© Residenzmuseum im Celler Schloss. Foto: Fotostudio Loeper, Celle

A Halleluja

to this Unique Renaissance Art

The Celle Palace Chapel

counts as one of the most important examples of Renaissance Art in northern Germany

The Celle Palace Chapel is a jewel within the Celle Palace. Numerous paintings, colourful pictures, sandstone reliefs, biblical quotations and many carvings adorn the Chapel interior.

At the end of the 15th century, the court Chapel was built as a gothic, sacred building on the lower floor of the tower, at the eastern end of the south wing and consecrated in 1485. After the Reformation, the Chapel was completely re-designed and re-furbished. Between 1565 and 1576, Duke William the Younger had lodges built for the ruling aristocracy and transformed the church into a Protestant Chapel with an altar, pulpit and organ.

The Celle Palace Chapel is today, the only almost completely preserved church interior in Germany, from the early Protestant period and is one of the most important examples of Renaissance art in Northern Germany. The interior of the Chapel has not suffered any losses over the past centuries and only a few changes have been made.

Why must the Chapel be protected?

  • In order to stabilise the Chapel and prevent movement, at the end of the 1970’s, the ceiling vaults and masonry were filled with concrete. However, a lot of moisture then began to form during visits to the Chapel - the climatic consequences were catastrophic and the Chapel had to be restored at great expense. Since then, visitors can only view the interior through a glass wall, behind which a stable climate ensures that the works of art are preserved.

  • The Palace Chapel can only be seen as part of a guided tour of the Palace. It is also possible for visitors to watch a 3-D film about the Palace Chapel, in the "Blue Room" (regret, the entry this room is not accessible).

Detail on the ceiling of the Celle Palace Chapel
© Residenzmuseum im Celler Schloss. Foto: Fotostudio Loeper, Celle

With Attention to Detail

The view into the Celle castle Chapel is overwhelming. Numerous paintings and pictures decorate the interior and there are many details to be discovered: depictions of the reign of the Duchess and the pulpit on the south wall; built into the second gallery high above, you can see representations of the Duke's reign. Again and again in the Chapel, you will see Coats of Arms and other representations of the ruling family. The parapet reliefs show various prophets, apostles and evangelists, framed by angels making music.

© Residenzmuseum im Celler Schloss. Foto: Fotostudio Loeper, Celle

Unique Paintings

The painting cycle comes to a large extent from the workshop of the Flemish painter Marten de Vos (1532-1603). It describes numerous chapters of the Old and New Testaments such as the life story of Jesus. Two portraits of the Celle ruling couple William the Younger and his wife, the Danish Princess Dorothea, Duchess of Braunschweig and Lüneburg, can also be discovered here.