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Münster Part III: Around Aasee



The academy is conveniently located close to a green area that invites for a quick walk or bike ride during intermissions, but also has quite some activities to offer. Its centre is the lake named Aasee. The river with the short and strange name Aa (simply pronounced „Ah“) widens to a very long but rather narrow lake in the southwest of the city. The lake is surrounded by parks, walking and biking trails. A small ferry transports pedestrians across the lake to the attractions at its far end: the zoo, the planetary and nature museum, and Mühlenhof Museum village. Rowing and pedal boats and sailboats are for rent at the eastern end of the lake.
Due to its shape the lake is suitable for regattas. It is used for international rowing competitions once a year.


Among the pedal, sail and rowing boats on Aasee, there is one boat in the shape of a big white swan that belongs to the boat rental at the end of the lake. This boat became the hero of a tragic love story.
A real live swan fell in love with the boat and courted it for years in a row - obviously without much success. Since swans are monogamous, there would never be a happy ending. This poor bird had to live with the heartache. Soon people nicknamed the female black swan „Petra“. There was quite a bit of media hype about the story. For those who read German, there is more about her in the German Wikipedia:
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petra_%28Schwan%29 The swan is gone, but her beloved boat is easily spotted on the lake.


Zentralfriedhof – Main Cemetery of Münster



Münster’s main cemetery, located between palace and Aa lake, covers a huge area. It is not exactly a tourist destination but if you are in this part of the town it is worth a look. In the front part around the alley old tombstones of famous citizens and noble families are to be found.

The cemetery is divided among the parishes of the city, most of which are catholic but the protestants have their grave fields, too. The monasteries have their own graveyards with uniform little tombstones showing the names of the monks or nuns.





The field with the graves of the Clemensschwestern (Sisters of St Clement) in Zentralfriedhof has long rows with little tombstones that are all alike.

All except one.

One of the nuns got a special grave in a modern glass chapel which is visited frequently by faithful catholics who leave candles and flowers and „Thank You“ gifts. One of them, Sister M. Euthymia, was beatified under Pope John Paul II, so her grave became a pilgrimage destination.

Life of Sister M. Euthymia


Emma Offing was born in Halverde (Steinfurt district) in 1914. In 1934 she joined the order of the Clemensschwestern in Münster and received the name Euthymia. There she became a trained nurse. During the war she took care of prisoners of war and forced labourers. These called her „Angel of Love“.
In 1948 she returned to Münster and took the direction of the laundry of convent and hospital. Despite a lot of work she remained the friendly sister who had a smile and a good word for everyone and helped everyone who asked her to. She spent a lot of time in prayer.
In 1955 she died of cancer. Since her death people have been praying for her intercession with the Lord.
Sister M. Euthymia was beatified in Rome on October 7, 2001.
(Translated by yours truly from the board outside the chapel)


Mühlenhof Museum Village



Mühlenhof, named after the windmill in the middle, is an open-air museum with old houses from all over Westfalen. Those houses were about to be demolished in their original location but instead have been transferred to the museum village and restored.
Houses, workshops, stables etc. are furnitured with everything a working farm and household would need, as if the owners had just left.
I like such museum villages. They show what rural life used to be like 100 or 200 years ago.



The village school of Bingel where children of all ages used to learn in one classroom makes us appreciate our modern schools…


The Zoo

Münster has a very nice and enjoyable zoo. Take your time because it is big, walks are long, and there is a lot to see so you do not feel the long walks. The animals inhabit roomy enclosures which resemble their natural habitat as much as possible and they all look well-kept. It is a modern scientific zoo administered in accordance with international standards and takes part in Europe-wide breeding programmes of endangered species.
They name it “Allwetterzoo”, a zoo for all kinds of weather - well, only the main houses are connected by covered paths, the rest is open-air as anywhere else. So if the weather isn't perfect, take an umbrella despite the name.
The entrance fee looks steep at first sight. However, it includes everything: the zoo, the aquarium, the dolphin show, the horse museum - other zoos would charge extra for each. In relation to what they offer it is worth the money.

Mr and Mrs are going for a walk

My collection of zoo faces:



Families: Apart from the usual repertoire, like playgrounds, a kids’ zoo with goats and sheep and chickens, pony riding and a lot of boards with information directed at children, there are some interactive specials your kids will particularly enjoy. They may help feeding the penguins (only at the feeding hour) by throwing fish for them into the basin. Visitors can also feed the elephants during their regular feeding hour.

Can you spot the flying fish?

Lunchtime at the zoo:

Bad table manners


The aquarium is included in the zoo price, it is one of the several houses that are connected to the entrance buildings on covered paths. It is, I have to admit, not very big. They have mostly tropcal fish (no sharks, sorry) and some reptiles, amphibia and so on on the upper floor. The light was all right for some photography.

Who is watching whom?

Dolphin Nando and his keeper

The Dolphinarium is open all day, so you can watch the animals - bottlenose dolphins and sea lions - any time. Dolphin shows take place three to four times a day, I assume they let different animals participate each time. Check on the website or at the zoo entrance for the exact hours of the show.
The show is included in your entrance fee, no need for extra tickets. Just walk in and find a seat, even if a show has already started you can walk in. It is a small show - they had one dolphin and one sealion participating.
Some volunteers were picked from the audience who were allowed to feed and pat the sealion.

Fenja the sealion salutes the audience with a roar, while Nando plays bottlenose ball


The zoo has a special attraction for horse-lovers: the Westphalian Horse Museum. The region of Westphalia is a centre of horse-breeding with its own race of warmbloods (Westfalen) and the seat of the German Equestrian Federation in Warendorf, so horses are for sure a topic here. The museum presents the horse in biology, history, work and sports. Quite interesting.
Live horses are around on the outside, of course. No Westphalians, though. The shetland ponies are probably used for ponyriding for kids. Then they have a herd of giant Poitou donkeys (with a cuuuute woolly foal), Mongolian ponies and Przewalski horses. The horse park is combined with the kids’ zoo.



And if you are very lucky, you might even spot a young wombat grazing on the meadows by the lake...

Münster Part I: The Catholic Side of the City
Münster Part II: The Secular Side of the City https://germany-kathrin-e.travellerspoint.com/236/

Posted by Kathrin_E 04:36 Archived in Germany Tagged lakes zoo museum biking münster nordrhein-westfalen

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Excellent animal shots.

by irenevt

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