your royal tour of germany
Brunswick is a city that uniquely embodies the legacy of the Royal House of Hanover. The bronze lion is the symbol of the Lion City of Brunswick and evokes the great Hanoverian Duke Henry the Lion.
Explore the Baroque Richmond Palace, which was built for Princess Augusta of Great Britain, to remind her of her home in England.
Wander through the history of great battles and rebellions against the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and experience the amazing architectural legacy of the Hanoverian Duke.
The bronze lion doesn’t just guard Dankwarderode Castle in Brunswick, you will also find it in front of the cathedrals at Lübeck, Ratzeburg and Schwerin and in front of the Imperial Palace in Goslar. Brought from the south to northern Germany, this heraldic animal of the Hanoverian Duke Henry, the Lion grew into a symbol of his power in the twelfth century. His greatest rival was the Hohenstaufen ruler Frederick Barbarossa, who became Holy Roman Emperor of Germany in 1155. At the zenith of his power, Henry the Lion attempted a rebellion against Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, with severe consequences: in 1182, Henry the Lion was banished. He went into exile in England, seeking the protection of his father-in-law, King Henry II of England. In 1168 he established ties to the British crown through his marriage to the king’s daughter Matilda, sister of Richard the Lionheart.
As the residential city of the Hanoverian Duke Henry the Lion and subsequent imperial city under Otto IV, Brunswick in the Middle Ages was one of the most important German commercial centres in central Europe. The impressive buildings and historic squares dotting the cityscape today serve as reminders of a vibrant history spanning over a thousand years. The spirit of the Hanoverian rulers can still be felt in the Lion City. The Oker River winds around the city centre, providing an oasis of calm in the midst of big-city bustle.
As you retrace the footsteps of the Hanoverian rulers and Henry the Lion, be sure not to miss the Cathedral of St. Blasius: it houses the grave of the Duke and his wife Matilda. The tomb of Otto IV, Henry the Lion's son and a German emperor and king, is also located in the cathedral.
The residential palace of the Royal House of Hanover is located in the heart of the city. Following its destruction in the Second World War, the façade was completely rebuilt using elements from the original structure. The Castle Museum housed here displays the eventful history of this Guelph Residential Palace. Entrance fees are as follows: Adults €3 including an audio guide, free entry for children/teenagers up to 15 years of age. Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (closed on Mondays).
Just a few metres away is the statue of the lion, the city's emblem. Just outside of the city gates lies Richmond Palace, which is considered an outstanding example of late Baroque architecture. The castle was built on a stunning site above the Oker River by the English Princess Augusta (1737-1813). It is surrounded by a classic English style garden.
Do picturesque parks, amazing museums and a historic city centre with great shopping appeal to you? You can find more info about Brunswick here.