Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Celle, Hildesheim & Hameln - 23 May 2009

CelleAn early morning start is the best way to leave London on a Bank Holiday weekend so we were in Hanover before 10am.

CelleJust to the north of Hanover is Celle. This beautiful small provincial town escaped the bombing in the War, and we were able to wander around some of its 500 original 16th century houses.

Rebuilt Guildhalls at Hildesheim
From here we travelled to Hildesheim, a very different scenario in the war. Synagogue Memorial HildesheimThis beautiful town suffered substantial bombing in the last month of the war. In the last 20 years, an amazing rebuilding programme has restored it to it's former beauty. The town square is particularly amazing, with reconstructed guildhalls; faithful replicas of the original buildings. St Michael's HildesheimThe tourist office gave us a booklet for the town trail, called the Rose Walk, this is most worthwhile and we really enjoyed the walk which included two churches which are now UNESCO World Heritage listed.

The reason for the town trail being called the Rose Walk is because it takes you past a 1000 year-old rose bush. Building detail, HamelnThere is a legend about a lost prince hanging a relic on a rose bush and upon return finding the relic frozen to the bush even though it was the middle of summer; so he built a chapel there. No one knows when the current rose was planted, maybe 1000 years ago? Building detail, HamelnThe rose was saved during the WWII bombing by the church walls collapsing over the roots, thus protecting it from the flames. A few months later, it bloomed again and is still going strong.

Ratcatcher's House, HamelnDriving south, we arrived in Hameln; the destination that prompted this trip away from London. Arriving late in the afternoon is seemed that the Piper had piped all the tourists into the Wesser leaving the town for us to explore.

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