Derneburg, located in Municipality of Holle, State of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)
- DAY TRIP MAY 2021
What's your activity of choice, when you have a drizzly-cloudy spring afternoon (in north Germany they are abundant- so much so, that I describe the normal weather here as 'fifty shades of grey' ;)) and a longing to make the best of it?
A long walk or hike, though counterintuitive on days devoid of sunshine, may turn out to be a very good idea specially at the following destination..
This circular hiking trail that links about 9 stops on a 2.5 km stretch was designed by the Architect Laves, in the beginning of the 19th century. The Count of Münster (the new owner of the Palace of Derneburg in 1814) bestowed him with the responsibility of restoring the Palace of Derneburg and it's surroundings.
This idyllic trail reminded me of the English Countryside and I couldn't help feeling nostalgic of the Indian Monsoon amongst the vibrant greens that surrounded us.
Approachable by car, Derneburg is very close to the city of Braunschweig, where I live: about a 30 minutes of a drive. If you do end up finding a way to reach there by public transport, please do write in the comments below :) it would be utmost helpful for fellow readers and travellers.
For a map of the circular trail please click the following Link: https://www.derneburg.de/laves-kulturpfad/karte
Lets start chronologically on our walk...
Bootshaus (Boat-House) and Ponds
Fischer Häuser (Homes of the Fishermen)
The Count of Münster had employed fishermen to take care of the fish ponds. He constructed these homes specially for their families. Due to their singular architecture, these residences were referred to as 'English Houses' by the locals.
Mausoleum: The Pyramid
The count of Münster passed away in 1839. His grave, that of his wife and his daughters are located in the pyramid. Whereas, those of the successors are placed around the 11 meter high Egyptian structure.
This Doric Temple was one of the first projects in Landscaping. It is popularly known as the 'tea temple', as aforetime, the temple was equipped with a fireplace and utilized for an English Tea-Ceremony. The Count of Münster received his guests here and to present his gardens to them.
Along the Forest Trail
Palace of Derneburg
Till 1130, the palace was the home of the Count Hermann of Winzenburg. He was stripped of his power and possessions, after he committed murder. The Palace was handed over to the Bishop of Hildesheim in 1143. After a long history in the custody of the church, it was plundered by the Prussians in 1803, followed by the French troops. After which the Palace which was by then in shambles, was taken over by its new owner: the Count of Münster in 1814. He employed the architect Laves for restoring of his newly acquired property, with a wish to conserve its precedent baroque monastery construction. Two thirds of the palace, were later torn down by his son Georg Herbert and the remainder restyled by Laves as a romantic castle- this is how the Palace is found today. The current owner of which is the American Art collector Andrew Hall, since year 2006.
The palace has been open to visitors in the form of an Art Gallery since 2017.
Das Kutcherhaus (Coach-House)
The once residential servant quarters, are privately owned today. For any photographer, this scenic view is a must :)
Ruins of Castle Wohldenburg
Just a ten minute drive from the Laves Kulturpfad are the ruins of Castle of Wohldenburg. Premises of which include the Hubertus Church built in 1731, the castle tower (of the once 12th century fortress) with an extensive panoramic view of the Harzvorland (Land adjacent to the Harz Mountains) and a charming little domestic animal farm. I found the huge and tiny rabbits there very cute :) :)
For me, this little trip of ours was a refreshing dose of regional history, culture and vibrant nature.
If you are familiar with my recent posts, I guess that makes it yet another 'walk to remember' eh? :)
All historical information about the 'Laves Kulturpfad' in the current post stems from the following source websites: