Nordstemmen, the land of royalty? When you think of kings and queens (or, even an occasional prince or princess) some German cities come to mind, but Nordstemmen?
Yes, this beautiful city on the Leine River in the south of Lower Saxony, only about a half hour south of the city of Hanover, was once the stomping grounds of King George V and his beloved wife Queen Marie.
Smitten George gave his wife the impressively large (and I mean BIG) Schloss Marienburg as a gift, which you’ll find just north of the city. Let me tell you, this was some present and you couldn’t imagine a more romantic looking castle in your dreams.
There are many footpaths leading off from the castle along the mountainside and guided tours are available every hour. This castle with its tower and turrets remained uninhabited for eighty years and most of Queen Marie’s original furniture and bric-a-brac was auctioned off not too long ago.
Another place to visit in Nordstemmen (that also keeps with the royal theme) is the Station Reception Building where George & Marie would come by train on their way to Marienburg. It’s good to be king (or, queen)! ;-)
You’ll also find another castle nearby, Castle Poppenburg. This castle isn’t anywhere near in the same league as Marienburg, even though it’s more than six centuries older; there’s also no touring the inside of Poppenburg.
The countryside of Lower Saxony is just as impressive as the castles you’ll find in it. And there’s no better way to see than hop on a bicycle and ride around. Nordstemmen has nine little hamlets and you’ll find lots of little goodies hidden away within each one.
Of course, each village has its own church and anyone appreciating old art will no doubt want to seem them all. In the Mahlerten neighborhood, for instance, St. Bartholomäus’ church (a 10th/11th century Romanesque church) is exceptionally striking.
The best part of it all, you don’t have to be royalty to come and visit. Although, you’ll sure feel like it walking around here. ;-)