You can do a fantastic bike tour of the Heide, enquire at Tourist Offices in Celle or in Lüneburg. I noticed that some hotels rent bikes.
Cars are often prohibited in the area. Leave the car behind and get on a horse-drawn carriage or a bike!
There are good Heu-Hotels (hay hotels, bring a sleeping bag, the rest is provided) for a very low price.
I saw some ads for horsebackriding tours in the Heide... when I was there, the whole heath was blooming and I would have stayed overnight to go riding had I had the time.
This old city and the area are worth the detour.
It's no wonder that Celle is often regarded as the most beautiful town in Northern Germany. The half timbered buildings are exquisite and have been so lovingly kept over centuries. These buildings are not to be found in such abundance in the North of Germany as they are in Bavaria for instance, which I guess makes these beautiful houses in Celle even more special.
Just wander around and look at them. Your camera will be working overtime.
The main pedestrian mall in Celle leads up to the Markt Platz and then on to the Bomann Museum and Schloss Celle. If you want to browse through some lovely little shops, this is where to do it and there are many many wonderful eateries amidst the shops for when you need to have a break and some added fortification.
The first part of the Rathaus building dates back to 1300 with subsequent additions being added in 1579, 1602 and 1985. The new Rathaus is located in an old Infantry building.
The Altes Rathaus can be found right beside the Lutheran Curch (St Mary's) on the Markt Platz.
The Bomann Museum is one of the most important museums in Northern Germany. Here you will find all you ever wanted to or needed to know about Land Niedersachsen and its long and colourful history.
The Hall of Honour of the Hannover Army housed in the museum is highly regarded to this day as a cultural-historical monument. There are many informative exhibits demonstrating many aspects of Celle's urban history including aspects of its craftmanship and industrial history. The important collection of urban and rural textiles on display is exclusive to this museum in all of Northern Germany.
Under changing thematic aspects you can view an extremely important collection of miniature paintings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. These belong the Tansey collection, regarded as one of the most important miniature collections in the world today. The Eberhard-Schlotter Foundation is also housed in the Bomann Museum. Eberhard Schlotter who was born in 1921 is an internationally renowned painter and graphic artist.
Tue - Sun: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. (subject to change on public holidays)
Group tours and educational programs on request.
The opening times also apply to the “Landesgeschichte” (the historical exhibition) at Celle castle and in the Gothic hall.
Schloss Celle was never used as a defensive facility so gradually over time the defensive fittings (moats and fortress walls etc.) were removed and during the time of George William a beautiful French Garden was installed in the baroque style. This was later to be replaced by an English style garden which is basically still there today. In parts of it however, there are still smatterings of the French Gardens to be seen.
The castle is extremely eyecatching and is set in beautiful gardens in the centre of town.
I could not begin to relate all of its history, but there are very good accounts to be found through Google and especially Wikipedia. Like most such buildings, this one has a long and colourful history dating back hundreds of years.
Today the castle is home to the Residenzmuseum and to the Schlosstheater amongst other things. The theatre was built some centuries ago as a private theatre for guests at the castle. It was later opened to the public on a limited basis but fell into disuse in 1890. In 1935 it was fully restored.
Some of the castle rooms which can be visited as part of a guided tour include the Renaissance style Court chapel and the Baroque staterooms. There is a Gothic Hall which houses constantly changing exhibitions and in the East Wing there is a section which is part of the Bomann Museum (located across the street) which is dedicated to the history of the Kingdom of Hannover.
This is the second organ at St Mary's and dates back to 1653. It was a gift to the church from Duke Christian Ludwig of Celle and was considered to be one of the finest organs of its day.
Johann Sebastian Bach visited the church in the early 1700's but it seems that there is no recollection to be found of his ever actually playing the organ.
Believe it or not, the organ that we see in the church today is not operational and has been dismantled for well over a century. There was a preservation order on it however, so it was able to keep its spectacular display and the new organ was placed behind it. The new organ was superseded in 1969 by a yet another new organ designed by the organ builders, Kleuker.
The stunning puylpit was the work of the Danish Peter Christian Limmer in 1684. The design loudly proclaims the Good News. The four evangelist, Matthew, Mark, Lukeand John are featured on the sides along with a figure of Jesus Christ giving his blessing with one hand and holding the world inthe other. It is a very happy piece and is finished off with some beautiful cheery angels on the corner of the canopy.
These wonderful paintings surround the nave (best described in the booklet available at the church) like a colourful sash. There are in excess of one hundred of these paintings which depict the Old Testament in the south of the nave and the New Testament in the north. It is also described as a pictorial bible.
The paintings were produced in the workshops of Celle from 1695 to 1698 and are believed to be mainly the work of Konrad Schueler, Johann Brusz and Henning Fischer.
This altar is magnificent. It was given to St Mary's by Duke Christian in 1613 and bears his coat of arms can be found in the upper extension, a symbol of his sponsorship. The altar is of medieval/ Renaissance design mixed with Baroque which was just beginning to gain favour when this piece was designed. Thus it is an altar which can be traced back to a time of transition and seamlessly incorporates both designs into the finished product.
The artwork depicts the life of Jesus through to the Last Supper and his Crucifixion which is featured in the centrepiece and at the very top it is crowned with a wonderful grouping of the thre figures of the Trinity i.e. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The baroque interior of the church is absolutely eye-popping in all directions.
An important and stunning feature is the stucco work which was designed by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tornielli between the years 1676 and 1681. To me the best part of the stucco work has got to be the ceiling which is breathtaking in its intricacy and visual beauty.
The stucco ceiling and features are particularly beautiful in and around the Triumphal Arch over the Crucifixion Group. The Crucifixion Group was added to the church in 1600.
The church dates back to the 13th century at the time of the founding of Celle. The first church was Gothic in design and had two aisles and no transepts. It was consecreated to the Virgin Mary in 1308. It was built to be the "building of buildings" and meant to dominate the town which it did until it became dwarfed by the Palace on one side and the Rathaus on the other. It soon became surrounded by the beautiful homes of the wealthy patricians who settled in Celle.
It stands on the edge of the market place and is easy to find during a walk around the town.and is open to the public Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 6pm. It is also open on Sundays after worship. The bell tower is open for climbing in the summer months from Tuesday to Saturday at 10am to 12 noon and from 2pm to 4pm.
Happily not damaged during WW11 the old town was our reason to visit Celle. A happy couple of hours wandering the narrow streets, all very enjoyable. Plenty of opportunities for lunch and dinner too.
A good place to visit.
Looks like one of the showpiece German castles, as ever we chose a bad time to visit. Renovations both to the castle and the grounds made our time here limited to a walk around the outside.
Looks good and would be well worth a visit when it's open!