Sliced by the Oker River in the Wolfenbüttel District in Lower Saxony is the defunct Samtgemeinde Schladen, now known as Schladen-Werla. It was created in 2013 by merging what was nine independent towns & villages into one in the Braunschweiger Land.
Each of Schladen-Werla’s “districts” are unique onto themselves, but it really is the town of Hornburg that’s got the most to offer.
Nevermind, I take that back. Hornburg isn’t home to a 9th century Imperial Palace like the town of Werlaburgdorf. The medieval castle complex, known as the Königspfalz, boasted a chapel, a basement, even a guardhouse and kitchen.
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Schladen itself is home to a snake farm, where boys and girls of all ages can learn about snakes, lizards, and even crocodiles. Not too shabby, right?
As for Hornburg, it’s the birthplace of the 11th century Pope Clement II. This village also has its own castle (its landmark, no less), half-timbered houses, and a Heritage Museum. The museum, open on the first Sunday of the month, has exhibits on everything from the town’s Neolithic beginnings to the more modern medieval period.
Another museum is the Biedermeier House, giving visitors a chance to see what a traditional house from the 19th/20th centuries looked like — right down to its living room, kitchen, and even a sewing room.
A room dedicated to sewing? Ahh, the joys of living in the 21st century. ;-)
Hornburg even has this interactive “Garden for the Senses,” or Garten für die Sinne, that runs through the town — all designed to delight the eyes, hearing, touch, and smell. Consider it a fun way to take a “guided” tour of town.
However, as great as the exhibits found at the museums (and everything else), it is the gorgeous Beatae Mariae Virginis Church that steals the show. Its organ is a work of art — and a true church worthy of Clement himself. It’s no wonder the church, and Schladen-Werla, is found on the Via Romea — an 1800 km ancient pilgrimage route that runs from Stade to Rome.
A scenic route, too? Wow, the wonders of Schladen-Werla never cease to amaze. ;-)