Bad Münstereifel is a historically grown, romantic little town with picturesque half-timbered houses and a cosy pedestrian zone along the Erft. The
historic town centre with its narrow streets and alleys can be reached via four historically significant town gates in the four cardinal points. The castle complex is enthroned
above the town.
The history of the town goes back to a monastery founded by the third abbot of Prüm, Markward, around 830 (Novum Monasterium). In 844 Pope Sergius II gave the abbot the bones of the Roman martyr couple Chrysanthus and Daria as a gift. This was the beginning of a lively pilgrimage. A settlement developed around the monastery walls and a market was established in front of the monastery. Around 1300, the Count of Jülich built the castle and erected the town fortifications, which still exist today.
The Way of St James leads through the Werthertor (gate) into the city.
Impressions of Bad Münstereifel
Romanesque Collegiate Church
The small monastery chapel from the 9th century was replaced in the 12th/13th century by the present three-aisled, transept-less pillar basilica with a three-towered west wing. In the crypt is the shrine containing the bones of the patron saints of this church, St. Martyrs Chrysantus and Daria. The church is a particularly impressive masterpiece among the corresponding church buildings on the Rhine and Meuse in that period.)
Chrystanthus and Daria
Chrystantus came with his father from Alexandria to Rome, where he accepted the Christian faith. He was pressured by his father to let go of the faith again. Finally, the wise virgin Daria, consecrated to the goddess Vesta, was to persuade Chrysanthus to give up the Christian faith. A scholarly debate ended with Daria's conversion and the decision to marry for the sake of his father, but to vow chastity. Both suffered martyrdom around the year 304, when they were buried alive in a pit on the Via Salaria.
The relics of Chrysanthus and Daria came to Prüm in 844, to Münstereifel in 848 and some of them from there to Zülpich, where they are still venerated today. Other relics are venerated in Rome, in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, in Salzburg, Naples, Reggio Emilia and Oria.
In the old town near the western city wall on a bridge over the Erft river stands a modern statue of Nepomuk.