Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Half-Timbered CELLE

Last but definitely not least, here's Celle, a charming city of 230,000 just 35km NE of Hannover. Not one to waste a free Europass day (#11), I knew I'd have to travel by yesterday's expiration date or never. I had planned to go to Magdeburg, further east and much larger, but was convinced by a gentleman in Lübeck last weekend to visit Celle instead. Besides, Donica had been there in the past for work and totally agreed. I spent 6 sunny-rainy hours there.

In the same way Lübeck is known for its façade (Gothic brick architecture), Celle, founded in 1292, is known for its half-timbered (tudor) houses--500 of them--from the 16th and 18th centuries. The oldest is dated 1526, in a Gothic step-shaped frieze (in my house photos). You have no idea how hard it was to whittle my lot down to seeable size! I would have taken pictures of all 500 houses, of course, but knew better.

From the Town Church (below), founded in 1308 as St. Mary's, and Lutheran since 1525, I climbed the 234 steps to the tower for the roof-top city views. Ah, what a sight and definitely worth every step!

The prerequiste Town Hall was there, of course (below left), in a Renaissance façade from the 14th century. The castle (again, from the church tower) was originally built in 1292 and was then erected as a palace in Renaissance and Italian baroque style from 1378-1705. For those with inquiring minds!

Both coming in and going out of the Old Town from the train station, I walked through a wonderful little park that shouted out to me, one last time before bidding auf wiedersehen to Germany, to notice God. Remember from The Color Purple how it really pisses God off if you walk by the color purple and don't notice?!

When I walked to the tram from Hannover's Hauptbahnhof (train station) on my way home, my eyes actually welled up with tears. Tomorrow I make my way back to America, my home, but I realized I really have grown accustomed to Germany's face. She has become my second home and I'll miss her...till we meet again.

2 comments:

  1. I am so happy you were able to experience Celle. I only regret that I was not able to share it with you! But, it was work that brought me to Germany (and you with me) and it was work on this day that kept me away.

    Interesting that you call Hannover your second home.....all of this week when I was in Amsterdam, I said I was going home to Germany on Friday! Some people didn't notice the comment, but my German friends were very happy to find I was calling Hannover home.

    Now I am here without you for another week plus, and it is not totally the same. I can feel you here and see us in the apartment, but it doesn't feel the same as when you are here. Hopefully, we will both be back here 'together' in the coming months.

    THANKS FOR LEARNING GERMANY WITH ME!!

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  2. Well, if "home is where the heart is," I'm guessing anywhere you are for any length of time (like Germany) will definitely be my second home, whether I'm with you or not. But how much better to be with you! A gazillion thanks for making that possible.

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