One of eastern Westphalia's most appealing towns, Soest is a tranquil place of half-timbered houses and a clutch of treasure-filled churches that reflect the wealth it enjoyed during its Hanseatic League days. Although bombed in WWII, this maze of idyllic, crooked lanes has been beautifully rebuilt and preserves much of its medieval character. The little channels of water that course through it are utterly charming.
Among Soest's distinctive features is its stone: a shimmering greenish local sandstone used in building the town wall, churches, and other public structures. Only 45km southeast of Münster, Soest is compact enough to be explored on a day trip or as a side trip en route to somewhere else.