Medieval Braunschweig had a unique structure. It consisted of five separate cities: Altstadt, Neustadt, Hagen, Altewiek, Sack. Each of them had its own constitution, its own mayor and council, a city hall, market square and, except one, its own parish church. The castle in the centre, however, belonged to the Dukes of Braunschweig.
All five cities were surrounded by a common fortification. In the run of the centuries the five formed a common council which acted in affairs that concerned the whole city. The five parts still kept their separate administrations till 1671.
Market square: Altstadtmarkt
Parish churches: St Martini, St Petri, (northern part), St Michaelis (Western part)
City Hall: Altstadtrathaus (Altstadtmarkt) - medieval building still existent
Market square: Wollmarkt
Parish church: St Andreas
City Hall: Neustadtrathaus (corner Küchenstraße/Höhe/Hagenbrücke) - late 18th century building restored after WWII
Market square: Hagenmarkt
Parish church: St Katharinen
City Hall: gone (turned into an opera house in 1690, demolished in 1864)
Market square: Ägidienmarkt
Parish church: St Magni
City Hall: gone (demolished in 1752)
Market square: Sack
Parish church: - (St Ulrici in Altstadt)
City Hall: gone (demolished in 1739)
Half-timbered houses (Fachwerkhäuser) are the characteristic architecture in and around the low mountain ranges of central Germany. A timber framework is filled with wattle and daub.
The whole old town of Braunschweig consisted of half-timbered houses before the war, it must have been beautiful. Allied air raids and the fire storm of October 1944 reduced 90% of the old town to ash and rubble. Some houses were rebuilt, the majority is lost.
The houses in photo 1 show the regional style that is common in the southern part of Lowert Saxony. The projecting upper storeys are common because of both static advantages and to save tax - the house tax was assessed according to the size of the ground floor. If you see a house with a flat facade like in photo 2, you can be sure it was built no earlier than the late 18th, probably in the 19th century.
The friezes on the horizontal timbers are decorated with traditional patterns: stepped (photo 3), fan (photo 4), or chain (photo 5).
Fondest memory: In Braunschweig, significant amounts of half-timbered houses can be found in the Magni quarter, around St Ägidien church, in the Michaelis quarter and around Petersstraße/Steinstraße/Eiermarkt.
Burgplatz is a wonderful initiation to Braunschweig. Not only is the square beautiful but it is also located in the centre of town and is therefore an excellent starting point for any sightseeing.
The Landesmuseum and the Braunschweig Dom are also located within the square and the lovely Rathaus is only seconds away.
Fondest memory: I love Braunschweig's botanical gardens and relaxing there with a novel, particularly in summer where there is plenty of shade and grass areas. It is only a 10 minute walk from the very centre of Braunschweig and many an hour can be easily idled away here.
It took me a while to visit Braunschweig considering I used to live so close to here. I was here when I was a little kid and came back for parties etc but I only managed to do some serious sightseeing in May 2003.
I don't know why I never came here when I was still living in Hannover, it's a lovely little city with a lot of historic buildungs and decent shopping as well so it seems.
And I should have definitely come here for the wonderful Rizzi house as Rizzi is one of my favourite artists.
Favorite thing: The city centre of Braunschweig (=Brunswick) has got a flair of a nice old town in the 17th century.
In Braunschweig, I never forget the fish restaurant downtown .... I recommend Grün Herlinge with red wine.
If you need some informations about Braunschweig please visit this webside:
You find a lot of lovely buildings here!!!