Circular Tour of Bauhaus Architechture either on foot or by bike
With over 490 striking, original half-timbered old buildings, Celle, known as the ‘Jewel on the River Aller’ counts among the most densely built areas of this type of historical architecture found anywhere in the world. Few people know however, that Celle is also effectively the birthplace of the ‘New Modernism’ movement - in terms of Bauhaus Architecture (which simply translates as ‘New Building’), Celle is in the same league as Weimar and Dessau. Both quantitatively, with the large number of wonderfully preserved buildings, some of which are still used for their original purpose today and qualitatively, for example looking at the Old Town School building also known as ‘The Glass School’ and which, in the 1920s, attracted visitors from all over the world.
During this approx. 4.5 km tour, you will see important buildings designed by Otto Haesler. Starting with the Director's Villa, through the Italian Garden Housing Estate and on to the Old Town School. The Otto Haesler Museum is also included as part of this tour.
The tour starts at Arno-Schmidt-Platz in the centre of Celle. Directly in front of the town’s main library, there is a Stele that provides information about the work of the architect Otto Haesler. The tour of his buildings begins here.
From Celle’s main library, bear off to the right into Magnusstrasse. After a few metres, you will see the Director's Villa on the left (Magnusstraße 5). The house was originally designed for the Director of Celle’s Ernestinum Grammar School.
To the left of the Director’s Villa, there is a small path which you follow and immediately turn right again. Your way leads you over a small bridge into the French Garden. Follow the avenue of trees on your left and on past the Queen Caroline Mathilde Monument, until you reach the Wehlstrasse. Turn right here (be careful when crossing the street, please use the zebra crossing). After a short distance turn left into the ‘Italian Garden’ (‘Italienischer Garten‘). This housing estate is essentially structurally unchanged and marks Haesler's final breakthrough towards his programme of ‘New Building’.
You follow the Italienischer Garten street to the end and keep to the right. Continue on Hostmannstraße until you get to the 77er Straße. Turn left here and cross the street at the traffic lights. On the other side of the street, on the right, you will see the St. George Garden. This housing estate is considered to be the first residential building following the distinctive, clean, simple lines structure of the ‘New Building’ style and has been praised by many architecture critics as a "model housing estate".
At the end of St. Georg Garten, turn right into Braunschweiger Heerstraße / B214. Follow the street and after a short distance, turn right into Lüder-Wose-Straße which meets the Galgenberg street. Turn right again and you reach the ‘Blumläger Feld’ housing estate and the Otto Haesler Museum. Blumläger Feld - a group of residential buildings - was Haesler's last housing project in Celle. It was through this that Haesler achieved his goal of creating affordable living spaces for the poorer people of Celle. Among other things, the Otto Haesler museum gives you the opportunity to visit furnished workers' Bauhaus apartments in their original, preserved state.
Follow the Galgenberg street until it meets the Burgstraße. Here you turn right. Shortly you will see a large school complex on the right-hand side with an adjoining car park, on the left-hand side of the street. Just behind the car park is the start of the picturesque pathway, the ‘Fuhserandweg’. Take this route.
You cross the small river Fuhse twice before you finally come to Sägemühlenstraße and the Bauhaus Old Town School (Sägemühlenstraße 9). The Old Town School counts internationally, as one of ten most important buildings of this architectural style. Haesler attached great importance to the colour design and was advised by the decorative painter Karl Völkel. The Rector's Residence is located directly to the left of the school (Sägemühlenstrasse 7). This house is one of the few examples of a modern individual single home construction by Haesler.
From here you have two options:
Enjoy a coffee break in the Kiess and Krause cafe, which is on the ‚Großen Plan‘ square, no. 16, in the heart of Celle’s Old Town. The cafe building started life 1871 as a large-scale commercial bakery specialising in a cake delicacy called ‚Baumkuchen‘. In 1928, Otto Haesler create the basic features of the cafe you see today, including the beautiful seating niches.
The flyer "otto haesler tours" is available at the Service- and Infocenter.
The entire otto-haesler tour is signposted with small signs "bauhaus in celle". More information about the buildings can be obtained from information steles in front of each building. You can call up additional information online via a QR code.