Cities & Culture

Picturesque timber-framed town and talking lamp posts: Celle

Celle: Houses on ''Am Heiligen Kreuz'' in the old quarter of Celle ©DZT (Fischer - J. A.)

Situated on the banks of the River Aller with Lüneburg Heath on its doorstep, Celle boasts an enchanting Old Town with hundreds of timber-framed buildings and a palace uniting Renaissance and Baroque styles. Is it a town or a fairytale? This is the question you'll inevitably ask yourself as you walk through Celle.

The town church and Old Town Hall are among its oldest buildings and are set amid an abundance of timber-framed buildings spanning several centuries. Among them are the synagogue and Hoppener Haus. This impressive gabled house from 1532 stands six storeys high and is decorated with beautiful, coloured carvings. Opposite Hoppener Haus are two talking lamp posts, which recite facts, anecdotes, funny sayings and short sketches to puzzled passers-by. The ducal palace, Celle's most important landmark with grounds dating back to the 13th century, is also located in the town centre. It was converted into a Renaissance palace from 1530, while subsequent renovations gave the palace its Baroque style. Today, this magnificent building is home to the Palace Theatre and Residence Museum.

The Celle Art Museum is just as unique as the Old Town. Open 24 hours a day, the artwork takes on a whole new dimension at night. During the day, visitors can marvel at the paintings, prints, sculptures, light installations and objets d'art from the 20th century, among them many multiples by Joseph Beuys. At night, the glass-fronted foyer shines like a colourful crystal illuminated from within, as light and sound installations blur the boundaries between art and space, and between the building and its urban surroundings.

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