June 11, 2017

3083 GERMANY (North Rhine-Westphalia) - Rheine

3083 Rheine: background - Kloster Bentlage; 1. Saline Gottesgabe;
2. Ems river; 3. Dreiklang Bentlage; 4. NaturZoo.

Rheine is a town located on the river Ems, at about 40km north of Münster, not far from the border with Netherlands. The most important touristic attractions in Rheine are the Saline Gottesgabe, the Bentlage Monastery, and the NaturZoo. Kloster Bentlage is a former monastery of the Crosiers and dates back to 1437. Secularized in 1803, has been in municipal ownership since 1978; today it is an artistic and cultural monument, renovated in a contemporary manner. Since 1990s Kloster Bentlage has established itself as a major centre for contemporary art in the Münsterland region.

For hundreds of years, salt was a prized trading commodity that was transported along the Salzstrasse (salt road) to the Salzhof (salt yard) in the episcopal town of Münster. In the time of the Crosier monastery, the salt was originally extracted for use by the monastery itself. In 1742 Prince-Bishop Clemens August created a salt extraction company, leading to a thorough modernization of the salt works. In 1890 the existing salt extraction plant was augmented by the medical baths and spa department.

In the period between the extensive modernization and the end of the salt extraction, the central point of power generation and distribution was the Radstube (Wheel Chamber) - later the Turbine House - by the salt canal. As salt extraction lost its importance, the technology here remained at the level of the start of the previous century. The buildings of Saline Gottesgabe, preserved to the present day and carefully renovated, form an ensemble that is unique throughout the region.

The NaturZoo was founded in 1937 as a zoo showing national animals, as well as other Central European species. Although it initially focused on the native fauna, rhesus and cynomolgus monkeys also were there from the beginning. In 1965, the zoo changed its concept and turned to focus on non-European animal species. In 1974, the first walk- in monkey forest in Germany was opened, on its first residents back the present colony of Barbary macaques. In 2004 a new seal and penguin facility was opened.

About the stamps
The stamp is part of the series Blumen, about which I wrote here.

Kloster Bentlage - Official website
NaturZoo Rheine - The Worlds Aquriums and Zoos

Sender: Jorn Hegner (direct swap)
Sent from Rheine (North Rhine-Westphalia / Germany), on 26.05.2017 
Photo: Christoph Reinhard

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