Celle Photos

As mentioned before, we went on a daytrip to the historical town of Celle on May 1st. For more information on why I have a troubled relationship with Celle, read the previous post.

Nonetheless, Celle is a lovely town, as evidenced by the photos under the cut:

Rapeseed field

A rapeseed field in full bloom just outside Syke

Celle Castle

Celle Castle. It's surprisingly difficult to get a clear shot of the building

Celle Castle Park

Flowers in the park with a glimpse of Celle Castle in the background

Horse sculpture Celle Castle

A sculpture of a horse and trainer in the park around Celle Castle. Note the geese in the foreground.

Houses and church tower, Celle

Some timbered houses and the spire of the town church

Town church in Celle

The baroque town church in Celle

Celle Townhall

The townhall with elaborate trompe l'oeil decorations

Trompe l'oeil at Celle townhall

Close-up of the trompe l'oeil decorations at Celle townhall

Pillory in Celle

A historical pillory at the old townhall in Celle. This was one of the very few places that rung a bell for me, since I remembered the kid who would be sent home put into the stocks "as a joke".

Bomann Museum Celle

The Bomann Museum in Celle, devoted to local history

Duke Otto at the Bomann Museum

A statue of the medieval Duke Otto on the facade of the Bomann museum

Albrecht Thaer statue

A statue of agronomist Albrecht Thaer who was born in Celle

Celle square

A square with timbered houses in the centre of Celle

Timbered houses, Celle

More timbered houses

Timbered house and lamp, Celle

A timbered house and an interesting lamppost

Timbered house, Celle

Another timbered house and a statue

Timbered house, Celle

Timbered house with interesting monster designs and a lamp

Timbered house, Celle

A particularly gorgeous timbered house with a fountain in the foreground.

Timbered House close-up, Celle

Close-up of the timbered house in the previous picture

Timbered house, Celle

Yet another timbered house

Inscription on a timbered house

Many of the timbered houses have inscriptions. I particularly liked this inscription in Lower German, which says: "Do what you will, people will talk anyway".

Signage, Celle

Sun sign outside a shop in Celle

Signage, Celle

More signage, this time around advertising a bakery and café

Divorce house, Celle

This timbered house seemingly cut in half is called the "Divorce House". According to a friendly local, a man left his wife who demanded half the house from him as a divorce settlement. So he built half a house, quite literally. When she still wouldn't stop nagging him, he killed her and burried her in the backyard, where her remains were found a century later. It's probably not true, but it makes a great story.

Karstadt department store, Celle

And right into the middle of all those lovely medieval timbered houses, they planted this crime against architecture: A Karstadt department store built in the 1960s, which somehow managed to survive the mass closings of Karstadt stores some time ago

Spiky sculptures in Celle

These modern sculptures outside the Celle art museum look like giant maces or outsized triffids

The reader, Celle

The Reader, a sculpture in front of the city library

Sculpture, Celle

Sculpture of a man crashing through a door in Celle

Talking lampposts in Celle

An art installation featuring talking lampposts which tell bits about the city's history

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11 Responses to Celle Photos

  1. Pingback: A Blast from the Past: Celle and the Schooltrip from Hell | Cora Buhlert

  2. Sherwood says:

    That bike trip should have been fun! (But that would be with companions one chose, not with horrible schoolmates and idiot teachers who can’t control them.)

    Love these pix–make my longing to get back to Germany all the stronger.

    • Cora says:

      Glad you like the pics. Do visit Germany – we have plenty of lovely towns like Celle. Besides, estara (for the South) and I (for the North) would be happy to show you around.

      In rural parts of Germany, there was (and is) enormous pressure on kids to learn how to ride a bike at a very early age. A kid that cannot ride a bike at 3 or 4 is considered slow, not being able to ride a bike at 6 means that there’s something seriously wrong with the kid. When I was at school, going by bike was usually the best and often only way to get to school (I didn’t live far enough from school to be eligible for the bus), so you went by bike in any sort of weather, whether it rained, snowed or whether there was storm and you had to ride against the wind. And because of ecological concerns, monster bike trips were normal for school outings, which has changed somewhat due to liability concerns. As a result, I cannot view bike riding as fun anymore, though I know it can be fun when the weather and the companions are right. Though that ride wouldn’t have been fun in any case. We actually drove along the route to one of the places we visited and the street went through empty fields (very unpleasant when there are strong winds from the opposite direction) for kilometers on end. Nowadays, there are some retail parks and supermarkets along that road, back in the 1980s there was nothing. Plus, it was really far, too, even by car. I don’t even want to imagine biking that distance today.

      • Laran says:

        I think biking on school trips mostly serves to tire the children out so that they sleep earlier and there won’t be much ruckus after bed time – helps the teachers to get enough sleep themselves. Same with long walks. I remember many school trips when I felt I couldn’t possibly move any more, because the teachers drove us so hard.

