If you want to enjoy a nice view on the city center of Hann. Münden, Germany – there is no place like the Tillyschanze. It is a 25 meters high watchtower located within the Reinhardswald, 90 meters above the city. It was created by a commitee of citizens of Hann. Münden between the years 1881 and 1885 – commemorating the conquest of the city by Tilly in 1626.

At a special location

The location of the tower is special: it is directly at the border between Lower Saxony and Hesse. In the 14th century a fortification was built here by the Hesse reign to watch their neighbor. To not escalate the conflict it was torn down – but the moat is still used today.

Close to the tower, there is a restaurant serving good cake. Within you can pay two Euros per person to access the tower. A spiral staircase leads you up through the building and on top, you can enjoy best views on the town. The building is also used for wedding ceremonies during the summer months. An organization, the Schutz- und Fördergemeinschaft Tillyschanze, cares about the tower, repairs the paths up the hill and organizes events to finance restoration works – a good thing I really love to support.

What’s in a name?

I feel a bit uncomfortable with the naming of the tower after Tilly: yes, the place is somehow connected to Johann T’Serclaes von Tilly as he used a location close-by – to attack the city. In the 30-Years-War he was a military leader of the army of the Katholische Liga fighting the reformation. The attack on Hann. Münden in 1626 is known as Bloody Whitsun as the army of Tilly killed nearly the complete population of the city. Later they went to Magdeburg and literally removed the city from the map. This war crime was so extreme that the city name became a verb (‘magdeburgisieren‘) for erasing a city. It is just a name and history can’t be changed. But why commemorate a military leader like Tilly?

Hann. Münden

Schutz- und Fördergemeinschaft Tillyschanze e.V.

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