your royal tour of germany
Come - immerse yourself in a bygone era and visit the backdrops against which royal love dramas once played out in Celle and its environs, including Lauenau Castle and Ahlden Castle.
Experience at first hand the homes of kings and queens and dukes and princesses in a city that still boasts plenty of English connections and also holds fascination for horse lovers.
What began as the happy marriage of Elector George Lewis of Hanover, later George I of England, and Princess Sophie Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg, would eventually break down as the result of a secret love affair in 1694, with tragic consequences. Although the future King George I himself had a lover, he placed his wife Sophie Dorothea under arrest and had her lover, the Count of Königsmarck, tragically killed. Initially, Sophie Dorothea was forced to live in Lauenau Castle near Celle, but was eventually banished to Ahlden Castle after their divorce. She would live there, separated from her children and their father, for 32 years until her death in 1732. Follow in the footsteps of the princess - and don’t miss her grave in the royal crypt of St. Mary's Church in Celle.
Caroline Mathilde of Hanover, daughter of the Prince of Wales, Frederick Lewis of Hanover and great granddaughter of Sophie Dorothea, was married to the insane Danish-Norwegian King Christian VII on 8 November 1766 at the age of 15 and was the Queen of Denmark and Norway for six years. In the spring of 1770, she embarked on a love affair with the court physician, Johann Friedrich Struensee, to which the king remained indifferent. On the heels of an intrigue by other noblemen, in 1772 the royal couple divorced without any testimony from Caroline Matilda, after which she was separated from her children and banished to Celle, where she lived in the castle. She succumbed to scarlet fever in 1775, and is buried next to her great-grandmother, Sophie Dorothea, in the royal crypt of St. Mary's church.
Experience lively courtly history in one of Germany's finest Hanoverian castles – the Residential Castle of Celle, which served as the residence of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg and is now a museum. If walls could talk, Celle Castle would certainly have plenty to say about its time as the baroque home of the Hanoverian kings, or about the nineteenth century, when it served as their summer residence. Ornate stucco ceilings by Italian masters in the Baroque state rooms and many other impressive castle chambers reveal the aspirations of the rulers from the Celle line, which once gave rise to the kings of Great Britain and Prussia. Meet them face to face in the Royal Hall through paintings from the time of the personal union.
Love horses? You’ll particularly enjoy yourself at the Celle State Stud Farm, where you’ll have the opportunity to admire fine stallions cross-bred with English thoroughbreds. Another highlight and not only for art enthusiasts, is the 24-hour art museum: take in some modern and contemporary art from the collection of Robert Simon, day or night.
Fancy investigating the love dramas that played out around Celle? Have a look here.
Celle Tourismus und Marketing GmbH
Tel: +49 5141 1212
Fax: +49 5141 12459