Cities & Culture

Wolfsburg: a young city in pursuit of modernism

Wolfsburg: Autostadt ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

In its short but eventful history, Wolfsburg has had many pioneering moments in terms of urban planning in the newly established Federal Republic of Germany. The city is a typical and successful example of planned urban development and its history is intrinsically linked with Volkswagen AG.

Wolfsburg is one of Germany's few new cities established in the first half of the 20th century and was conceived on the drawing board to a far greater extent than any other town or city nationwide. This means that the city has also made space for a series of extraordinary buildings, such as Hans Scharoun's theatre, the Art Museum and the phæno science centre designed by award-winning architect Zaha Hadid, who has created a one-of-a-kind work of breathtaking audacity here. Wolfsburg's other major attraction is the Autostadt, the automotive exhibition complex and centre of excellence opened by Volkswagen AG in a 25-hectare space of parkland and lakes.

The Art Museum in Wolfsburg opened in 1994 and has already held a large number of important exhibitions. The city's outlet stores are like an inner-city haven for bargain hunters. But to assume that Wolfsburg doesn't have anything 'old' would be wrong. Wolfsburg Castle is a 13th-century Renaissance edifice, Neuhaus Castle is a Medieval moated castle and Fallersleben Castle was completed in 1551. It's also nice to note that the old Fallersleben brewery is open on all but one day of the year. That gives you 364 opportunities to visit Wolfsburg and ponder the many fascinating sides to the city over a cold beer.

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