Wolfenbüttel Things to Do

  • Wolfenbuettel Castle (Schloss Wolfenbuettel)
    Wolfenbuettel Castle (Schloss...
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  • Inner Court of Wolfenbuettel Castle
    Inner Court of Wolfenbuettel Castle
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  • Bridge with statues at Wolfenbuettel Castle
    Bridge with statues at Wolfenbuettel...
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Most Recent Things to Do in Wolfenbüttel

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    St. Petrus

    by Airpunk Written Oct 17, 2013
    St. Petrus, Wolfenbuettel
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    The Neoromanesque church from 1891 is the main Catholic church in Wolfenbuettel. It was the first Catholic church in Wolfenbuettel built after the reformation. Catholic church services took only place in private places during the 300 years before as the number of Catholics was very limited.
    Inside, everything is kept in a neoromanesque style, from the treble-shaped windows to the columns and round arches of the pulpit. The church has more generous opening time for tourists than the two big protestant churches.

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    Half-Timbered Buildings

    by Airpunk Written Oct 17, 2013
    LArge building next to Arsenal
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    Wolfenbuettel has a high concentration of half-timbered buildings. This is unusual for this part of Germany as many cities of this size and larger have been severely damaged during WWII. It seems that Wolfenbuettel's liquor distillery was not an important target for the allies.

    Most buildings can be found in the pedestrian zone along Lange Herzogstrasse and its side streets.
    A row of them at Kleiner Zimmerhof is located directly at the river. It is called “Klein Venedig” and can be best seen from Stobenstrasse.

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    Arsenal, Library and Lessing

    by Airpunk Written Oct 17, 2013

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    The Arsenal (Zeughaus), Wolfenbuettel

    The Baroque pink building was once the Arsenal (Zeughaus) of the city and now houses a part of the city library's collection. The other parts are located in the Herzog August library.

    The Ducal family has been known for patronizing art, especially literature. Lessing wrote some of his major works in the city. His former house (Lessinghaus) is part of the library as well and is now used as a museum.

    All three mentioned buildings can be visited, however they have different opening times. As of late 2013, Zeughaus closes on Sundays while the exhibition rooms of the Herzog August library and the Lessinghaus are closed on Mondays.

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    St.-Trinitatiskirche (Trinitatis Church)

    by Airpunk Written Oct 17, 2013

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    St.-Trinitatiskirche (Trinitatis Church)

    The spot where St. Trinitatis stands today was the place of a city gate. This became redundant in 1648 and was used as a chapel by the military. Between 1692 and 1700, a new church was built on the spot using some of the stone structures of the former gate together with wood. Unfortunately, the church burnt down in 1705. Reconstruction started shortly afterwards and the new church – this time using more stones and less timber. Still, the church had some structures of the old 16th century city gate incorporated. It is obvious in the portal-like shape of the church. Despite that, the style is predominantly baroque.
    The church has very limited opening times for tourists. Please check the website for the current times.

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    Marienkirche (BMV)

    by Airpunk Written Oct 17, 2013

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    Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BMV)
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    After the Dukes of Braunschweig moved their residence to Wolfenbuettel, the settlement grew into the city. The Ducal family decided that Wolfenbuettel needed a representative church and decided to build the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Beatae Mariae Virginis in Latin. The church is locally know by its German name “Marienkirche” or the abbreviation of its Latin name: BMV. Construction began in 1608. The church has ever since been a protestant church.
    There is an interesting mix of styles: The windows and the outer appearance is rather Gothic as is the ducal tombstone on the southern side. Inside, northern mannerism and other renaissance stlyes are dominating while the main altar and the gable are rather baroque. The composer Michael Praetorius is buried in the church, there is an exhibition in the upper floors of the church about him, but this can only be visited upon request.

    Entry is free, but unfortunately pictures are not allowed inside.

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    Schloss Wolfenbuettel (Castle)

    by Airpunk Written Oct 17, 2013

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    Wolfenbuettel Castle (Schloss Wolfenbuettel)
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    Wolfenbuettel's main sight is the castle which has been seat to the Dukes of Brunswick for centuries. It can be traced back to 1238 when a fortress was built in this settlement which evolved into a castle. After becoming tired of conflict with Brunswick citizens, the Dukes made Wolfenbuettel its residence. The castle was a real bric-a-brac of different styles. In the 16th century, it grew to its current size, but the Dukes still thought that they needed a bigger castle. Therefore, Salzdahlum Castle was built - a kind of Versailles made of wood. Salzdahlum rotted away and the dukes moved back to Wolfenbuettel.
    In the early 18th century, it took its current shape with Baroque features and the turret. However, the Ducal family still wanted a more representative castle and a new castle was built in Braunschweig. The castle was given up in the 19th century and a school moved in in 1866. This school still exists today. Beside the school, there is also an educational center of the Federal Government as well as the Castle Museum.
     
    Now comes the interesting part: The Castle Museum is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday. we payed 2,50 EUR each, though the website said 3,50 EUR (2013). No pictures allowed inside. In the Castle Museum, you will see around a dozen of reconstructed rooms from the former Ducal Castle. This part is the former appartment of the duchess. The items (including a large China collection) are well explained in German and English. One room has an exhibition about the Salzdahlum Castle (see above). The museum offers guided tours and activities for kids on request.

