Wolfenbüttel Things to Do

  • Wolfenbuettel Castle (Schloss Wolfenbuettel)
    Wolfenbuettel Castle (Schloss...
    by Airpunk
  • Inner Court of Wolfenbuettel Castle
    Inner Court of Wolfenbuettel Castle
    by Airpunk
  • Bridge with statues at Wolfenbuettel Castle
    Bridge with statues at Wolfenbuettel...
    by Airpunk

Best Rated Things to Do in Wolfenbüttel

  • Colzy's Profile Photo

    Herzog-August Library

    by Colzy Written Nov 8, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Herzog-August Bibliothek

    This is one of the true jewels of Wolfenbuettel. Founded in 1572, the library flourished under Duke August between the years 1634-1666. Under his guidance the library came to house the largest collection of books in all of Europe and was regarded as the eigth wonder of the world. The famous but increasingly derelict building was replaced in 1887 by a new structure in the style of a florentine palazzo.

    Today the bibliothek holds a total of about 800 000 volumes with approximately 350 000 dating back to the fifteenth to eighteenth century. The most famous book of the collection is what is billed 'The World's Most Expensive Book' - the Welefen Evangelica which is a gospel book formerly owned by Heinrich der Lowe (Henry the Lion). You can only see this book in September however and at other times copies are on display.

    Unfortunately I think the best way to get a feel for this amazing library is through a tour which are generally only held in German. However, if you can organise a group of people you can recieve a tour in English which I was lucky enough to be apart of and I assure it was quite amazing. Contact the library directly if wish you to organise a tour because the tourist information centre cannot help in this respect.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Colzy's Profile Photo

    The Ducal Palace

    by Colzy Written Nov 6, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The lovely pink schloss

    The schloss in Wolfenbuettel is really unique largely due to the colour of the exterior which is a very distinctive pink. It is the largest surviving castle complex in the state of Lower Saxony. The Baroque sculptures lining the bannisters and bridge are apparently meant to depict the virtues and dignities of a sovereign. The royal apartments inside are a beautiful example of the Baroque period and there is a permanent exhibition displaying the history, art and culture of Wolfenbuettel and its rural surrondings.

    Opening hours to visit the Castle Museum are: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm
    Admission is 3 Euro

    Was this review helpful?

  • Colzy's Profile Photo

    The schloss...again, sorry!!

    by Colzy Written Nov 6, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The family crest

    I just wanted to share this coat of arms with you that appears on the entrance into the palace. You can see the carved intials of the royal patron, Duke August Wilhelm, and his family motto - 'Parta tueri' which means preserve what you have gained.

    Another interesting fact about the Schloss is that when Michael Praetorious was master of music at the Ducal Court he wrote the Christmas Carol 'Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen' here. This carol is apparently as important to a German christmas as the christmas tree itself.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Colzy's Profile Photo

    The Armoury

    by Colzy Written Nov 8, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Armoury

    This building was built in 1613-1617 and at this time served as both an arsenal for Germany's largest guns and as barracks and the style is typical of the late Renaissance period.

    In 1974, the Armoury was incorporated into the Herzog-August Library compex and today houses a research library, the library's central catalogue, open access collections, and study areas for visiting scholars and librarians.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Colzy's Profile Photo

    Lessing House

    by Colzy Written Nov 8, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lessinghaus

    This is a picteresque three-winged townhouse built in 1735 and is situated between the library and the schloss. The house was allocated in 1777 to Gotthold Ephraim Lessing who lived in the house until his death in 1781.

    The literary museum was established here in honour of Lessing who wrote some of the foremost works of German literature between these walls including 'Nathan der Weise'.

    Today the house is a museum which is home to a unique collection of original documents which serve as a permanent reminder to the greatness of this poet and philosopher.

    Entry to the museum is included in the entry price to the library and its opening hours are Tuesday - Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Colzy's Profile Photo

    Stadtmarkt

    by Colzy Written Nov 8, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Stadtmarkt

    This is the main square of Wolfenbuettel and on Saturday mornings you will find it a hive of activity as people try to strike a bargain at the fresh food markets held here. Formerly, it was the housed the wealthy townsmen and courtiers in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

    It is a beautiful old square framed by beautifully restored half-timbered housing. You will find many restaurants and cafes in the vincinity and the Wolfenbuettel tourist information centre is also situated here.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Trinitatiskirche - Church of the Holy Trinity

    by Kathrin_E Updated Dec 28, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Trinity Church, facade
    2 more images

    A first church in this location was finished in 1700 but burnt down five years later. Court architects Johann Balthasar Lauterbach and Hermann Korb planned the new protestant parish church for the southern and eastern suburbs of the town, which was erected in 1716-1722.

