Sunday, October 28, 2007

Germany wrap up: Hildesheim and Celle

HILDESHEIM is a relatively big metropolis, bigger than Hameln, and situated to the north towards Hamburg. The city is a lively mix of modern and ancient architecture.

The pretty Hildesheim market square.

Popularly known for its university, the ‘Rose Route’, cathedral and Michaelis’ church recognized and now listed as one of UNESCO’s cultural heritages of mankind, and lastly but not the least, its impressive historical market square, the heart of Hildesheim where you can stand in awe and stare at the magnificent buildings for hours.

The market square just started to fill up with local tourists.

The market square has the most beautiful half-timbered buildings in Germany (they say) - humongous and grandiose buildings covered with conspicuous ornate designs and eye-catching paintings and sculptures protuberant from the façade in flamboyant colors. You can stare up at them and marvel at the details and the remarkable painstaking work artists have labored for each piece of art.

Lovely detailed artwork on a building.

And me goofing around, haha!

Above foto is a sample of the intricate details of one of the building façades – frieze artwork carved laboriously in wood and painted in a variety of colors up the building’s cornice. If you are an art lover or someone who simply appreciates these, you are in for a real feast.

On a nutshell, Hildesheim was a ‘okay’ - a 2.5 rating out of 5 score. It did not really match up to our expectations as compared to Hameln, Bad Pyrmont, and Celle. The market square was lovely though.

To check out my fotos of this place, go here: Hildesheim Fotos

CELLE on the other hand is a wonderful piece of town work! It breathes fairy tale land with 700 years of history.

Celle is sooo lovely! We fell in love with the place instantly - who would not? Just look at the foto, it was love at first sight.

The town has more than 500 cozy and richly colored half-timbered houses huddled with each other in the old Centrum, all dating back to the early 15th - 18th centuries. Buildings are preserved carefully to look like they how they were during the olden days. Many of these charming houses are now commercial establishments (on the ground floor), and upstairs are living quarters.

Here is a pretty building by the junction, appears to be an Oliver shop, the clothing store.

I am very thankful of the Dutch mother for recommending that we proceed to Celle from Hildesheim. She and Dutch father have not really been here but they have heard of many enthusiastic stories from friends who recently visited this beautiful place. Well, I am glad we did go to Celle!

What more, the striking Duke’s Castle built in early 13th century and is the oldest standing building in Celle is nestled right in the Centrum, just across the Bomann-Museum Celle.

The Ducal Palace foundation dates back to 1292. It went through rebuilding and several renovations in the later years.

The castle is a mix of renaissance and baroque style. Apart from its peaceful and beautiful nature garden surroundings, which is very ideal for visitors to stroll around and view the palace from a perspective point, Celle castle also houses a chapel and a theater, said to be the oldest in Europe that still serves the public regularly with outstanding theater performances.

Some of the architectural details of the buildings, windows and doorways in the Centrum.

Just a stone throw away from the Centrum is a forest garden park, which at this time of the year is now carpeted with yellow, brown, and red-orange leaves. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a quiet walk with nature, perhaps sit in one of the benches to pass away time and engage in some nostalgic reminiscing, or watch the fountains in the middle of the lake shoot up to the skies.

Fotos of Celle can be found here: Celle Fotos

The nature park is located adjacent to the Centrum. As you can see with the blue skies, and although it was cold, we only had beautiful weather.

We decided that Celle was a great place to end our short Deutsch weekend getaway. The city has an unperturbed atmosphere, very soothing to the spirit and where the celebration of culture and history, amazing architecture, and nature’s tranquility and beauty are combined. This is exactly what we needed for a wrap up before heading off back to the flatlands.

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