion of the medieval city fortifications, which was in use until 1843. The cemetery, which was left open, was then transformed into a green space with an outer perimeter path and diagonal paths in 1903. The various passageways enabled the townspeople to pass through the small, prestigious green space to the post office, the nearby railway station and several commercial businesses in the Gründerzeit quarter of the town. In 1909, the town and country community erected the Mariensäule (Mary's Column) exactly in the middle of the more than 6000 square metres of green space. The lower part of the monument, created by the Beckum sculptor Heinrich Schmülling in honour of Mary, was decorated with reliefs and commemorative plaques. The generous enclosure of the time of origin no longer exists today. The park is open to the public.
The former post office at the entrance to Nordstraße was built in 1857/58 and used about 70 horses in its best days. The late classicist building with its three-axis central risalit and open staircase was extensively restored in 1980/81. Today the building houses the ladies' clothing shop Th. Holtmann.