Oldenburg was established in 1918 after the Grand Duke Frederick Augustus two was renounced following the German Revolution. It is currently located in lower Saxony and at the Rivers Hunte and Haaren from which it gains its importance due to the navigability of Hunter River. Its capital is in Wildeshausen. Due to administration reorganization, it has transitioned from a German State, Countship, duchy, great duchy and state before becoming an administrative district. The city hosts the house of Oldenburg which has ruled Greece, Norway, and Russian among others. Although it has not been free from mishaps such as the fire in 1676, it is one of the richest cities with its many attractions. Oldenburg has so much to offer to locals and foreigners alike. Here are 15 things you must not miss in Oldenburg the next time you are around.
1. Palace Gardens Oldenburg
It is a magnificent public park that extends on a large piece of land of around 16 hectares to form one of the major historical parks in Northern Germany. It is locally referred to as Schloss Garten. The garden was made like an English landscape garden in 1819 by the Duke Peter Fredrick Ludwing. Other than the spectacular flower beds that are a host to diverse flower types the park is home to beautiful nature creating a strikingly, expressive form. Ranging from giant trees of all types to winding paths which are great for strolls and running brooks, the gardens are a sight for sore eyes. Everything is beautiful and places like the Court Gardener’s lodge, Tea pavilion and winter house coalesce perfectly with the original tree types and various flowers. The Gardens were declared a historical monument under protection in 1978. The gardens are located next to interesting places such as the lake, Schloss Oldenburg and Elisabeth-Anna Palais.
2. State Museums for Art and Cultural History
It was founded in 1921 after the abdication of the last duke. The former duke’s paintings collection formed the basis of the museum. The museum consists of three separate buildings that are close to each other. This includes the castle. Augustus and Prinzenpolais. The museum has a vast collection and is home to over 30,000 amazing paintings and great paper art. Famous works in this legendary museum include Still Life with Tulips, Flying boats among others. It also hosts habitué major exhibitions that draw in both local and national attention. Each of the three buildings serves a purpose with the Oldenburg palace housing decorative arts, old master paintings and the regional history. Prinzepalais holds new paintings of the 19th and 20th centuries while Augusteum is home to most of the old paintings. If you have got a great eye when it comes to art then you should not leave out the museum the next time you are in Oldenburg.
3. St Lambert’s Church
It is the highest building in the city with 5 towers and the highest being 86 meters. It is the main Lutheran evangelical church. It is a preaching venue and fascinating as it has two churches in one as a result of Peter 1 neoclassical project. The building faces schlosswache (palace guard) and is a prominent skyline in the city. It is made of bricks, has an angular design and is circular with a neoclassical building constructed inside. This is because of the refurbishments at the end of the 18thcentury. The building is majestic and a great place to stop by in Oldenburg if only to get a pic.
It is a famous historic bell tower in Oldenburg. This is said to be the oldest scheduled landmark in the city. It is 35 meters high and has a renaissance dome. Holy Spirit Hospital originally owned it. In 1709 its shingle roof was replaced with a copper dome. Lappan was one of the few buildings that survived the deadly fire in 1676. It is easily the heart of the city with its different views and rich history.
5. Horst-Janssen Museum
Horst Janssen was a man of many talents from an etcher, lithographer, wood engraver, poster artist, draftsman and illustrator. The museum was a way to honor his great work for years to come. The museum doors were opened in 2000 with 1800 pieces of the art show. Janssen’s arts are permanently exhibited while changing showings exhibit work of artists who influenced him. Some of the works are shown upon request. The museum also shares an entrance with Stadtmuseum Oldenburg which is rich in the city’s history.
It is a historic powder magazine built in bricks. It is located next to Schlossgarten, Rathaus, and St. Lambert and was used during the Danish rule to store gun powder. It is of great significance in the city as it is the last of Oldenburg fortifications and still has a small part of the city wall attached. I was used as an icehouse but was in 1960 declared a historical monument. As of 1988, Pulverturm is used for exhibitions.
7. Botanischer Garten
Occupying a whopping 3.7 hectares in Philosophenweg 39 is an amazing botanical garden. The public gardens are very well maintained by the University of Oldenburg. The garden came to be in 1882 as a teaching garden and was enhanced in 1913 and later augmented by a systematic garden of about 1200 plant species which to date still exist. It is set from four geographic divisions. These are Boreal, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pontiac. There are dunes, forests, heath and marsh areas that were redesigned in the 1960s along with a medicinal plant garden. The garden is very significant in research and teaching. Aside from botany, there are peacocks, terrariums and aviaries.
