The Dechanei (Deanery) standing in the Markt (the market square) in the center of town dates from 1561, and the Rathaus, also on the square, from 1613. This municipal building is a classic example of the Weser Renaissance style, a trio of half-timbered structures with a crooked old tower that looks like something from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

Höxter, among other towns, lays claim for the inspiration of the tale of "Hansel and Gretel." On the first Saturday of each month from May to September the town presents the drama. Ask at the tourist office for more details.

After visiting the market square, you can walk down Westerbachstrasse to discover many more half-timbered houses dating from the Middle Ages. Another church to visit is St. Kilian's at An der Kiliankirche, dating from the 11th century. Its treasures include a 15th-century aisle and an early-16th-century Crucifixion group of sculpture. Its pulpit was built in 1597 and is an outstanding piece of Renaissance craftsmanship, decorated with motifs in alabaster.

From the center of town, take Corveyer Allée for 3km (2 miles) to Reichsabtei Corvey (Imperial Abbey of Corvey) in the village of Corvey (tel. 05271/694010; Schloss Corvey (its other name) stands on a hillside overlooking the Weser River and was one of the oldest Benedictine abbeys in Germany. It was planned by Charlemagne himself but constructed by his son, Ludwig the Pious, in 822. In the 9th and 10th centuries, the abbey was one of the major cultural centers of north Germany.

During the Thirty Years' War, most of Corvey Abbey was destroyed, the only section remaining being the west facade of the church with its two spires. The abbey was rebuilt around 1730 in its present form, together with the church, monastery, and farm buildings. Guided tours take you through the library and imperial halls, and on the second floor is an exhibition of folkloric objects and prehistoric relics. In May and June a music festival is held in the great hall, the Kaisersaal. Admission to the castle is 5€, or 1€ to the abbey church. It's open April to October daily 9am to 6pm.

You can have lunch at the on-site Schlossrestaurant (tel. 05271/83230) under centuries-old linden trees, enjoying regional specialties.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.