There are eighteen municipalities that make up the town of Vechelde in the Peine District of Lower Saxony.
In their own right, each area has been around for the better part of a thousand years in what was once technically in the Brunswick Region.
Not all of Vechelde’s history should be romanticized, though. Life was hard here when the town was founded in 973. The hardships continued through the centuries, as life was no picnic for the peasants in the days of the Middle Ages.
But, what those resident serfs of Vechelde did do, was build (and farm — sugar beets are still grown locally here). They built a castle here some time at the end of the 14th century, which is now the town’s citizen center.
Furthermore, they built the Parish Church Johannes, the largest church in all of the Brunswick Region, and this in the 12th century. The stunning three foot high figure of Jesus hanging in the church dates to 1525 and shouldn’t be missed.
Then there’s the Gleidinger Church which was built in 1587. It’s quite small (only holding about 130 people), but it underwent a major overhaul due to a fire in 1780.
The Village Church in Bettmar with their Gothic Towers, built in the 13th century, is another head turner.
For those of you World War II historians, the subcamp of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp was housed here during the war years. Slave labor was used in the reopening of a spinning mill in the 1940’s, as the mill had closed in the 1920’s due to the nation’s economy (it was built in 1861).
Today, the only thing remaining of that time are the original mill’s gates. Also, the SA- and SS- General Forest Master of the Brunswick Region Friedrich (Fritz) Alpers, who was born in the Sonnenberg District of Vechelde.
What you’ll find today in Vechelde are fields of delicious vegetables, friendly people, indoor & outdoor sports, and the monuments of religious devotion that have withstood the test of time.
So one thing’s for sure, life’s not so hard here anymore!