Located not far from Braunschweig are two charming villages in the region : Wolfenbüttel (the fachwerkstadt) and Gifhorn (the Müllenstadt). We visited these two villages on two separate days and always came back to Braunschweig, which by then served as our basecamp.
We visited this village on two occasions : first with the camper; and the second time was with our bicycles. It was Thursday, June 30, 2016 when we first drove here with the camper; we parked at the big parking area by Seeliger Park. The reserved areas for campers were gone; instead, campers are advised to park at the new camperplace in the area for 12 euros per day, including facilities. Because we were planning to just make a short visit, we just parked in the mix parking and went on to explore the village. The second time that we visited the village was on a Sunday. We planned to go on Saturday being the market day but it was bad weather so we had to postpone our trip for a day. We biked about 30 kilometers (back and forth) from Braunschweig to Wolfenbüttel, following a very nice biking route.
Fachwerkstadt literally means City of Timber-Framed Houses. Wolfenbüttel is a very good example of such place. It is a very nice village, full of timber-framed houses, It is said that there are at least 600 framework buildings in this place; and what is remarkable is no two houses are the same. Each and every one of the houses is different qua style and color. It is not boring. It is very authentic.
Special Timber-Framed Houses
Walking around the village gave us a feeling that we were back in the early years. Except for some modern shops and establishments, the village oozes a nostalgic air. So medieval…so quiet…so authentic…so clean. I couldn’t help but be amazed at the houses; and kept on clicking on my camera. But I knew I was not so successful in capturing the beauty in my lens.
Impressions of town center
As we wandered around the village, we passed by some important landmarks like the Schloss Wolfenbuttel (Herzogliches schloss) which is now a museum; the Augusta Library , the Trinity Church, Little Venice, Lessings House , the Johanniskirche and the Jagermeister building. We even entered the village’s major religious building, the Haupt-oder Marienkirche. It is a very impressive Evangelican church, with very impressive orgel, pulpit and high altar.
Wolfenbuttel….a place where authenticity meets modernity….it is now one of our favourite places in Germany….
After staying a week in Braunschweig (wih 2-day Wolfenbuttel), we drove 33 kilometers to the nearby village of Gifhorn. We parked at the parking area reserved for campers. Fee is 5 euro per day. Water and electricity can be obtained for a small price. There is facility for chemical toilet and waste water. The centre is about 1.5 kilometer away.
Campsite : Konrad Adenauer Strasse
Coordinates : N: 52.48444 E: 10. 55400
Gifhorn is a Müllenstadt or a City of Mills. Gifhorn is famous for two attractions : the Open Air Windmill Museum and the Glocken Palast.
The Windmill Museum was founded in 1980 by Horst Wrobel. With an area of 150,000 square meters, the museum has 15 mills in their original sizes, ponds and lakes scattered all over the park. Entrance fee is 10 euro pp. We did not enter this museum as we have already seen so many windmills in Holland especially in Kinderdijk, and that was free!
Biking a little further, we arrived at the Glockenpalast. This building is situated beside the mill museum. It is a magnificent striking palace designed after the architectural style of an ancient Russian monastery. Striking are its goldplated copulas. Again, we did not enter this palace as the entrance fee is 10 euro pp. Too expensive for us. We just enjoyed biking around it and taking lots of pictures.
Hans and I also took some time to explore the village center. It was just a small cozy center with a number of shops and cafes. Worth mentioning are the market square where the old town hall , the St. Nicholas church and some old timbered houses are found.
Gifhorn…..a place to unwind for a day….
Our customary pictures together 🙂