Hamelin Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsHameln (Browning's "Hamelin town in Brunswick"), delightfully situated in the broad Weser valley between two hills, the Klüt and the Schweineberg, is famed as the city of the Pied Piper. The old town has many half-timbered houses and buildings in Weser Renaissance style.
In the Markt in Hameln is the Early Gothic Marktkirche (Market Church of St Nicholas; rebuilt 1957-58), formerly the boatmen's church, as the golden ship on the spire indicates. Opposite it is the Dempterhaus (1607), with a beautiful oriel.
To the east of the Markt in Hameln is Osterstrasse, at No. 2 of which is the imposing Hochzeitshaus ("Marriage House", once used by the townspeople for festive occasions), in Weser Renaissance style (1610-17), with a carillon and the Pied Piper clock, with mechanical figures (daily at 1.35, 3.35 and 5.35pm). The Pied Piper pageant play is performed in front of the Hochzeitshaus.
Beyond the Hochzeithaus in Hameln's Osterstrasse are the Stiftsherrenhaus (No. 8; 1558), with fine carving, and the Leisthaus (No. 9; 1589), which together house the Municipal Museum (prehistory and early historical period, domestic interiors, gold and silver, ceramics, pewterware, the Pied Piper legend).On the east side of the old town are the former Garrison Church (1712) and the Stift zum Heiligen Geist (1713).
Pied Piper's House
In the east of the old town in Hameln is the Pied Piper's House (1603), a magnificent example of Weser Renaissance architecture, with an inscription referring to the Pied Piper legend on the side wall in Bungelosenstrasse.The house is home to a restaurant that has operated since 1966 using the Pied Piper theme.
Pied Piper Pageant
This annual pageant is held every Sunday in May. The pageant is a reenactment of the Pied Piper legend and includes a parade in which the piper leads the children through the town. The piper and the children wear traditional costumes for the parade, which begins at midday.
To the south of the Markt in Hameln lies Bäckerstrasse. At No. 16 is the Rattenkrug (built 1250, rebuilt in Renaissance style in 1568), with a beautiful voluted gable. At No. 12 is the Löwenapotheke (Lion Pharmacy), with a Gothic gable of 1300, and a few paces east is the Kurie Jerusalem (c. 1500), now a children's music and painting school.
Minster of St Boniface
Near the Münsterbrücke in Hameln stands the massive Minster of St Boniface (11th-14th C.), with a Romanesque tower over the crossing topped by a Baroque crown. Features of the interior are the crypt under the high choir, a 13th C. tabernacle and the 14th C. "Stifterstein" (Founders' Stone) on the pier at the crossing, with figures of the founders holding a model of the Minster.
The line of the old fortifications in Hameln is marked by a ring of "Wallstrassen". On the north side are the Pulverturm (Powder Tower) and Haspelmathturm, the only surviving relics of the fortifications.
5km/3mi south of Hameln is the outlying district of Tündern, with a village museum (Dorfmuseum; prehistory, local crafts, farming). In Hof Zeddies visitors can see a permanent Country Life Exhibition run by the Hameln Museum, with a windmill (1893).
7km/4.5mi northwest of Hameln is Fischbeck, with an interesting Stiftskirche: Triumphal Cross group (1250), wooden figure of the foundress, Helmburg (c. 1300). The church also contains silk embroidery; an eagle lectern, (14th C.),and 16th C. tapestry with the legend of the church's foundation.
11km/7mi south of Hameln is Schloss Hämelschenburg, a magnificent building with three wings, begun in 1588, which is one of the great masterpieces of the Weser Renaissance. The Bridge Gate, with a figure of St George, dates from 1608.
Some 20 km/12.5mi southeast of Hameln (up the Weser valley; boat services) is the little town of Bodenwerder (pop. 6,000), with a medicinal spring (brine with iodine content), remains of the old town walls and some half-timbered houses.The mansion once occupied by Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus von Münchhausen (1720-97), famed for his tall stories, is now the Town Hall (with a Münchhausen Room). In Münchhausenplatz is the baron's birthplace, with an unusual fountain depicting one of his adventures in front of it. At the west end of the town is the Lügengrotte ("Liar's Cave"), where he used to tell his tales.A Münchhausen pageant play is performed in the Kurpark from May to October.
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