Ottenshof – A Restaurant with a Past

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Where to Go in Germany

This is a postscript to the Wewelsburg walk from earlier in the year. Remember this walk we did through the charming landscape of the Alme valley near the west German city of Paderborn, where we discovered one of the Holy Shrines of the pagan death cult otherwise known as National Socialism?

Ottenshof – A Restaurant with a Nazi Past

"Wewelsburg Castle in Paderborn"

Once you are in the area, do not miss a visit to the Ottenshof. This looks like a normal restaurant from the outside …

"The OttensHof restaurant in Wewelsburg"

… although some ornaments are perhaps a little spooky …

"Decor detail outside the Ottenshof restaurant"

… or weirdly reminiscent of something that you may have seen on a bomber jacket worn by a rather scary-looking, bald bloke.

"Detail of decoration of the facade of the Ottenshof restaurant"

It is only when you look more closely …

"Head masks as decoration on the Ottenshof facade"

… that you  begin to realize that this is, in fact, not a normal restaurant at all.

Hey, I know this guy!

"Head mask of Hitler on the facade of Ottenshof restaurant in Germany"

In fact, the Ottenshof was not constructed to serve as a restaurant for ordinary folks but as a community center where the SS men of Heinrich Himmler, the Head of this Nazi gang of storm troopers, were expected to congregate after WWII.

While Wewelsburg may look like an ordinary and somewhat sleepy German village to you, bear in mind that for Himmler, it lay at the centre of the universe and was therefore “pre-destined” to become the capital of his pagan death cult.

This connection explains the taste in interior decoration …

"A detail on a bench inside Ottenshof restaurant"

… and detail.

"Meades presenting his documentary Jerry Building"

That’s Jonathan Meades by the way, sitting at the table. These photos …

"Jonathan Meades in his documentary Jerry Building"

… are screenshots from his excellent TV documentary Jerry Building, available on You Tube to watch.

When we ourselves went to Wewelsburg, we found the gates to the Ottenshof locked – without any explanation, not even a handwritten note attached to the front door, while the signs outside were still advertising that Day’s Special.

Was it because somebody had spontaneously decided to take the day off – or because the ghost of Heinrich Himmler had intervened, determined to guard the secrets of the SS from a couple of sneering Easy Hikers about to enter in a spirit of irreverence and cruel mockery?

That, dear readers, is something I shall leave for you to decide.

10 comments to Ottenshof – A Restaurant with a Past

  • It really is a pity, Nigel. When we visited the area, we meant to have lunch there. We were also disappointed to find out it was closed.

  • Nigel

    I visited here when stationed in Lippstadt in 1987 and the gasthaus was open and all the symbols were there for people to see if they wished. There was also a visitors book which is signed by all the Nazi high command, from Hitler down to all the well known and not so well known names. Much of the external and to some extent, internal carvings are very pagan and lend themselves to Norse mythology, such was the beliefs of Himmler. However, to my understanding, it was not built for the SS but rather was an existing gasthaus which was merely converted for their use, a bit like an officers mess. The SS runes, Swastikas and deaths heads that are carved into the bench ends are kept for historical purposes only. This place doesn’t see gatherings of neo-nazis, etc, it is very respectable and nice and warm inside. It’s just a normal German gasthaus with a little bit of interesting history. I returned to Wewelsburg in the summer of 2016 and was disappointed to find the gasthaus closed. As previously described, it looked like it should be open, a peek through the window revealed a few lights on and various items set out as if preparing to open. However, outside, the menu was old and yellowed, the surrounding area was getting a little unkempt and it would appear that the gasthaus has not been open to the public for some time. Inquiries made locally did little to explain why it was not open nor did anyone seem to know if and when it would be open again. Shame. Far from being some creepy, chilling, haunted house that was once a shrine to National Socialism, it is in fact a fascinating piece of German history and I hope that it shall again be opening its doors to the public in the future.

  • You obviously had more luck than we did when we visited, Arch. The restaurant was closed for the day then and we would certainly have loved to go in there. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Arch Stanton

    The restaurant is not closed. All those symbols are pretty much ignored when you are eating inside, although the owner will show them to you, if you can’t see them (they are somewhat covered up by hanging decorations). It’s a great place to eat – great food – old style Gasthaus ambience – not creepy at all. I’ve never seen anyone making a big deal of the symbols in there, although people do photograph them, of course.

  • Okay, that’s kinda creepy now. I hope you go back and see what it’s like inside, if they play music or even what’s on the menu. I’m sure they must keep some of that tradition alive, if only because it’s a historical landmark. brrrr….

  • Love your TV shots – mine never come out looking this good!
    Too bad you weren’t able to get in. I was very curious to find out about the food.

  • I’d probably visit for curiosity’s sake too but I don’t think I’d stay that long and eat there. Really creepy decorations there.

  • Jeremy Branham

    I can’t believe all the places and landmarks that the Nazis left behind. Some of these places are creepy.

  • Not sure I’d want to eat at this place – with such a creepy past. Maybe it was lucky that the restaurant was closed.

  • Very interesting and eerie history! I think I’d visit if I was in the area.

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