Why are excursions good for students
Time travel to Celle: sights and tips
Saturday, 6:30 a.m. My alarm is ringing. Today is not just any Saturday. Today we're going to Celle. So I drag myself out of bed with difficulty. There is not even enough time for my beloved morning coffee. Even the 5-person bus, supposedly Europe's busiest bus route, only runs every 20 minutes at this time. But getting up early is worth it. In this article I'll take you on our day trip to Celle. In addition to typical sights, there are tips for great shops and delicious coffee and cake. Here we go.
Have you ever been to Celle? Not me and until recently I didn't associate anything special with the small town on the edge of the Lüneburg Heath. Until now. Then my friend Vicky somehow put the flea in my ear. And suddenly I really wanted to get to know Celle. So we planned a day trip with Alexia and Martina to the twelfth largest city in Lower Saxony. We chose a Saturday when the shops are open.
Celle is 120 km from Hamburg. We decide on an early, fast train, get on with coffee mugs, sink into the soft armchairs and are spat out again after a good hour at Celle train station. It's noticeably colder here than in Hamburg. The day is gray. The sky was overcast. But can still be.
(Art -?) Work in the Triftanlage in Celle
University or prison?
From the train station it takes about 20 minutes to walk to the old town. We walk through the Triftanlage, past the prison and through the palace gardens. The prison was originally a penitentiary. The legend says that at that time the people of Celle were given the choice of whether they would rather have a university or a penitentiary. To protect the innocence of their daughters (the cheeky students!), They opted for the latter 🙂
Celle's attraction no. 1: half-timbered houses
When you arrive in the small old town, you first have to stroll through the cobblestone streets with their 500 half-timbered houses. The houses have been restored and are in a surprisingly good condition.
The small historical streets of the old town are often completely preserved.
On the square in front of the old town hall is currently market. There are five small, parallel streets that all run towards the castle. Two cross streets invite you to turn. Even if the old town is very manageable, we walk around there for a while until we have seen everything.
In a bag shop we waste time so that shortly before 11 a.m. we more or less sprint back to the square so as not to miss the famous Celle carillon, one of Celle's top sights. It is located on the west facade of a commercial building (Zöllnerstrasse / corner Poststrasse, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.).
Martina is the first to recognize the melody: The thoughts are free. That stays with me as a catchy tune all day. Many thanks too (# irritated). The glockenspiel actually includes a series of figures representing well-known Celle personalities. Unfortunately we don't see the figures today. Too cold?
#stitching shops 1: ceramics workshop
As we continue to stroll through the city, we stumble into a small ceramic shop. The shop is located in the old Ratsbadestube, but nothing can be seen of it. In the meantime the sun has even come out and floods the little shop with its rays.
A young ceramist is sitting in the middle of the shop and decorating floating stones with blue frogs. She is still in training. It takes three years. It is quite new in Celle.
Every piece in the → Ceramic workshop is unique. Everything is dishwasher safe. We immediately fall in love with the little shop. Vicky buys an egg cup with a floral pattern, Martina a simple vase for daffodils.
Celle sight: town church
Back on the square we meet Alexia, who arrived on a later train. With her we go to the Evangelical Lutheran St. Mary's Church, also known as the city church.
The building, inconspicuous from the outside, is splendidly decorated inside in the baroque style. The Italian baroque artist Tornielli designed it with costly stucco work. There is a huge, baroque organ and gallery. The royal crypt should also be worth seeing, but we are more drawn to the top.
Celle from above
So we climb the 74.5 m high bell tower of the city church for 1 euro. The tower is always open when the weather permits, even if a notice at the church and the tourist information say something else. After what feels like hundreds of steps (actually there are 234) we come out of a submarine-like, round metal box onto the viewing platform.
There's a rough wind up here. Unfortunately, the view is clouded by the fact that everything is barred. Right up in the grille there is an opening through which the lens of my camera just fits.
We enjoy the 360 ° view and then descend again. Just as we are at the level of the bells, one of the big bells strikes 1 o'clock with a bloodcurdling. Lunch time.
