Gütersloh is a green city. It is often called the green city on the Dalke River. The adjective green is aptly applied to the city for a number of reasons. These include the many parks and green spaces in and around the city, an impressive 100-year-old botanical garden, and the many biking and walking trails throughout the city. Added to these is the fact that the city is a fair-trade city.
The wavy bars symbolize the city resting between the Ems, Dalke, and Lutter Rivers. The wheel stands for the Flywheel of a spinning wheel representing the fine yarn spinning mill that used to be based in Gütersloh.
Visiting Mohns Park
About two blocks down the street from me is Mohns Park, created in 1937. I spent the first two nights after my arrival here attending a rock concert and a movie in German in this park. The park has a large amphitheater seating 1,100 people. It was constructed in 1949 from 50,000 meters of rubble left from the heavy bombing the city received in World War II.
The park is named for Friederike Mohn(1859–1946), a bookseller at what is now the largest media company in the world (Bertelsmann). The park is very much a family park, crowded on Sundays with people of all ages. There is a special emphasis on children with an adventure playground area containing a tube slide and ropeway, a water-and-mud playground, large sandbox, and various playground equipment. Especially popular is a large paddling pool.
Mohns Park is not only for Strolling
Facilities for adults are not overlooked in this park either. Beside the large amphitheater and its events, there is a concession stand for food and drinks, a miniature golf course (for all ages), and many sports fields including hockey in the winter. Even a delightful stroll under the many old trees offers a cool environment on a hot day.
The city also has four swimming pools, inside and out. The outdoor pool is Olympic size with diving boards. The indoor pool also offers a sauna and steam room. I have visited the park several times, but I have not yet gotten to the swimming pools.
Sports in Gütersloh
With all of this green space, it should come as no surprise that Gütersloh is a sports city. At last count, there were 96 sports clubs with 25,000 members, 24 sports fields, and 39 sports halls and arenas. There are three nature preserves accounting for a little of 2.5% of the town’s acreage.
The use of bicycles is very prevalent seen by the large number of persons riding on the bike lanes. These lanes are usually alongside the walkways in a different color brick. It is essential that pedestrians not step into these lanes as bikes are steadily flying by. Gütersloh is on the R1 European Cycle Route which connects Boulogne-sur-Mer in France with Saint Petersburg in Russia.
The reputation that Gütersloh is a green city is well deserved and celebrated.
Fact: Gütersloh was first mentioned in 1184 in a document from the Bishop of Osnabrück
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