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Braunschweig Travel Guide

Brunswick Palace, Braunschweig (© fotobeam.de - Fotolia.com)
Brunswick Palace, Braunschweig.

Introduction

Braunschweig (or Brunswick in English) is a pleasant, if a bit hotchpotch, historic city that played an important role in medieval Germany. Its ducal palace, entirely rebuilt and rehabilitated as a shopping centre in 2007, is the largest neoclassical palace in Germany.

History

Braunschweig emerged in the 12th century as the capital of Saxony, under the rule of Henry the Lion. In the struggle opposing him to Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, Henry lost his titles as Duke of Saxony and Duke of Bavaria and was sent into exile. In 1235, as part of the reconciliation between the Hohenstaufen and Welf families, Henry's grandson, Otto the Child, was made a vassal of the emperor and conferred the new title of Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The towns of Lüneburg and Brunswick remained in the overall possession of the House of Welf until 1512 and 1671 respectively.

Attractions

Concentrated on Burgplatz (Castle Square) are the Romanesque St. Blasius' Cathedral, the Burg Dankwarderode (a 19th-century reconstruction of the old castle of Henry the Lion), and the Neo-Gothic Town Hall.

The city has two outstanding museums, the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum and the State Museum of Brunswick.

The Neoclassical Brunswick Palace, the former ducal residence, sustained heavy damage in WWII and was demolished in 1960, before being completely rebuilt as a a large shopping centre, inaugurated in May 2007.

Town hall, Braunschweig (© Frank - Fotolia.com)
Town hall, Braunschweig.

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