In the City of Henry the Lion, one meets witnesses to its thousand-year history everywhere. Historic buildings, authentic ensembles and inviting squares all tell their stories of the development of Braunschweig from the middle ages to the present day. Take a walk through the streets and discover the attractions the Lion City has to offer.
The Braunschweig Lion stands on the Burgplatz square. It was erected by Henry the Lion about 1166 as a landmark of the city. The square is encircled by the St. Blasii Cathedral; the castle, Burg Dankwarderode; and the Vieweghaus, which accommodates Braunschweig’s Landesmuseum.
Built by Henry the Lion between 1173 and 1195, its crypt and other treasures from the Romanesque period, Imervard cross, seven-armed candelabrum and the Altar of Our Lady are all sights worth seeing.
Location: Burgplatz, daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (the Cathedral is closed between 1pm and 3pm from the beginning of January to the middle of March)
Henry the Lion had his original castle built as his residence in the 12th century and today’s castle still stands on the original plot. A selection of the Guelphs’ treasures are on display in the “Knappensaal” hall on the ground floor. The splendid “Rittersaal” hall provides a very special backdrop for cultural events.
Location: Burgplatz, Opening times: Tue. to Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.p>
Ducal Palace and Quadriga
The Ducal Palace, an imposing 19th century building, was badly damaged in World War II and was then completely demolished in 1960. Between 2005 and 2007 the building was reconstructed using many of its original elements. The middle section is crowned by the quadriga The Quadriga is the largest in Europe with one charioteer; in this case, the city goddess Brunonia. The Ducal Palace accommodates the city library and archives, the city’s cultural institute and the Schlossmuseum.
This square was built in the 12th century and was the venue for the main and annual markets, for fairs and executions and for medieval tournaments, parades and processions. Even today, the St. Martini-Church, the Gewandhaus and the Altstadtrathaus town hall offer one of the most remarkable Gothic architecture ensembles in the city. The historic trade reference measurement - the “Braunschweiger Elle” - is embedded in one of the walls and the entire scene forms a unique backdrop for the traditional weekly farmers’ market.
Townhall / Platz der Deutschen Einheit
This has long been the home of the city administration and was originally built by the City Building Councillor Ludwig Winter. The tower of the Rathaus (the town hall) is 61 metres high, has 161 steps and offers a wonderful view across the city rooftops.
Location: Platz der Deutschen Einheit
The Magni Area is among the oldest quarters in the city. With its many timber-framed houses, it exhibits its own rustic charm. In stark contrast to this is the colourful “Happy RIZZI House”, designed by the New York artist James Rizzi.
In the south of Braunschweig, in Wolfenbütteler Straße, there is a historical gem: Richmond Palace and its grounds, the former retreat of the Duchess Augusta (1737/1780-1813). The charming ensemble of buildings comprises a summer palace and adjacent buildings surrounded by an English landscaped park.
Location: Wolfenbütteler Straße
The Oker Island
The surrounding Oker river with the sites of the old city walls give Braunschweig an unmistakeable character. They form a border between the historic city (today’s city centre) and the extensions to the city which came into being in the 19th and 20th centuries. The fact that the Oker can be navigated from here to the North Sea made Braunschweig a key centre in long-distance trading right from an early stage. This also resulted in Braunschweig becoming a member of the Hanseatic League. Today, the Oker offers leisure and relaxation on the water and an attractive scene for some of the city’s most beautiful apartments and houses. The boat jetties can be a great starting point for a stroll through the city centre. Detailed information on all Oker boat trips can be obtained from Touristinfo.
With the Cistercian monastery church, the manor and the nature reserve, this green part of the city invites you to stay for a while.
Klosterkirche sightseeing times: Tue. to Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun. 12 noon to 4 p.m.