1st DAY / MORNING: You will visit the former Benedictine Abbey Church of St. Peter and Paul which dates back to the 12th century. The Kaiserdom (imperial cathedral) was a donation from Kaiser (Emperor) Lothar III, who ruled from 1125 to 1137, and is, at the same time, his burial ground. The impressive architecture, the outstanding sculpture, especially in the cloister and on the apse, but also the sumptuously-coloured 19th century paintings are impressively beautiful. The neighbouring cathedral and stone masonry museum provides information on the construction history of the cathedral from a stonemason’s perspective. Be sure not to miss seeing one of the oldest and largest trees in Germany, the “Kaiser-Lothar-Linde” (Emperor Lothar lime tree). Directly behind the Kaiserdom there is the Berggarten: a small, idyllic park with watercourses, waterfalls and ponds.
LUNCH: One of the numerous cafés or restaurants in the city would be ideal for your lunch-break.
AFTERNOON: From Königslutter, you head east for a few kilometres to Süpplingenburg to visit the St. Johannis Church, founded by Lothar III as part of his (no longer existing) ancestral palace. Afterwards, you continue on to Lappwald to the former Cistercian Monastery of Mariental (12th century). The destination of your afternoon excursion is the district and university town of Helmstedt with its important buildings from the Romanesque period, including the former Benedictine Monastery of St. Ludgerus (double chapel, Felicitas crypt) and the former Augustinian Abbey of St. Marienberg.
EVENING: In the evening, you can stroll through Helmstedt’s old town. In the pedestrian zone, you will find a variety of restaurants and other eateries.
OUR RECOMMENDATION: The buildings and sights named here can also be explored by bicycle. A signposted 35 km-long route, entitled the “Route of the Romanesque”, leads from Königslutter to Helmstedt.
2nd DAY / MORNING: After breakfast, you head to nearby Braunschweig. Your first destination is the Monastery Church of Riddagshausen (best reached via exit 31, Sickte, from the motorway A39), which is embedded in an idyllic landscape. A visit to the monastery garden is well worth it, as is a walk around the monastery’s former ponds (Europareservat Riddagshäuser Teiche).
LUNCH: Take a break before you start to follow in the tracks of Heinrich der Löwe (Henry the Lion). There is a large selection of cafés and restaurants in the pedestrian zone, and in themany side streets.
AFTERNOON: The Burgplatz (castle square) is of great historical and cultural importance. In the 12th century, it was the centre of the Welf Dynasty. The ‘Braunschweiger Löwe’ (Braunschweig Lion) – one of the earliest freestanding monuments of the Middle Ages – stands high on a plinth. Dankwarderode Castle (today’s reconstruction dates from the 19th century) was the residence of Duke Heinrich der Löwe (Henry the Lion). The Cathedral of St. Blasii hosts his tomb. The Romanesque basilica was founded in 1173 and houses many important art treasures, such as the seven-armed chandelier, the frescoes and the tombstone of Duke Henry the Lion and his wife Matilda of England. After the visit to the cathedral, the pedestrian zone invites you to enjoy an extensive stroll through the city. Alternatively, you can find out more about other sights in the tourist information office (Kleine Burg 14).
EVENING: You could complete your day with a visit to the theatre or cinema, or enjoy the city from the water – a raft trip on the Oker river is an unforgettable experience!