LEMGO, 11km north of Detmold, preserves a beguiling small-town atmosphere that harks back to its Hanseatic League prime, its streets a photogenic blend of Weser Renaissance pomp and picturesque half-timbering. Not everything in the town’s history is as charming as its architecture, however. Converting to Protestantism after the Reformation, from 1583 to 1681 Lemgo was gripped by an anti-witchcraft frenzy that was cynically exploited by politicians – most notoriously by Hermann Cothmann (1629–83), the so-called Hexenbürgermeister or “witch mayor”, who presided over the last, bloodiest, wave of trials. The last woman prosecuted for witchcraft, Maria Rampendahl, survived, but 254 men and women were not so fortunate.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The 10 best Baltic beach resorts

The 10 best Baltic beach resorts

European beach holidays haven’t always been just about the Mediterranean. A century ago, the resorts along the Baltic Sea were just as likely to attract the E…

16 Mar 2018 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
How Syrians are keeping their culture alive in Berlin

How Syrians are keeping their culture alive in Berlin

Syria has been shattered by conflict since March 2011; more than 5 million people have been forced to flee the country and rebuild their lives elsewhere. Jessi…

28 Dec 2017 • Jessica Bateman local_activity Special feature
20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right