Pure Half-Timbered Architecture

in Celle’s Historical Old Town

The Half-Timbered Town of Celle

Half-timbered house on the market in the old town of Celle

Colourful and ornate half-timbered buildings as far as the eye can see. They gleam with their coloured facades, golden inscriptions and their precise carvings. In the centre of Celle there are almost 500 half-timbered buildings in this style. This means that Celle has the most densely packed, largest assembly of half-timbered buildings in the world!

Celle’s Historical Old Town that you see today was created over a time period from around 600 years ago. The majority of Celle’s half-timbered buildings date mostly from shortly before 1500 to around 1800. Today, some of the half-timbered houses have been extensively restored and are listed as historical monuments. They house a wide variety of shops, many of which are owner-managed. Alongside modern cafés and restaurants, you will also find traditional, long-established gastronomy offering regional specialties - and all of this in the middle of Celle’s historic half-timbered buildings.

  • Celle’s Half-Timbered buildings enchant both guests and locals each time anew. Interested? If you would like to find out more about half-timbered architecture and the history of Celle, take a look at our guided toursguided tours.

This is something you must see

Highlights of Celle’s Half-Timbered Buildings

What really should not be missed from any visit to Celle is the Kalandgasse’ with the Old Latin School. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful half-timbered streets in Celle. The Hoppener House, probably the most famous half-timbered house in Celle, is also a must-see. It dates from 1532 and is probably the most magnificent in the area. It is worth taking a closer look: rich figurative ornamentation, diabolical and foolish figures, mythical creatures - there is much to discover here.

It's worth planning a detour to the Celle's oldest dated,still standing half-timbered house at no. 26, Heilige Kreuz. It dates back to 1526 and is rich in Gothic ornamentation. Take enough time too, to explore the Stechbahn. This was a former jousting tournament site and today is a popular meeting point, with its unique all-round beautiful panorama. Let your gaze roam from the old town hall, to St. Mary’s Town Church, the Bomann Museum and a row of beautiful half-timbered buildings that stretches along the street and extends through the whole town.

What makes Celle’s Historic Old Town so Special

Celle's Historical Old Town is one of the most densely built assemblies of half-timbered buildings in the world.

Half-timbered row in Schuhstrasse in Celle

Celle's Historical Old Town is one of the most densely built assemblies of half-timbered buildings in the world. Celle was founded on a grid of relatively narrow, long plots designated for people working in farming and on the land – and which today comprise Celle’s Historical Old Town. Later further streets were integrated into the area and more plots were allocated, which means that Celle had a high density of half-timbered houses very early on. Since the rivers Aller and Fuhse surround the city centre, Celle could only grow at that time by further increasing the density of the houses. Even the smallest plots were built on and some splendid rear buildings were added.
Today there are around 26 half-timbered houses per hectare in the Historical Old Town Celle.

The development of these graduated, ‚stepped‘ gables could only have taken place in Celle

The renaissance stair frieze in the Celler half-timbered

The earliest representation of surviving half-timbered ornamentation can be seen in stepped gables, stems of decorative foliage and figurines. These three forms of architectural ornamentation can be discovered in Celle’s Historical Old Town. The earliest, simplest three-stepped gable can be seen on the building that stands at no. 32 “Neue Straße". This building dates from around 1480. Renaissance stepped gabling was developed in Celle from 1530 and what makes it so remarkable is the second gable is no longer formed with a corner, but as a channel. The house at no. 11 "Neue Straße” was the first building which used Renaissance stepped gables, in 1534. Renaissance stepped gabling is hardly known outside of Celle and its development can only be traced here.

Celle has a complete and original medieval town plan.

Downtown Celle from above

If you walk through the alleys in Celle, you will immediately feel transported to the Middle Ages. And not without reason, because these picturesque half-timbered streets have been witnesses through time, since the town was founded. Today's Old Town has been laid out according to a strict three-way division and a model, medieval town plan. And this has practically been preserved to this day: the original castle was transformed into a magnificent Palace over the centuries. The “public space” with the earlier tournament area, the ‘Stechbahn’, the marketplace and St. Mary's Church has been preserved and is still used today for the public. The weekly market in Celle, town festivals and the Christmas market all take place here. The “public space” became incorporated into the “Bürgerstadt” (the resident’s town) - today's Old Town with a number of unique, original streets, squares, buildings and architectural details. Life in a mediaeval town can be experienced here!

Quaint Half-Timbered Alleyways

Densely packed, side by side, the half-timbered buildings stand close together in the slightly crooked streets and narrow alleyways of the Old Town of Celle. No house is like the other, they have all evolved so differently and individually. Different building widths, roof pitches, projections and structures. Some houses have two, others three or even more floors. Some have a bay window, window sizes vary, most have the gable facing the street. Bright colours, magnificent ornamentation and picturesque details let you discover something new every time!

Do you want to discover more about Celle’s Half-Timbered Architecture and its history? Then do take part in one of our guided Tours.

So beautiful is Celle’s Half Timbered Architecture

I’d like to experience Celle’s Half-Timbered Architecture

Anyone who wants to experience half-timbered buildings in Celle at close hand, should simply saunter through the alleyways of the Historical Old Town. Behind the beautiful half-timbered facades, over 80 owner-managed shops invite you to shop in a relaxed atmosphere. And a hugely varied gastronomic offering awaits you, from homely cooking to cute cafes and beer gardens. Celle’s half-timbered buildings form the perfect backdrop for many festivals that are celebrated in Celle all year round in the middle of the Old Town. In summer you can spend many convivial hours at the Celle wine market, every two years hundreds of vintage cars take over the Old Town for the ‘Oldtimer + Fachwerk’ festival and each year in winter, the internationally popular Celle Christmas market brings people together.

Three special Insider Tips for your Town Tour

Half-timbered house with inner courtyard

Celle’s Inner Courtyards

Away from the streets and behind the front buildings, there are usually still several adjacent outbuildings. Originally, every property also had an inner courtyard for business and as a living area. Some of the courtyards can be visited. Like the ‘Alte Posthof’ (‘Old Post Office’), where part of the Christmas market takes place during Christmas. Many shops and restaurants have wonderful seating in their courtyards, such as Bierakademie, das Martas, der Coffee Shop, el sueño, das Ristorante Primavera, der Zapfhahn, der Alte Provisor...

Alter Marstall in the old town of Celle

The Old Royal Stables

It was in the Old Royal Stables that the farm and stable buildings were once housed. The Old Riding Stable has been rebuilt several times. Since 1995 the building has belonged to the Dettmer + Müller company, which operates the men's outfitter ‘Marstall Männer Mode’ here. The building was rebuilt based on the historical stables. The earlier, old construction of the building can be seen within the floor. It really is worth taking a look inside - not just for men.

The Hanging Lavatory in the old town of Celle

The Hanging Lavatory

Celle’s ‚hanging loo‘ is a very special type of cubicle! It can be found between two 18th century buildings - no.s 1 and 2 of the street ‚Großer Plan‘ (by the Sparkasse bank). At that time the "little space" was in the back courtyards and where people used the bedside ’vessel’. Here, the landlord or resident treated himself to this facility situated in the "inbetween". Whether the neighbours were allowed to use it too, is still a secret.