8. Oldenburgisches Staatstheater
The historic theater seats 540 people, employs 450 people and attracts 200,000 people annually. It stages various activities ranging from musical theatre, ballet, concerts, operas and so much more. The hall has 30 premieres in a season and has breathtaking musicals by people like Andrew Lloyd Webber. One is only a ticket away from performances rich in culture and that will blow your mind away leaving you craving for more
9. Stadtmuseum Oldenburg
To the right of Horst-Janssen- Museum and sharing its entrance is Stadmuseum Oldenburg. The municipal museum is made up of a group of three historic villas that are interconnected. These are namely the Ballin’ sche villa, jurgens’ schen and Francksen. The villas as a whole sum-up whatever changes that have taken place and the different tastes over time from the Baroque period to Art Nouveau in the 20th century. Ballin’ sche villa is especially famous for a collection of paintings by Bernhard Winter. The painter was a part of Heimat Bewegung who believed in conserving regional identity and customs in the 1800s. The museum is important as it shows Oldenburg’s evolution from the 800s to the 1800s with supporting historical documents, military regalia and six big scale models.
The building is considered the last medieval patrician residence left in Oldenburg. It is a half-timbered building and amongst a few that went unscathed in 1676 during the fire. The house was built in 1502 by Christopher Stindt. In 1645 a wooden ceiling including allegorical representation of known continents was commissioned by Mylius Gnadenfeld and was only rediscovered in 1992. This was done in Dutch engravings. The house was used by a merchant in the 19th century but acquired by Wilhelm Decode whom it is named after. The house is private property. It is the last Burgher house and is located at Markt 24. The building has five floors with the ground floor hosting a shoe shop.
Located in the southwest of Schloss Oldenburg is the city’s main square. The square is used for outdoor markets and is known for its constant uproar. It is often filled with locals and tourists alike throughout the year. The open-space planning for the square, new ECE shopping Centre is from samples in the classicist era. It has a lawn enclosed by a 45-centimeter seating edge made of light-colored concrete. An important meeting point is a bench which is accessible to all. There is also undercut with a row of lights that shifts attention to the castle, especially in the night time.
12. Landesmuseum for Nature and Humankind
The museum was opened in 1836 by Grand Duke Paul August and was the first natural history museum. The building is to the southwest of Schloss Garten Oldenburg. It moved to its current location in 1880.The collection in the museum range from ethology, archeology and natural museum. The moorland around Oldenburg along with whatever items discovered in peat bogs are the most interesting galleries. Some of the items in the museum include Bronze Age amber beads, stone steles, leather boots, and information on ancient bodies a cape made of veal skin belonging to a young lad. The museum is not lacking in details of refurbishments of first houses in the environment. It also contains a sum-up of moors’ flora and fauna. Hunte River in the aquarium located in the basement.
Although it is part of the state museum for art and cultural history, Augusteum is a spectacular museum by itself. It dates back to 1867 which makes it one of the oldest purpose-built museums in North Germany. Augusteum holds Galerie Alte Meister which showcases old masters dating between 140s and 1700s from Dutch, Italy, France and Germany. The collection houses a vast collection from when Peter1, Grand Duke of Oldenburg snatched Johann Heinrich’s collection which consisted of 80 works. The galleries host great works. Some of the pieces one should never miss, including the Virgin and Child with St Anne by master house book and Florentine Boy. If you love art and visit Oldenburg, you should make a point to visit this great historical museum.
It was the residence of two Russian princes; Peter and Alexander. The latter later became Tsar from 1855 until the time he met his demise through assassination in 1881. It was not until 2003 that the palace was made home to the new master’s gallery for the art of the state museum for art and cultural history. This was done during the Romantic Period to post-war. It plumes itself with high society names such as Lovis Corinth, Max Liebermann and Max Slevogt. It is no secret however that any Expressionist diehard fan will be more pleased with Prinzepalais as most of its known members like Erich Heckel are here.
Everybody enjoys good food and the market provides just that. The market provides fresh products at the market between the town hall and Lamberikirche every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The market brings forth color, great scents, and even the city is usually lively during the working hours. Products range from fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, flowers, pastries and so much more. Snacks to nibble on and coffee are always ready. Nothing beats how lovely the market becomes during Christmas time. In December the square is one of the locations that draw in visitors from all across the Dutch border.
Oldenburg is a great city with many outstanding sites that one would not want to miss. With its rich culture, the city is fascinating and the tourist sites will forever be engraved in your mind. Moreover, the options on where to tour are unlimited from museums, exotic gardens, theaters, markets and old buildings of great architecture. There can never be a dull moment when you land in Oldenburg. With its calm and inviting atmosphere, one should set their mind on making a trip there.
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