    The baroque facade towards Holzmarkt square is framed by two strange short steeples. The magnificent baroque interior shows huge columns that carry two surrounding galleries. The wide and bright hall is all white with a little gold.

    Opening hours: Tues 11-13, Wed 11-13 and 14-16, Thurs 15-17, Sat 11-16

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Herzog-August-Bibliothek

    by Kathrin_E Updated Dec 28, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Herzog-August-Bibliothek
    2 more images

    The library was founded by Duke August the Younger in 1643/44 and owned already 35,000 volumes at his death in 1666. His successors enlarged it further. A first library building was erected by court architect Hermann Korb in the early 18th century, which was substituted by the present building in 1882-1886.

    The library owns manuscripts and books from the early middle ages to the present. It is a research library that can be used for scientific research. I have done research there myself about a church in a nearby village a couple of years ago and found all the construction plans, which enabled me to prove that it was designed by a different architect than assumed before. If you want to use it, write a letter to them, explain your project and make an appointment. The library also offers scholarships for research. Check the website for details.

    More inetresting for the short-term visitor: the museum of medieval and early modern manuscripts. In addition to the permanent collection they are doing temporary exhibitions. Their greatest treasure is the most expensive book in the world: the 12th century Gospel of Henry the Lion, an amazing illustrated manuscript. This book, for conservation reasons, is on display for only some very short weeks per year (in 2008, it was in May). If you want to see it, check with the library when they are going to show it.

    All detailed information about the use of the library, visits to the museum part, research projects and the online catalogue can be found on the library's website.

    Website in German, English and Latin(!): www.hab.de

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Schloss - The Ducal Palace

    by Kathrin_E Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Palace
    3 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Rathaus - The Town Hall

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 4, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Town hall, western wing
    4 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Explore The Old Town

    by Kathrin_E Updated Dec 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kanzleistra��e
    2 more images

    Wolfenbüttel's old town is worth a stroll. Take your time. It's hard to tell where to begin. The streets of the whole town centre have preserved their nostalgic ambience with their half-timbered houses. Explore the narrow streets, and don't forget your camera.

    This is what old Braunschweig also looked like, until the air raids of World War II reduced it to ashes. Wolfenbüttel, however, has survived. The small town was hardly affected by any bombings. If you are looking for old-town romantic, here is where to find it.

    See my travelogue pages for more photos of old Wolfenbüttel.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Church of Beatae Mariae Virginis

    by Kathrin_E Written Dec 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Church Beatae Mariae Virginis
    3 more images

    The main church of the town is Beatae Mariae Virginis, St Mary the Blessed Virgin, usually abbreviated B. M. V. The huge building dominates the wide market street of Kornmarkt and Reichsstraße.

    The church was begun in 1608 and could be finsished just before the 30 year war affected the region in the 1620s. Some repairs and changes were done in the late 17th century. The church is one of the most important examples of early protestant church architecture. The style mixes Italian renaissance ornaments with a late gothic, or better post-gothic structure.

    The church served both as parish church for the citizens of the town and court church and burial place of the Dukes of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. The magnificent interior is well preserved, including the galleries for the Dukes in the choir, altars and paintings and tombs.

    Nowadays B.M.V. is the main church of the protestant Church of Braunschweig.

    Opening hours: Weekdays 10-12 and 14-16
    At the moment (December 2008) access to the church is limited due to restoration works.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Lessing House

    by Kathrin_E Written Dec 28, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lessinghaus
    2 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Zeughaus - Arsenal

    by Kathrin_E Written Dec 31, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Zeughaus
    2 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Stadtmarkt - Market Square

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 4, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Stadtmarkt and town hall
    2 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Wolfenbüttel

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

67 travelers online now

Comments

Wolfenbüttel Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Wolfenbüttel things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Wolfenbüttel sightseeing.

View all Wolfenbüttel hotels