The Liberei in Braunschweig

The Liberei in Braunschweig –

a medieval library ahead of its time

The Liberei in Braunschweig

Braunschweig in approx. 1550 (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

The Liberei in Braunschweig is a unique medieval building:  1. It was the first free-standing library building in Europe north of the Alps.  2. It was the southern-most example of Backsteingotik. 3. It was one of the first public libraries in Germany.  4. It was a famous centre for research.  Quite remarkable for a building of just 5 by 5 metres. Continue reading

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The Gewandhaus in Braunschweig

Braunschweig Now and Then:

The Gewandhaus in

Braunschweig’s Altstadt

The Gewandhaus in Braunschweig

Eastern facade of the Gewandhaus

One of the present-day tourist attractions of Braunschweig is the Altstadtmarkt with its historic buildings:  the Altstadtrathaus (town hall), St Martin’s Church, the Altstadtbrunnen (fountain) and the Gewandhaus.  Altstadt (old town) refers to one of the five medieval parts of Braunschweig, the others being the Neustadt (new town), Hagen, Altewiek and Sack.  Each had its own market, church and town hall.  The two most important parts, Altstadt and Hagen, also had their own Gewandhaus (cloth merchants’ hall).  Only the one in the Altstadt has survived, so this is the one which is referred to as the Gewandhaus today. Continue reading

Eulenspiegel Fountain, Braunschweig

The Eulenspiegel Fountain in Braunschweig

Braunschweig, in Lower Saxony, Germany, is a city rich in history.  This became clear to me, when I recently had the opportunity to revisit the city where I was born.  We moved away when I was seven, long before its history held much interest to me.  Seeing it again, brought back to me the stories my grandfather used to tell me.  He was a wonderful story-teller.  His range covered stories by others (sometimes embellished to make them more attractive for his little granddaughter), and above all stories he made up on the spot, linking them to the buildings or monuments around us.

I would like to share with you a monument to one of the heroes of the stories he told me:  Till Eulenspiegel. It’s not very often that you get a chance to touch one of the heroes of the stories of your childhood.  However, this was what I able to do when I saw the Eulenspiegel for the first time, at the age of four or five.  Needless to say, I went back to say “hello” to Till now.

Eulenspiegel Fountain Braunschweig

Eulenspiegel Fountain in Braunschweig

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