Paderborn is a German city famous for its churches and its industry. With a central location, it also makes a good place from which to base a wider exploration of Germany. Visitors come here to spot the famous Dom, or cathedral, while there are also Carolingian palaces, industrial museums and fine old fortresses to see.
The central German city of Paderborn is located where the Pader River is born, some 30 kilometres east of its neighbouring city of Lippstadt. Situated in the state of North Rhine and Westphalia, it has a population of just over 144,000. Visitors to the city use flights to Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport (PAD), a hub which is dominated by the Air Berlin company.
The North Rhine and Westphalia region has an industrial past and was once known as the land of coal and steel. While this heavy industry has declined somewhat in recent years, the city remains a centre for the IT industry, with companies such as Wincor Nixdorf based there. There is also still a reasonable amount of manufacturing and engineering work going on. The town also has a significant British Army presence, dating from the days of the Cold War.
Like many German cities though, Paderborn is located within accessible reach of the countryside, being close to the inspiring mountain ranges of central Germany. There are also green spaces within the city itself. One of the most inspiring places to visit in the city is the 16th century Neuhaus Castle, once the seat of government for the prince-bishops of the region. It continued in military use up until the mid-20th century.
The so-called 'Adam and Eve House' is another building well worth visiting. This is located in a street which was spared from Allied bombing during World War Two. Its elaborate wood carvings, telling the story of Adam and Eve and its traditional half-timbered structure are a lovely reminder of old Germany for those who take Paderborn flights.
There are many fine churches in the city, but two in particular are worth visiting. The Bartholommus Chapel was built in the first quarter of the 11th century and its slender columns, dome vaults and three naves of equal height make it unique north of the Alps. There are persistent rumours that Greek builders were used in its construction, though historians dispute this version of events.
The main church in the town is the Dom or Cathedral. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, visitors can see the famous Window of the Three Hares, which is an emblem of the city. There is also the Chapel of the Victims of World War Two, an often neglected shrine decorated with Agnes Mann mosaics from the 1960s.
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