Visiting Celle, a picturesque town in Lower Saxony, Germany, is like entering a bedroom shared by two siblings with different aesthetics: one reminds us the medieval times, with their adorable timber-framed houses and a palace uniting Renaissance and Baroque styles, while the other has a more modern approach, influenced by the Bauhaus architecture and light art. Somehow, this blend works in a very harmonious way and makes the room (Celle) a one-of-a-kind place.
Half-Timbered Marvels: step back in time
Celle is famous for its beautifully preserved half-timbered houses, which are a testament to the town's rich historical heritage. These structures, with their distinctive wooden frames and colorful facades, line the streets, creating a fairytale-like ambiance. Take your time to stroll through the Old Town and admire over 400 half-timbered houses, each with its own story. Don't miss the Hoppener Haus, one of the most ornate and well-preserved examples.
Bring your camera, or if you have the drawing skills, a sketchbook to capture the unique architectural details that make these buildings so special.
To enhance your experience of going back in time, try Alter Provisor, located in a 17th-century pharmacy that has been turned into a gift shop. Try this super secret recipe that consists in a amber-colored herbal liqueur that has been running in the family for over a hundred years. Although it is hard to describe, the spicy herbal schnapps does taste of ginger, honey, cinnamon and most likely has other herbs.
Royal splendor: Celle Palace
Celle Palace, with its exquisite Baroque and Renaissance architecture, is a must-visit. It's not just a castle but also a cultural hub, housing the Celle Art Museum, the Celle Palace Theatre , and a chapel with a unique blend of Protestant and Catholic features.
Palace Tour: Explore the richly decorated state rooms and learn about the palace's history as a residence for the Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
Gardens and Grounds: The palace gardens are perfect for a leisurely walk, offering a serene escape with meticulously landscaped greenery.
Bauhaus in Celle: A Modern Contrast
While Celle is rooted in history, it also embraces modernity, notably through its connection to the Bauhaus movement.
Bauhaus Architecture Tour
Discover the Bauhaus influences in Celle's architecture. Notable examples include the Otto Haesler buildings, which showcase the clean, functional lines characteristic of this influential style. The buildings have a very modern look with bright splashes of red and blue that help highlight their cube-like shape.
Participate in workshops that delve into Bauhaus design principles, offering a hands-on experience in this revolutionary art and design style. You can explore that at the Otto Haesler Museum.
Art around the clock: The 24-Hour Art Museum
Celle's art scene is vibrant and accessible, with the unique concept of a 24-hour art museum, the Celle’s Museum of Art (Kunstmuseum). The museum features a range of contemporary art, from local artists including the collection of owner and founder, Robert Simon, to international names, ensuring there's something to pique everyone's interest.
At night you can experience art in a new light with a nighttime visit to this museum, where illuminated installations create an enchanting atmosphere.
Culinary Delights: From Fine Cuisine to Rustic Cafés
Celle's culinary landscape is as diverse as its cultural offerings. Treat yourself to a meal at one of Celle's exclusive restaurants, where chefs blend local ingredients with international flair to create exquisite dishes.
You can't leave Celle without trying the local dish: roulade!
Roulade traditionally consists of a meat slice rolled around a filling of herbs, spices, and vegetables, which is first seared in a pan and then slowly cooked through braising or roasting. However, Celle offers a unique twist on this dish by serving it raw.
In Celle's version, a generous slice of raw beef is filled with raw onions, gherkins, and mustard, then rolled and served fresh with a sprinkle of cracked black pepper on top. The beef's texture is unexpectedly soft, bearing a resemblance to the silkiness of smoked salmon.
For a more casual experience, visit one of the town's rustic cafés. Enjoy traditional German pastries or a hearty lunch in a cozy, relaxed setting.
Bonus places to see in Celle:
Explore the Bomann Museum
For a deep dive into the local history and culture, the Bomann Museum is the place to be. Its exhibits range from regional history to folklore and art. The museum also provides insights into the everyday life of people in Lower Saxony over the centuries.
The French Garden, located close to the castle, is a perfect spot for a leisurely walk or a picnic. This beautifully landscaped park features baroque gardens, a serene lake, and several sculptures. It's a great place to unwind and enjoy nature's beauty.
Enjoy a day at the Südheide Nature Park
Just a short drive from Celle, the Südheide Nature Park offers an escape into nature. Whether you're into hiking, cycling, or simply enjoying the great outdoors, this park has something for everyone. The heathlands, especially during the blooming season, are a sight to behold.
Conclusion: A Town of contrasts
Celle is a town where history meets modernity, tradition blends with innovation, and every corner holds a new discovery. Whether you're an architecture enthusiast, an art lover, a foodie, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, Celle awaits with open arms and a myriad of treasures to explore. So pack your bags, and let the enchanting town of Celle be your next adventure!