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Tour through the Magni district with Hugo, the night watchman
"People, hear and be told that the clock has chimed eight!" With this call and a signal of his horn, Hugo, the night watchman, greets his guests in front of the municipal museum (städtische Museum) at Löwenwall. During his 90-minute round tour through the old district, where you find most of the half-timbered buildings in the city, he will tell about his life and his responsibilities, the buildings, the church and the history of this large medieval city.
1000 steps through time - from modern times to the middle ages
The tour “1,000 steps through time – from modern times to the middle ages” leads you through the history of Braunschweig in a very entertaining way. Starting point of the tour is the “Residenzschloss” of the Guelphs (ducal palace). The quadriga, which is the largest in Europe, crowns the portico of the Ducal Palace. You can reach and visit it via the visitor’s platform.
From there the tour continues via the Bohlweg to the Rathaus (town hall). This neo-gothic building was constructed from 1894 to 1900 by the architect and former head of the municipal construction and building office, Ludwig Winter. The 61 metre high tower with 161 steps was built in the south-west corner of the building and modelled on designs from Flanders. The tour finishes on the medieval Burgplatz with St. Blasii Cathedral, Dankwarderode Castle – former residence of the Guelph Henry the Lion – and the lion statue that is the landmark of Braunschweig.
Historical city walk
Braunschweig was founded approximately 1000 years ago and roughly 850 years ago Henry the Lion expanded the city and made it his residence. Historical buildings from the Middle Ages right through to modern days bear testimony to the eventful and changing history of the city and highlight its cultural and economic importance.
This tour leads you from the Burgplatz (castle square) with Braunschweig’s landmark, the lion, Dankwarderode Castle and St. Blasii Cathedral to the city centre. You will reach the Altstadtmarkt with the Gewandhaus (cloth hall), the old town hall, the Martini Church and the Mariennen Fountain. This is an exciting walking tour through Braunschweig that shows the city from one of its best sides.
Wolfenbüttel – the residence of the duke of the Guelphs
The Guelphs left their indelible mark on the town of Wolfenbüttel. This mark can still be admired today. For many centuries (until 1754) it used to be the residence of the dukes of Brunswick und Lüneburg and as they appreciated culture and arts, it became a centre of intellectual life and fine arts. The dukes had the best architects and urban specialists of their time come to Wolfenbüttel so that the town became the first German Renaissance town built according to their plans.
Still today, the residence is a visible landmark of the Guelphs reign. In the middle of the town, there is a magnificent castle, which is the second largest in Lower Saxony.The wonderful façade of the castle and the only late Baroque state apartments in Lower Saxony, which are part of the museum of the castle and can still be visited, are a visible sign of the magnificence of the Guelphs court. Authentic examples of the dukes’ table and living culture can be found in the state apartments to this very day.
Other legacies from the Guelphs are the rests of the huge former ramparts, the world-famous Duke August's Library, the sophisticated waterway system of the Oker river, the mighty churches, the proud houses which belonged to the Dukes civil servants
The Dukes' splendour can still be admired because Wolfenbüttel did not suffer from the Wars. Enjoy the town while being guided through the historic centre of the town by one of our competent and amusing guides.
Duke Augusts´ Library
Normally, tourists and scientists from all over the world have on common aim in Wolfenbüttel: the world-famous Duke August's Library which used to be the biggest European collection of books. At the time of Duke August's reign, it was considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. Today people from all over the world admire all the wonderful old bibliophile treasures which are displayed in the library's museum.
Without any doubt, what makes visitors mainly come to "Bibliotheca Augusta" is Henry the Lion's gospel book which was purchased in London in 1983 for some 16 million euros. It is one of the most beautiful and precious manuscripts of the Middle Ages, which is to remain in Wolfenbüttel for ever.
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, one of the most important German poets, was certainly the librarys most famous director. He lived and worked in Wolfenbüttel from 1770 up to his death and wrote classical dramas like "Emilia Galotti" and "Nathan the Wise", which are known world-wide. His former dwelling-place, still called "Lessing's House", has been transformed into a museum of literature, in which can be studied the life and the work of this important inhabitant of Wolfenbüttel.
Among the castles in Lower Saxony, the one in Wolfenbüttel is a prominent one. It is not only the second largest of its kind, it also houses the only ducal apartments in Lower Saxony dating back to the High Baroque. This huge four-wing building used to be the Brunswick-Lüneburg dukes' residence for more than 320 years. The still existing magnificent façade and the prestigious apartments built between 1690 and 1740 are a proof of the riches of the ducal court. They are nowadays part of the museum in the castle. Apart from the ducal apartments with their authentic examples of classic domestic culture from the age of Absolutism, the museum exposes a great many remarkable objects of upper-class life of the past three centuries.
The museum also proposes special exhibitions and guided tours as well as pedagogical activities.
The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg was inaugurated in 1994 with a retrospective of the work of French modern artist Fernand Léger, and has already established an impressive history of groundbreaking exhibitions and special events. Within a short space of time, the museum has not only established its position within a regional context but has also gained a significant international reputation. The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg is dedicated to modern and contemporary art, and presents works in a wide variety of media, ranging from painting, sculpture and photography to video art, new media, fashion and design. Housed in a striking modernist building in the centre of the city of Wolfsburg, the Kunstmuseum presents temporary exhibitions as well as works from the permanent collection in an exhibition area totalling 3,500m².
