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Detmold is a city in the Teutoburg Forest region of Western Germany. Detmold is the largest city in the Lippe district and offers a wide range of tourist destinations and a diverse cultural program and many events.

Hermann Monument


Detmold used to be the capital of the petty Principality of Lippe that was transformed into a republic in 1918 and merged into the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1947. The former state still has its own regional identity and a separate Protestant territorial church. Nowadays, the city of some 74,000 inhabitants (2019) is seat of the administrative region of East Westphalia and Lippe (Ostwestfalen-Lippe, or OWL), which is equivalent to the Teutoburg Forest tourism region.

Teutoburg Forest is the name of a low mountain range that begins right on the southwestern borders of the city. It was presumed by 19th century historians to be identic with the saltus Teutoburgiensis of Roman annals, site of a decisive battle between Roman troops commanded by general Publius Quinctilius Varus and a confederation of Teutonic tribes under the leadership of the Cheruscian lord Arminius (whose name was later Germanised to "Hermann") in 9 AD. "Hermann the Cheruscian" was idealised as a German national hero during the 19th-century spirit of romantic nationalism. Archaeological digs since 1988 have identified the actual site of the battle, Kalkriese hill, near Osnabrück and Minden.

Get in[edit]

The closest airport is Paderborn/Lippstadt (PAD IATA), 50 km south of Detmold, which only offers a very limited choice of connections. More important airports are in Hanover (HAJ IATA), 100 km to the north-east and Dortmund (DTM IATA), 115 km to the south-east.

Detmold has no intercity train connections. There are hourly regional trains from Herford (takes 25 minutes), Bielefeld, Altenbeken (half an hour each) and Paderborn (40 minutes), where you can connect from long-distance trains.

Get around[edit]

Stadtverkehr Detmold operates eight local bus lines within the city, all of which meet at the central bus station in front of the train station and at Rosental in the middle of the city centre.


Half-timbered houses in the Old Town
Princely residence
Former granary/Landesmuseum
  • Old town with historical half-timbered houses
  • 1 Hermannsdenkmal (Hermann monument) (on Grotenburg hill near Hiddesen, 4 km southwest of the city centre; there is a parking lot about 400 metres from the monument; on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, bus 792 takes you from Detmold downtown directly to the base of the monument). daily, March – October 09:00-18:00, November – February 09:30-16:00. 53-m-high monument with a larger-than-life statue of Arminius, chieftain of the Cheruscians who led the united Teutonic forces against the Romans in the battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. It was designed by Ernst von Bandel in 1837 during the period of Germany's "search for a national identity" and completed in 1875 after Germany had become a nation-state. There is a "little brother" of the Hermann Monmument created by German emigrants in New Ulm, Minnesota. Adult €3, child €1. Hermannsdenkmal (Q664245) on Wikidata Hermannsdenkmal on Wikipedia
  • Fürstliches Residenzschloss (Princely Residence).
  • LWL-Freilichtmuseum. Regional open-air museum
  • Lippisches Landesmuseum (Kornhaus). Historical half-timbered building from the 16th century, originally used as a granary, now hosts the region's longest-standing museum with collections of natural history, prehistory, regional history, folklife and everyday culture in the former state of Lippe.


  • Adlerwarte Berlebeck. Bird park hosting 46 different species of raptors from five continents and offering shows several times a day.
  • Landestheater.







Blomberg Castle
  • Externsteine, Horn-Bad Meinberg (12 km south of Detmold). Distinctive and bizarre sandstone rock formation. They form a several hundred metre long rocky line with 13 especially outstanding rocks. Before Christianisation, the site was used by the old Saxons for pagan rites.
  • Blomberg Castle (17 km east of Detmold). Medieval castle begun in the 13th century and continually remodeled during the following times. Its Gothic gate has been preserved and therefore has a fortified character from the outside, while from the inside it rather looks like a Renaissance-style chateau.
  • Blomberg (19 km east of Detmold). Romantic old town with half-timbered houses, medieval castle and gate.

Go next[edit]

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