Explore the Hanseatic city Soest
Aerial photo

The Hanseatic market town Soest played a deciding role in Germanys medieval structure. Soests Merchants played a crucial part in the foundation of the economic alliance of trading cities and their Merchant Guilds, the Hanseatic League. The town possessed one of the four keys to the Hanseatic Treasure which lies on the Baltic island Gotland (along with Visby, Lübeck and Dortmund).

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The Hanseatic towns first hours 

It was therefore considered without a doubt, as a precursor and principal town in the origins of the Hansa. Even today, one can see the influence of those previous times, in its many historical buildings. St. Maria zur Wiese, one of the most beautiful late gothic hall churches of Germany; St. Patrokli, also known as the Tower of Westphalia, St. Petri, the oldest church established in Westphalia or St. Maria zur Höhe, which harbors the only gothic Scheibenkreuz  (a cross combined with a circle) on mainland Europe. The district town of Soest has a beautiful silhouette which is characterized by its many churches, as well as an almost entirely preserved medieval town wall that one can still stroll around today.

1000 years, but not at all old

It doesnt matter from which direction one approaches, the imposing church spires show the way in a medieval town that is over 1000 years old, but certainly doesnt present itself as such. Medieval Soest stands out in the world today, with unique green sand stone buildings, monuments and walls, as well as its delightful rows of timber framed houses, romantic alleyways and imposing secular buildings. Abundant Biergärten, pubs and cafes invite one to linger. There are numerous wonderful guided tours that offer varied themes and show different aspects of Soest. One has the opportunity to discover and enjoy Soest, time and time again from many different perspectives.

Events around the year

The calendar of events is bristling with many small and major activities to enjoy e.g. Soester Bördetag, a day for local events and products, or one could experience the wonderful atmosphere of the Christmas markets or one of Soests many medieval days. Though the absolute highlight of the year takes place in November and is the largest funfair in Europe to be held in the centre of an old town, the Soester Allerheiligenkirmes (All Saints Funfair). The most modern high-tech fairground rides show an amazingly appealing contrast to the stately historical old buildings of medieval Soest. What once started as a church consecration festival has now grown into a 700 year old tradition that annually attracts around one million visitors. Additionally the cultural program at the Stadthalle Soest and the house of culture Alter Schlachthof (The old Slaughter house) covers a variety of entertainments from concerts and musicals to comedy, ensuring that there is always something to do in Soest.

A town of artists

In the 1920s Ricarda Huch wrote about Soest, here one can really envisage what a blossoming German medieval town looked like. Many other famous artists have also immortalised Soest with its traces imprinted in their works of art. Otto Modersohn, Wilhelm Morgner, Christian Rohlfs, Ferdinand Freiligrath and Prof. Hans Gottfried von Stockhausen to mention just a few, who have been inspired by the history and flair of Soest. Their works of art can be admired amongst others in the Museum-Wilhelm-Morgner, the Städtische Kunst-Museum (towns Museum of Art), Burghof-Museum and in Soests many churches.

Historic and contemporary Soest. (between historic and modern)

With around 50,000 inhabitants and a catchment area of approx. 150,000 people Soest is today an ideal central point. With its economically situated central location and its convenient transport connections, Soest offers the perfect attributes, facilities and prerequisites for businesses and is the ideal connecting hub between the major industrial economic areas of Europe, the Rhein-Ruhr-region, Sauerland, Münsterland and East Westphalia-Lippe. Soests economic structure is characterized by its diverse industries, manufacturing, retail and trade. Internationally operating companies and corporations, diversely structured medium sized businesses from industry, commerce, skilled crafts and trades, and the services industries find ideal conditions regarding locations in Soest. Here Trade meets High-tech and History meets Modern.

Pictures of the Hanseatic City of Soest


Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest GmbH
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59494 Soest