The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg is a private museum sponsored by the non-profit art foundation Kunststiftung Volkswagen. It was financed by start-up funds from Volkswagen, the City of Wolfsburg and private donations. Building expenses, maintenance and operating costs are met by the Kunststiftung Volkswagen. The Kunststiftung is primarily financed by a foundation established by Asta and Christian Holler, the founders of Volkswagen-Versicherungsdienst (VVD). In recent years the Kunstmuseum has also received project-based funding from Volkswagen Financial Services AG.
The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg defines its role as providing as a forum for contemporary and modern art. Building a permanent collection and developing a focussed exhibition programme are fundamental aspects of the museum’s mission to inform and engage local, national and international audiences, with the aim of fostering an understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of modern art. The Kunstmuseum offers a communication platform for cultural exchange and incorporates other disciplines such as design, architecture, music, dance, literature and philosophy into its programmatic approach. Since 2006, the pioneering spirit that accompanied the museum’s foundation in 1994 has been reflected in the new thematic focus of its exhibition programme. Under the heading “The pursuit of modernism in the 21st century”, this programming concept sets out to explore how the artistic principles of modernism manifest themselves in the present, and to display these in a visually and intellectually stimulating form. It aims to strengthen the museum’s distinctive conceptual profile, among other things by incorporating the unique qualities that characterize Wolfsburg as a new town.
The museum building was designed by the Hamburg-based architects Schweger & Partner as an open and transparent urban loggia with a large-span glass roof. The large central hall with its floor area of 1,600m² and height of 16m is flanked on three sides by additional exhibition spaces and supplemented by a separate two-story gallery. The impact of the exhibitions shown is enhanced by the flexible wall system in the large exhibition space, which allows us to develop an individual architectural solution for each respective display. In 2007, the Japan Garden – conceived by architect Kazuhisa Kawamura as a place of silent contemplation for all visitors to the museum – was installed in an inner courtyard of the building.
Directors:Founding director: Prof. Gijs van Tuyl Incumbent director: Prof. Dr. Markus Brüderlin (since 2006) Managing director: Henning Schaper
Around 110 exhibitions on modern and contemporary art have been shown at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg since it opened in 1994. Major showcase exhibitions from the realm of classical modernism, featuring artists such as Fernand Léger or Bart van der Leck, were followed by highly regarded survey exhibitions such as “Full House”, “German Open”, “The Italian Metamorphosis” and “Blast to Freeze”, while monographic exhibitions by the likes of Carl Andre, Andy Warhol, Luc Tuymans and Olafur Eliasson have completed the programme. With the appointment of the new director in 2006 the programme became increasingly thematic in focus; since then, the theme of modernism in the 21st century has been examined from a variety of perspectives in large-scale historical and thematic exhibitions (“ArchiSculpture”, “Japan and the West”, “Interieur/Exterieur”) as well as in comprehensive solo exhibitions featuring the work of artists such as Douglas Gordon, Neo Rauch, Philip Taaffe, James Turrell and Alberto Giacometti.
Exhibitions in recent years (selection):
Douglas Gordon. Between Darkness and Light. Works 1993 – 2004 (2007) ArchiSculpture. Dialogues between Architecture and Sculpture from the 18th Century to the Present Day (2006) Neo Rauch. New Roles. Paintings from 1993 to the Present Day (2006/2007) Japan and the West. Fulfilled Emptiness (2007/2008) Philip Taaffe. The Life of Forms (2008) Interieur/Exterieur – Living in Art. From Romantic Interior Painting to the Home Design of the Future (2008/2009) James Turrell. The Wolfsburg Project (2009/2010) Alberto Giacometti. The Origin of Space - Retrospective of the mature work (2010/2011)
The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg has been building a collection of international contemporary art since 1994. The foundation of this collection was laid with the acquisition of key works of late modernism, including Minimal art, conceptual art and Arte Povera, which have subsequently been augmented by younger artistic positions. From the outset, the aim was to build a collection with a distinct profile rather than a broad-based, art-historical one. The emphasis is on key pieces, groups of works and significant work periods as well as the representative presentation of major developments within art. The collection does not document artistic currents; instead it concentrates on individual positions and works that reflect important aspects of contemporary art.
Artists in the collection (selection):
Carl Andre, Christian Boltanski, Douglas Gordon, Andreas Gursky, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Merz, Mario Merz, Bruce Nauman, Neo Rauch, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall
The Friends Association and ArtClub:
Around 500 friends and patrons currently support the Kunstmuseum in all its varied activities. Chair of the Friends Association: Susanne von Lüneburg
Voets Car-Ralley through the Harz Mountains
You want to get a feeling of what it is like to drive several different Volkswagen or Audi cars on a single day like for example a GTI, A 5, Q 5 Golf oder even a Porsche? The Voets-Rallye will give you this opportunity.