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    Schloss - The Ducal Palace

    by Kathrin_E Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Palace
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    The Dukes of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, a line of the house of the Guelphs, had their residence in Wolfenbüttel from 1432-1754. The town was extended in several steps and fortified. In the late 16th century the medieval castle was substituted by the present water palace in renaissance style.

    After damages in the mid-16th century wars the old castle was generously extended by Duke Heinrich the Younger and his successor Julius until 1589. The courtyard with its double arcades was redesigned in 1643/44. Around 1700 some baroque changes were added, including a new staircase, and several rooms and halls renovated. Further renovations took place in 1714-1716, when court architect Hermann Korb planned the facades that give the irregular building a uniform appearance. Have a close look and you'll notice that some of the windows are fake and just painted on the wall for the sake of regularity.

    A large part of the palace is now used by a secondary school (Gymnasium im Schloss). The museum in the palace shows some historical rooms an exhibition on the town's history, local culture, the china collection, toys and dollhouses.

    Opening hours: Tues - Sun 10.00-17.00, closed on Mondays
    Entrance fee: adults 3 €, children and teenagers under 18 are free.

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    Wolfenbüttel's "Little Venice"

    by Kathrin_E Updated Mar 15, 2010

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    The famous view of
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    In the Western part of the old town, not far from the palace, small streams run through the old town. Am on locals, this area is known as "Klein-Venedig", "Little Venice". It is little indeed, but there are some really romantic spots. To find the best view, start from the northern end of market square and Krambuden and walk along either Kleiner Zimmerhof or Mühlenstraße until you reach the bridge at the end of either lane, then look behind you.

    This part of the old town was planned in the 16th and 17th century by immigrants from the Netherlands who included such little canals in their architecture. They are "Grachten" lke in Duch cities and towns. Once upon a time there were more of them in Wolfenbüttel.

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    "Kleines Schloss" - "Little Palace"

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 4, 2009

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    Kleines Schloss
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    The so-called "Little Palace" was erected next to the Ducal palace as residence of the crown prince in 1643. From 1686 to 1715 it hosted the Ritterakademie, an academy for young peers who received their higher education here. Renovations and changes occurred during the 18th century. Only one of originally two wings is preserved.

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    Seeliger Bank, Oldest Stone House In Town

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 4, 2009

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    Seeliger bank
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    The renaissance house was erected and inhabitzed by the court architect Philipp Müller in 1586-1588. It is the oldest stone house in town. From 1646 it hosted the Ducal pharmacy but was sold to a private owner a few years later. Nowadays it is used by a local private bank, Bankhaus C. L. Seeliger.

    Location: Lange Herzogstraße 63, north of Stadtmarkt

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    The Wolf Statue

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 4, 2009

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    The wolf

    The origins of the name "Wolfenbüttel" most probably don't refer to the animal but to the name of the (legendary) founder of the town. Anyway, since the wolf appears in the town's name, a wolf statue has recently been put up in Schlossplatz.

    Location: Schlossplatz, corner Schulwall/Krambuden, in front of Hertie department store.

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    Rathaus - The Town Hall

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 4, 2009

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    Town hall, western wing
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    The town hall is a half-timbered house in the same style as the wealthy citizens' houses, the only difference is its extension along one and a half sides of the market square. The building has been extended in several steps. It all started with a late 16th century house which the magistrate purchased in 1602. In the run of the century further wings were added until the building reached the present L-shape with several gables along the market square.

    The inscription above the present main entrance (photo 2) refers to the changes in history:
    "Built in hopeful times,
    renewed in need and misery,
    this house protects through its council
    the citizen's industry and the worker's deed."
    Underneath we find the dates 1617 and 1940 - well, that inscription is obviously a product of a certain era in German history.

    The town hall contained the official scales, an inscription above one of the portals (photo 3) refers to correct weight and measurement of the goods traded on the market.

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    Stadtmarkt - Market Square

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 4, 2009

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    Stadtmarkt and town hall
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    Wolfenbüttel's market square, the Stadtmarkt, is the prettiest square in town. While the half-timbered town hall covers almost the whole western side of the square, the other sides are surrounded by pretty old houses of wealthy citizens.

    Twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday, the farmers' market takes place here. Stadtmarkt is also the location of the Christmas market and other events.

    The monument in the centre (photo 3) shows Duke August with his horse.

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    Zeughaus - Arsenal

    by Kathrin_E Written Dec 31, 2008

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    Zeughaus
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    The huge Zeughaus once served as storage for the arms of the ducal military. The rrenaissance building was begun in 1613, probably planned by court architect Paul Francke who also planned the church Beatae Mariae Virginis. The inscriptio.n above the portal on the western side contains the date 1619 (photo 3).
    Nowadays it is used by Herzog-August-Bibliothek and contains the modern part of the library.

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    Lessing House

    by Kathrin_E Written Dec 28, 2008

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    Lessinghaus
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    The so-called Lessinghaus was built in 1735 as living quarters of the librarian at Duke-August-Library. The most famous inhabitant was the author and playwright Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, who lived and worked here from 1777 to his death in 1781. Lessing wrote some of his most important works in Wolfenbüttel.

    The yellow house was built in the shape of a little palace with three wings that surround a small courtyard. The house now contains a museum of literature and some rooms and apartments for guests and scholars of the library. It belongs to Herzog-August-Bibliothek.

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