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Lüneburg Heath

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{{QuickbarRegionpagebanner|region=Lüneburg HeathLüneburger Heide Banner.jpg}}|image=[[Image:Lueneburger Heide 096.jpg|250pxthumb|350px|The Lüneburg Heath near [[Wilsede]]]]|tourist_office=Lüneburger Heide, Wallstr. 4, 21335 Lüneburg<br/> ☎ +49 (0)700 – 20 99 30 99|website=[http://www.lueneburger-heide.de www.lueneburger-heide.de]|orient=Between [[Hamburg]], [[Hanover]] and [[Bremen]]|must=Walsrode Bird Park, Heide Park and Serengeti Park.|time=one day per main attraction|kids=Heide Park and Serengeti Park|also=[[Hamburg]], [[Celle]], [[Lüneburg]]}} 
The '''Lüneburg Heath''' [http://www.naturpark-lueneburger-heide.com/] is an extensive region of heath and farmland in the state of [[Lower Saxony]] which has become a popular holiday and excursion destination. It lies roughly between the cities of [[Hanover]], [[Hamburg]] and [[Wolfsburg]]. Historically it was where Montgomery received the German surrender at the end of the Second World War.
* [[Buchholz in der Nordheide]] &mdash; take a stroll up North Germany's highest hill, the Brunsberg
* [[Celle]] &mdash; admire the rows of timber-framed houses and the Baroque-Renaissance Celle Castle
* [[Gifhorn]] – visit International Wind- and Watermill Museum
* [[Hermannsburg]] &mdash; hire a canoe and explore the River Örtze
* [[Hitzacker]] &mdash; take a stroll along the Elbe River or explore the historic old town
* [[Lüneburg]] &mdash; discover the German Salt Museum and the amazingly preserved, 13th century, town hall
* [[Munster (ÖrtzeLower Saxony)]] &mdash; climb inside a tank at the German Tank Museum
* [[Nienburg]] &mdash; tour the historic town on the River Weser guided by its nightwatchmen
* [[Schneverdingen]] &mdash; set out from here to explore the heart of the Heath
===By rail===
The Lüneburg Heath is also served by the following railway lines:
* The Hanover–Hamburg railway: [[Hamburg]]–[[Lüneburg]]–[[Uelzen]]–[[Celle]]–[[Hanover|Hannover]]with IntetCity stop.* The ''Rollbahn'': [[Hamburg]]–[[Buchholz in der Nordheide]]–[[Rotenburg (Wümme)]]–[[Bremen]]* The Heath Railway (''Heidebahn''): (Hamburg)–Buchholz – Buchholz in der Nordheide–Nordheide – [[Soltau]]–[[Bad Fallingbostel]]–[[Walsrode]]–Bennemühlen–Hanover– [[Bennemühlen]] – Hanover* The Uelzen–Langwedel railway: Bremen–Bremen – [[Visselhövede]]–Soltau–– [[Soltau]] – [[Munster (ÖrtzeLower Saxony)|Munster]]–Uelzen– Uelzen* The Brunswick–Uelzen railway: Uelzen–Uelzen – [[Wieren]]–[[Wittingen]]–[[Gifhorn]]–[[Brunswick|Braunschweig]] 
==Get around==
==See==
*<see name="Bergen-Belsen Memorial" alt="Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen" address="Anne-Frank-Platz, 29303 Lohheide" directions="By car (recommended): Signed from motorways in all directions. Site is ca. 40 km from Mellendorf exit on A7 and 25 km from Soltau Süd exit" phone="+49 (0)5051 4759200" url="http://www.bergenbelsen.de/en/" hours="en: Apr-Sep, daily, 10am - 6pm; Oct-Mar, 10am - 5pm. Closed 1 Jan, 24-26 and 31 Dec" price="Admission free" lat="" long="">Memorial site to victims of the POW and concentration camp freed by British forces in 1945. Marked graves and monuments are reminders of the suffering. Large visitor centre with comprehensive exhibition chronicles the history of the camp, which began as a POW camp. 70,000 people are buried here, including Anne Frank who wrote a poignant diary of her life during the Nazi era.</see>
 
[[Image:Schlosscelle.jpg|thumb|Celle Castle]]
*<see name="Celle Castle" alt="Schloss Celle" address="Schlossplatz 1, Celle" directions="Park free at the Schützenplatz off Hafenstrasse and head for the town centre, crossing the River Aller. Turn R into Mühlenstrasse; the castle is on your left." phone="+49 (0)5141 7700" url="http[[Image://wwwRathaus2.schlossjpg||thumb|Lüneburg Town Hall]]* '''Bergen-celle.de/" hours="Tu-Su 10am-4.30pm" price="" lat="" long="">CelleBelsen Memorial'''s ducal palace, a former fortified castle, is one of the most impressive sights in the lovely town of Celle in the south of the Lüneburg Heathnear [[Belsen]]. Once the residence Memorial site to victims of the mighty dukes of Lüneburg POW and summer residence of the kings of Hanover, it is the oldest building concentration camp freed by