You can find many traces of the time of Otto IV. in the region of Braunschweig. We would like to introduce you to a few of them in the following paragraphs:
The Harzburg built by Henry IV. in the year 1065 is known as the oldest castle built on a hill (483 m) in Northern Europe. Being a residence as well as a collegiate church the Harzburg played a very special role in comparison to other castles built during that time. Emperor Otto IV. died in the Harzburg in the year 1218 and even mentioned one of the towers in his last will.
The castle plateau can be reached in three minutes by using the Burgbahn cablecar or by several hiking trails. There are regular guided tours on the historical Burgberg. Of course, you can also visit the castle ruin on your own which is free of charge.
Henry the Lion built Lichtenberger Castle and used it for a long time as a defensive fortification against the emperor, the Staufer Frederick I. (Barbarossa). After Henry's death, his son Otto IV. became the new lord of the castle. The castle was destroyed in the 16th century and today only the ruins can be visited. A visitor's platform gives you a magnificent view right to the foreland of the Harz Mountains.
During the 12th century the first monks settled near Braunschweig and founded the small monastery in Riddagshausen. The simple buildings were expanded into a magnificent minster with the help and support of Otto IV. This minster as well as the Cistercian museum that documents the history of the Cistercian monastic order can be visited in Riddagshausen.
The minster in Königslutter was endowed to the monks of the Benedictine cathedral by the emperor Lothar III., great grandfather of Otto IV., in the year 1135 and it is widely known as Kaiserdom. Elaborate work by an Italian stonemason made the Kaiserdom unique and very impressive. The Kaiserdom is the burial place of Lothar III. and his wife Richenza. The grandfather of Otto IV., the Bavarian Duke Henry the Proud, is also buried there.
Kaiserdom, Vor dem Kaiserdom 1, 38154 Königslutter
The Kaiserpfalz - an outstanding architectual monument from the 11th century - is located at the foot of the Rammelsberg south of the town of Goslar. The Rammelsburg shows an extensive exhibition covering the subject of 'The Wandering Empire' that can be visited daily.
Kaiserpfalz, Kaiserbleek 6, 38640 Goslar
The Asseburg in Wittmar was once known as one of the highest castles built on a hill in Northern Germany. It was built at the beginning of the 13th century by liegemen of Otto IV. and was used as the official residence of the dukes. In the year 1492 the Asseburg was set on fire at the end of a feud and destroyed.
The Cistercian Abbey Walkenried located in the Southern part of the Harz Mountains was donated in 1127. Otto IV. used the abbey in 1209 as a 'conference centre'. In the following years the Guelph supported the new building of the gothic abbey, the ruins of which can still be visited today. The exhibition in the historical rooms lets the Middle Ages and life in an abbey come back to life.
Castle Brome dates back to the year 1203 and is situated on the former boarder to East Germany in the southern heath area of Gifhorn. The main focus of the exhibition in this museum is to demonstrate old handicrafts. In 18 fully furnished and reconstructed workshops the visitor can experience the sometimes very difficult conditions under which the craftsmen had to work in the past.
The former Cistercian nunnery from the year 1346 holds works of art from the South-eastern part of the heath area. Particularly well worth seeing are two Gothic carved winged altars, the church with the nun’s chancel as well as the cloister with medieval furniture. Special highlights are the bracteates, antependiums as well as pearl embroideries made from river pearls and shells.
This exhibition in the Gothic brick building from 1436 is about the economic history of the monastery. The newly designed herb garden informs visitors about the history and possible use of the herbs in the kitchen and for medical purposes.
Address: Klosterstraße, 29386 Hankensbüttel