After the bell tower, we are all so frozen that it is time for a first stop. We choose a traditional restaurant: the Celler Ratskeller in the old town hall. It's a bit of a shame to disappear into the darkness of the cellar now that the sun has only just come out. But it's still too cold to sit outside anyway. There is no raw roulade, a Celle specialty, here. Although none of us would have tried it anyway ...
We all order home-style meals, followed by an espresso after dinner. Warmed up and strengthened, it goes back to the old town of Celle.
#dite shops 2: Huths Kaffee & Feinkost
While strolling through the small old town, we make the second discovery of the day: → Huths Coffee & Delicatessen. The quaint shop is in a beautifully decorated old half-timbered house and has a classic shop window display. When we enter the shop we are catapulted into a bygone era. Suddenly we are in an old grocer, as it may have looked when it opened in 1851. The walls are covered over and over with lacquered wooden shelves. To the left and right are huge counters with various displays of delicatessen items.
There is coffee and tea in the back. You can buy 20 types of coffee, freshly made every day, at Huths. I even find one from → Ethiopia. Vicky buys coffee → Peruwhere she visited us on the world tour.
A paradise for coffee lovers! There are also 100 types of tea, nicely wrapped chocolates, biscuits and so on.
We can't get enough of all the little delicacies. Ratzeputz, the high-proof herbal liqueur from Celle, is of course also available from Huths. While we are browsing, we completely lose sight of the time. We have to hurry so as not to be late for the castle tour.
Just in time when we rush to Celle Castle, it starts to drizzle uncomfortably. Gray clouds gather in the sky. We don't care. We spend the next hour inside.
The → Castle tour costs 9 euros per person. Ingrid Veits leads us through the rooms of the castle. She is very charming and, with her 1.55 m, a petite person. Before we can enter the apartments, we have to slip into gray felt slippers.
Shuffling and sliding over the smooth parquet we follow Mrs. Veits. It leads us through the early baroque state apartments of Georg Wilhelm and Eléonore d’Olbreuse, the last Guelph duke couple to reside here. Her stories about the intrigues and circumstances of the former rulers are entertaining. The walls of the rooms are covered with silk, and splendid chandeliers hang from the ceilings. Vicky can't stop taking photos of all the chandeliers. Precious furniture and portraits of the former residents complete the rooms. Two men from the group are so impressed by the portraits of some noble women that they can be photographed with them.
The baroque palace theater is definitely a highlight of the tour. Founded in 1674, it is the oldest theater in Germany that is still in use and the oldest baroque theater in Europe. Why the 300 public seats were covered with blue (instead of the usual red) velvet during the last renovation is also a mystery to Ingrid Veits.
The baroque theater in Celle Castle
Celle #culinary: cake in the museum café
After these deep insights into the history of Celle, we venture out into the drizzle again. Fortunately, the way to our next destination is short. The → Café Baxmann in the museum café.
As a precaution, we reserved a table there. Baxmann is a pastry and chocolate shop with a café. The cakes, pies and pastries are all homemade. As we arrive shortly before closing time, the cake showcase is a bit looted, but we can all find a piece.
We can look out over the square from our table. The market has long since been dismantled. Instead, the sad, wet, shiny cobblestones can now be seen in the dreary afternoon gray.
International light art
After eating cake, we pass the time in the last still open shops with the perfume tasting. It's still raining outside and it's slowly getting dark. Tired of walking around and all the new impressions, we decide to take the bus back to the train station (included in our train tickets). The bus stop is right between the castle and the old town, so we can take a few more photos in the dark.
The art museum in Celle is now also illuminated. It is a modern glass cube that stands out like a foreign body between the historical buildings. It is called international light art when the cube lights up alternately in all possible colors in the darkness.
Then our bus arrives, we jump in, drive the three stations to the train station and get on the train that takes us back home. The train is quite full and we all indulge our impressions. It was a beautiful day in little Celle on the edge of the Lüneburg Heath. A little journey through time to half-timbered architecture, ceramics, a grocery store, a castle and homemade cakes. We think: The city receives far too little attention and is definitely worth visiting for a day or a weekend.
City Guide: We can recommend the free → City Guide Celle. There you will find a lot of information about the main attractions, opening times and city maps. The City Guide is available directly at the train station or in the tourist information.
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