As well as the various markets, Braunschweig has a few grand churches. While on my way to the central cathedral, I encountered St Ägidien. Built in gothic style, it is the principal catholic church in Braunschweig and used to be a Benedictine monastery. At its side, there is, surprise surprise, the Ägidien market square from which I took the side pictures.
Behind the church is the aptly named street “Hinter Ägidien” (Behind Aegidien) a pretty row of half-timbered houses. When you follow that street, you find the St Paul’s Choir building, a remnant of a Dominican monastery. The two monasteries were not co-located, the choir was moved into the grounds of St Ägidien in 1903. This was also the area of Braunschweig in which the enlightenment philosopher Gotthold Lessing died.
On I went to the cathedral in the centre of the town. There was a service being conducted, so although it is meant to have a stunning interior, I only admired it from the outside. Duke Henry the Lion made Braunschweig his main home in the 12th century building the cathedral and the castle. I was particularly intrigued by the corridor which had been built between the two buildings so that the Duke and his entourage could go to church without getting wet. The bronze statue of a lion was also erected by Henry
You may be able to tell from the pictures, there was a (Christmas) market around the cathedral and castle when I visited. Opposite the castle is the grand town hall, an imposing building designed to house many administrators behind all those windows!
Along the side of the Hagenmarkt (another market square) is St Catherine’s church, Katharinenkirche. I was attracted to it by its incredibly tall towers, which make it visible from the city centre. It too had been built as a catholic church but became a protestant church in 1528. In front of the church is an 18th-century fountain to commemorate Henry the Lion, who had joined a number of small towns, including Hagen, into the single city of Braunschweig.