Germany: Soest

East of Dortmund lies the small town of Soest, which actually dates back to as far as 836 AD. During 1449–1609 this was a prosperous imperial city state and a member of the Hanseatic League of free city-states. The historic core is small and centered around the St. Patrokli-Dom Cathedral from the 10th century and the nearby Sankt Petri Kirche Church, similarly old – both are of faded green color. The houses around the old town are all meticulously preserved or restored old traditional half-timbered pieces of art.