This city's original name meant “between the streams,” and it first appeared in written records in 904. In 1806, it came under the rule of Napoleon’s brother-in-law before becoming part of Prussia a decade later. The population has been on the rise since the ending of the Second World War, and has now reached over 37,000, a feat for such a rural area. This small German town is important to human history and anthropology as the place where the original Neanderthal was discovered, changing theories about human development and history. Much of tourism has begun to focus on attractions pertaining to this great discovery.
Location: In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
This Rhenish town is located in western Germany, and is the administrative center of a district sharing its name. It is in between the cities of Dusseldorf and Wuppertal. It was built on an ancient trade route that in English was called “between the streams”. The moderate climate makes any season pleasant, with few extremes one way or the other in winter or summer.
Culture: World Famous Neanderthal
What fascinates people about this town is the discovery of Homo neanderthalensis in the Feldhof cave in 1856. Today, he is known as Neanderthal man. A museum dedicated to this finding is located within Mettmann. It has an exhibit focusing on human evolution, which was changed forever by the discovery. The museum itself brings in 170,000 visitors a year, and includes an archaeological park on the original discovery site as well as a fun Stone Age workshop. The Town Museum is also a testament to local history, telling the story of this ancient city. There also is a historical downtown area, complete with a central market as well as mansions in their traditional style.
Activities: A Fully Natural Experience
Since the original nomadic people lived in this town, it has been kept natural and less developed compared to bustling cities. It has allowed for some amazing recreational opportunities. Start with hiking around the game reserve; large outdoor enclosures featuring aurochs, tarpan, and bison, which were hunted by the Neanderthals in their time. Then, visit the natural swimming pool, where you can swim or relax and gaze at the surrounding old forest. The spacious lawn is filled with sand, it will feel like going to the beach, and there are designated shady areas and play areas.