Springe translates as “The Jump City.” It’s a cruddy translation but a good expression of the energy of this town in Lower Saxony.
It’s a hip mix of medieval castles and royal hunting grounds combined with technical universities. Together the two give the town a neat vibe and keep the old parts of the town from being stuffy at all.
For example, the Museum in the Courtyard is set up in a medieval moated castle. So, naturally, it shows exhibits about the history of Springe and the surrounding area. But it also showcases modern art installations, jewelry and new paintings. There is even an annual pottery festival where you can pick up some sweet creations for very reasonable prices from local and regional artists.
Also surprisingly cool is the Springe hunting lodge. The proper name is the Wild Boar Park, and it was a hunting ground for several counts before ending up as the property of Willheim II.
Building a wall around it, the area was once a private hunting ground for royalty. Now it has been turned into a wildlife park with a bison herd and nearly 100 other animal species to visit. It’s even been on a game show! Hiking the area you get good exercise as well as getting to feel like you are walking in a famous park.
In the downtown area, Springe has designated some pedestrian only zones to make it easier to check out the market square and old half timber houses and shops. The bell tower still works and chimes at 5 minutes to 9, 12, 3 and 5. Rather than traditional chimes, they change them every season to keep it fresh.
Mini-events are always going on thanks to the colleges near Springe, but you will definitely want to try the Boar Park gourmet festival at the end of May/beginning of June. They brag about the asparagus and locals cook up dishes to share and sell. There is also a pumpkin festival with beer and bison in October to hit if you miss the spring event.
Whenever you come, check the city calendar, because there are free concert series and guided forest outings you can join offered year-round.