Münster is a truly unique city. I have been here a grand total of 4 days and I feel as though it is one of the most uniquely German cities I have ever visited.
I have been to Germany twice before, and everywhere I went, save a few small Dörfer (villages), were incredibly cosmopolitan. When I came to Münster, however, things felt different. Münster is, first and foremost, a city of bicycles. Bikes outnumber cars 10:1, and bicycles have the right of way in literally every instance. Though the bikes took some getting used to, one of the most curious things that the city had in store when I arrived was the sureness of its identity.
I visited the Stadtmuseum (city museum) and realized that this city had hundreds of years of history, as do most major European cities. It has gone through major changes to its religion, policies, and leadership, yet reflected in the people is a strong tradition of steadfastness and constancy of character.
One of the most prominent events in Münster’s history is the Anabaptist Rebellion of the 16th century. The city temporarily fell under the rule of the anabaptists, who wanted to divisively break down the old Catholic and societal traditions that most Münsterers held dear. They were shortly overthrown and executed, with their corpses hung in cages from the bell tower of Lambertikirche (the church of St. Lamberti). Those cages still remain to this day.
The history of Münster is filled with stories of resistance against authority, and the list goes on. Most Münsterers, however, are some of the most friendly and inviting people I have ever encountered. Most insist on being called by their given names, and are unconditionally accommodating, no matter the request.
Münster is going to be an incredible experience in the coming weeks, I know this for a fact.