        I hated school trips and I know exactly what you mean with not wanting to be remembered. Too much traumatic stuff there.

        • Cora says:

          You’re probably right about the biking and the hiking. Kids and teens have an amazing amount of energy. Sometimes, I wish I could be as energetic as my fifth-graders, particularly since I would use that energy for something more constructive than throwing paper balls.

          About hiking on school trips, I remember a particularly bad hike to the Hambacher Schloss in 8th grade. It was cold and foggy on that day and the teachers got lost (or pretended to get lost) and the hike never ended. The castle itself was a disappointment, too, basically a ruin with an exhibition about the Hambacher Fest. And then a nun (!) was nasty to me, because I was a bit too loud explaining one of the exhibits to some classmates. To this day, I have an irrational dislike for the Hambacher Schloss and Hambacher Fest.

          The monstrous bike tours are a thing of the past, at least in Lower Saxony, ever since a kid was hit by a car on one of those tours and the teacher held liable. I suspect the hikes still exist, though I gladly don’t get to do schooltrips.

      • Estara says:

        Yes about Estara and the South ^^.

        You know, you’re very right about the bike riding. My niece is only 3 1/2 and she already has one of those really low bikes WITHOUT training wheels. And she’s pretty fast on it, too – although there are some problems with setting off still. Huh.

        • Cora says:

          Of course, in rural areas bikes are still the only way to get anywhere, if you’re too young to drive and don’t always want to rely on parents to take you somewhere. Though I see a lot fewer kids biking to school than in my day and more parents taking their kids to school and picking them up afterwards, often blocking streets and parking lots in the process. Though you can bet that all of them know how to ride a bike and learned sometime during kindergarten.

          I got a tricycle for my third or fourth birthday and found it considerably less interesting than the dolls I also got. The tricycle could be converted into a small bicycle (without training wheels – my parents didn’t like those) and I was taken to a quiet stretch of road to learn how to ride it. My Dad remembers that I was pretty fast and that he had to run after me, while I remember that I didn’t care about riding a bike at all and only wanted to be somewhere else.

  3. Estara says:

    I would have died from allergies, but that rape seed field does look lovely.
    I wish Celle had decided to only fund traditional sculpture. I’m not too happy about most of those modern artworks. And I love those timbered houses. The place I lived for the first four years of my life (and where we visited my grandma) had timbered houses, too – Bad Salzuflen.

    • Cora says:

      I am allergic against rape seed pollen and can only handle this time of the year with medication, since there is so much rape seed in my area. Besides, many farmers have taken to sowing a second harvest of rape seed, so you get rape seed pollen well into October or November, until the first frost finally kills those plants off. I still like to look at those fields, though.

      The reader and man running through door statues were actually okay (and the reader wasn’t in the immediate town centre) and the talking lampposts were funny. The fountain in front of the Karstadt was just a generic 1970s fountain (and less of a crime than the Karstadt itself). The big orange mace-like things were so completely out of place (they were almost directly next to the church, too) that they almost looked like alien triffids come to invade. I actually took that photo, because it might make a good cover for an SF book someday. Though all in all, Celle’s approach to public artwork is better than Bremen’s, where most of the recent attempts at public art are huge slabs of stone placed somewhere in the city and usually reviled by locals.

  4. Lorna Rhodes says:

    Lovely photos – they make a wonderful instance of beauty distilled out of nightmarish beginnings and sad associations. I had links to West Germany from the mid 70s to the mid 80s – and then watched as the relentlessly pressured atmosphere of German schooling was transposed to British schooling from the mid 80s onward. I hope the import of Every Child Matters will not be lost from recent initiatives in the UK. I wish we could kick out the tyranny of conformity and performance pressures in favour of Circle Time and the sort of “social” pedagogy that Pestalozzi and Froebel promoted – how come your schooling sounds like something more influenced by Hitler Youth sink or swim theories?

    • Cora says:

      Glad you like the photos, Lorna.

      The teacher in question would certainly have been shocked about the Hitler Youth comparison, since he was a very committed Communist to the point that we students sometimes privately wondered why he hadn’t been fired for his obvious political leanings, since we had heard stories of other teachers who had lost their jobs for leftist political leanings. Though the importance placed on sports and physical fitness in both East and West Germany may well have been a legacy of the Third Reich.

      Some of the issues at German schools in the 1980s have improved by now, e.g. there is more awareness of sexual harassment (though some teachers still prefer to ignore it, since they don’t want to think about 13 or 14-year-olds having sexual feelings) and problematic students like my friend from way back when are no longer dismissed quite so cavalierly. On the other hand, the students in my part of Germany are separated even earlier into academic and non-academic track students and pressures on the academic track students have increased significantly since the 1990s.

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