|Having spent Friday north of Hamburg, we
turned out attention to the south for Saturday. Celle is almost
directly south of Hamburg, near the Lüneberger Heide. Unlike much
of Germany, Celle escaped numerous wars (including WWII) without much damage, and as a
result there are hundreds of the original half-timbered buildings left,
along with a beautiful Stadtkirche and Schloss.
The present town of
Celle began in 1292, when Duke Otto der Strenge decided to move his home
down river from the original settlement. (For those interested in
history, Duke Otto was the great-grandson of Heinrich der Löwe, who laid
the fortification for the Lübeck Dom.) The first schloss was basically a
defensive tower overlooking the town. Later dukes chose the site
for their residence as well, and expanded the tower (into the present
palace). The last duke to live here was Georg Wilhelm (1624 -
1705), the father-in-law (and uncle) of Georg Ludwig, who was later
crowned King George I of England. The last royal to reside here
was Queen Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark (1751-1775), who was given
sanctuary here by her brother, King George III of England, after being
found guilty of adultery.
Our expedition to Celle began with geese. Actually, it began with a wrong turn, leading us to the train station. But the geese were much cuter.
Along the way to Celle....