Beckum lies within the appealing Münsterland parkland surrounded by numerous forests, meadows and cornfields. It is situated in the picturesque Beckum Hills in the southern part of the Warendorf district. The former quarries that are now the Aktiv-Park Phoenix and the recreational Tuttenbrock Lake remain a unique fascination for visitors. For enthusiastic guests, the attractive Tuttenbrock Lake offers a modern water ski cable-car park, a beach and dining options as well as a trail around the turquoise lake.
Beckum’s 'Cement Route' provides interesting and informative insight into the past and present industrial cement production. This route, which runs along 27 kilometres of Beckum’s cement area, takes you through abandoned sites of industrial heritage and unique landscape oases. The popular WERSE RAD WEG (Werse Bike Trail) follows the small river that springs in Beckum.
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Beckum’s downtown area houses the historic town hall of 1441, which is todays city museum and well worth seeing. Within the impressive facade lies a small, interactive Fasching or ‘Karneval’ exhibition capturing more than 500 years of exuberant ‘Karneval’ tradition. Alongside the museum is the Parish Church of St. Stephen and Sebastian with its Prudentia Casket, one of the most prized reliquaries in the Westphalia area. Also worth seeing is the Assembly Hall with its ‘Westenfeuermarkt’ park grounds which is not far from the last remaining fortified tower in the city. The watchtower, Soestwarte, at Höxberg offers an exceptional view of the Soest plains and hills of Beckum. The nearby historic windmill is another notable landmark.
The municipality of Vellern - Beckum’s ‘Beautiful Daughter’ - is marked by a rural flair and its historically developed village centre that surrounds the idyllic church square and the St. Pankratius Parish Church.
Beckum is considered a lively town – where celebrations are tradition. Not only is that because of the numerous Marksmen’s Festivals and the widely acclaimed and popular Fasching or ‘Karneval’, but also because of the multiple cultural highlights featured in Beckum’s Events Programme. The municipal theatre provides visitors with the finest theatrical productions and cabarets. The open-air event ‘Beckumer Sommer’ - Summer in Beckum - offers live music and international street performances throughout the city streets for visitors from near and far. Another highlight on the municipal calendar is the traditional ‘Pütt-Tage’ celebration. During the winter season, ‘Beckumer Wintervergnügen’ - Beckum’s Winter Fun - includes festive street lights in addition to inviting Christmas markets and an ice rink.
Beckum was once known as a rich agricultural town located at the crossroads of two major trade routes. In the 19th century, Beckum’s second golden age began with the industrial production of cement. The area known as Beckum was one of the largest and most important cement areas in the world. Between 1872 and 1930, there were a total of 33 cement plants, two of which remain active today. With the help of global machine and plant manufacturers, Beckum has become a major export hub in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. This industrial development has also led to the rapid growth of the neighbouring municipalities Roland and Neubeckum, where the train station is located.
Beckum has held city rights since 1224. However, numerous findings have revealed earlier settlements in Beckum. A seventh century grave of a lord, buried along with some of his personal belongings, was discovered in 1959. An oversized replica of the ring pommel sword adorns the roundabout leaving Beckum towards Hamm, and stands as a reminder of the nearby gravesite. The artist Paul Tönnissen, along with the metalworker Martin Große-Lohmann, created the plastic art sword sculpture which measures about 3.5m in height. The blade is positioned with its tip in the ground as a sign of peace.
„Bekehem” or „Bikehem” were ancient references to the city of Bachheim – or ‘home upon the brooks’. The three brooks, symbolized on the coat of arms, converge into the river Werse, which ultimately flows westward into the Ems River. Water is a recurring theme in the ‚Pütt’ or ‚water well’ town. Former quarries, which have been transformed into beautiful water landscapes, invite visitors to relax and enjoy some water sports.
Tales of Westphalia
Beckum is the true ‚Schildbürger’ town – or ‚City of Tales’ with its countless testimonials of the so-called Beckum yarns. Discover the numerous artwork as you stroll through the town and see how renowned local artists depict these tales. Heinrich Gerhard Bücker’s water well in the market square is a reminder of the fabled ‚Water Well of Beckum’ tale. Traditionally and at the height of Carnival, the ‚Pütt’ enthusiasts, otherwise known as the ‚Püttrologen,’ hang a banner of the ‚Beckumer Pütt’ illustrations from the old town hall. The interior paintings of the ‚Soestwarte’ (Soest Tower) also illustrate some of these reputed Beckum tales.
At the peak of the cement industry in Beckum, there was an estimated inn for every one hundred residents. This made Beckum one of the places with the highest density of pubs in Germany. There were still fifteen breweries remaining by the end of World War I. The oldest and last remaining brewery in the Westphalia region, the Stiefel Jürgens Brewery, has been brewing beer since the 1680s. There used to be as many distilleries as cement plants in Beckum. Two breweries continue to produce Korn (Liquor) and other spirits. The local gastronomy reflects the diversity of Beckum. There is something for every occasion and every taste: from quaint pubs and traditional inns in the heart of the city to high-end restaurants and hotels.
And that is not all why Beckum is so unique and worth visiting again and again.