Not everything in this post is bizarre, they are just not really that connected and aren’t really worthy of a whole post to themselves.
I will start with the “Liberei” a building built from 1412 – 1422. It is the first public library building in Germany. It was commissioned by a priest to house the book collection that began in the early 14th century. It is in the German brick gothic style and I particularly like the patterns made by the different coloured bricks. It was also damaged in the Second World War and restored externally in 1964 and internally in 1985.
The timing of my visit was fortunate enough to also see a far more modern example of construction skill. This is Bruno, the heaviest nutcracker in the world. He weighs 9,200kg and is 6.98m high. He stands at one of the entrances to the Christmas market with a placard detailing his vital statistics. I suppose he will remain the heaviest until someone decides to invest money into making a heavier one!
Engineering and construction appear to have had a significant role in Braunschweig, I walked past offices of a number of rail construction companies in the newer part of the town, and next to the main station, this steam engine is proudly on display.
What I could not quite get an insight into, is whether pencils or pencil making has a tradition here too. There is a giant sculpture of pencils outside the headquarters of a local bank and a row of them against a brick building. The latter are slightly more understandable as that building was the first ever daycare centre for children in the city.
The bank outside which the tall pencils stand advertises itself in the middle of the town with encouragement to locals to save their money there. Clearly before the introduction of the Euro, I recognise the designs of some of the Mark and Pfennig coins.
The last group of impressions are from the park around the State Theatre and the theatre building itself. There are many more statues in the gardens surrounding the Großes Hause, the Big House of the State Theatre. The theatre also operates from other sites in the city, not least open-air concerts in the square the Christmas market was occupying during my visit, between the castle and the cathedral.
Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Braunschweig and think there is still a lot more to see there than I managed to fit in around my exam on knowledge of German legalese!