British forces in the town1945. There Marked graves and monuments are guided tours to take in the unique Renaissance chapel, ducal state chambers, Baroque theatre and full palace kitchen. </see> * <see name="Lüneburg's Old Town" alt="Altstadt Lüneburg" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Lüneburg's Old Town was one reminders of the few town centres in North Germany to survive the Second World War largely unscathed and has also been carefully restoredsuffering. As a result the area around Large visitor centre with comprehensive exhibition chronicles the market square is still dominated by an impressive array history of Brick Gothic buildings in the most unusual designs and colours. Inside there are formerly hidden ceiling frescoscamp, medieval pottery workshops and many historic features which paint began as a colourful picture of life in the Middle AgesPOW camp. Any historic stroll through the Old Town should take in the Bell House (''Glockenhaus'')70,000 people are buried here, the Town Chemist (''Rathsapotheke'') and the wonderfully historic Town Hall (see below). Don't miss including Anne Frank who wrote a trip up the Old Water Tower with panoramic views poignant diary of her life during the town or a relaxing coffee in the Old Port with its replica barge and medieval keyside crane (''Alter Kran'')Nazi era.</see>
* '''Celle Palace''' - [[Image:Rathaus2.jpg||thumb|Lüneburg Town HallCelle]]* <see name="Lüneburg Town Hall" alt="Rathaus Lüneburg" address="Am Markt 1" directions="" phone="04131/ 309 203" email="" fax="" url="" hours="10-17" price="">The construction of the Lüneburg's ''Rathaus''ducal palace, or town halla former fortified castle, began in 1230 and grew until 1720 when its baroque facade was constructed. The hall's clarion contains 41 bells made of Meissner porcelain and rings several times daily. The town hall is said to be one of the most beautiful impressive sights in Germany, only rivalled by [[Lübeck]]'s city hallthe lovely town of Celle in the south of the Lüneburg Heath. Take a guided tour Once the residence of the mighty dukes of Lüneburg and summer residence of the some kings of Hanover, it is the oldest preserved council chambers building in Germanythe town. Tours dailyThere are guided tours to take in the unique Renaissance chapel, ducal state chambers, Baroque theatre and full palace kitchen.</see>
* '''Lüneburg's Old Town''' - [[Lüneburg]]'s Old Town was one of the few town centres in North Germany to survive the Second World War largely unscathed and has also been carefully restored. As a result the area around the market square is still dominated by an impressive array of Brick Gothic buildings in the most unusual designs and colours. Inside there are formerly hidden ceiling frescos, medieval pottery workshops and many historic features which paint a colourful picture of life in the Middle Ages. Any historic stroll through the Old Town should take in the Bell House (''Glockenhaus''), the Town Chemist (''Rathsapotheke'') and the wonderfully historic Town Hall, said to be one of the most beautiful in Germany, only rivalled by [[Lübeck]]'s city hall. Don't miss a trip up the Old Water Tower with panoramic views of the town or a relaxing coffee in the Old Port with its replica barge and medieval keyside crane (''Alter Kran'').
===Itineraries===
* '''Lower Saxon Asparagus Road'''
* '''Lower Saxon Mill Road'''
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==Do==
[[Image:Wilsede 004.jpg|thumb|Walled village street in Wilsede at the heart of the Lüneburg Heath]]
[[Image:Serengeti-Park Tierland.jpg|thumb|right|Animal World at Serengeti Park]]
[[Image:Riesentukan_(Toco_Toucan)_Weltvogelpark_Walsrode_2010.jpg|thumb|Toucan, emblem of the Bird Park]]
* '''Explore the Heath'''. There are plenty of easy walking trails in the area with good car parking facilities. A good starting points for walks are the car parks at Overhaverbeek and Niederhaverbeek northwest of Bispingen. From there you can walk or catch a horse and coach ride to the Heath's highest hill, the Wilseder Berg - all 169 metres of it! From here there is a great panorama of the surrounding area and, on clear days, you can see as far as Hamburg. Beware, it is often teeming with tourists on summer weekends! But there are many other quieter walks all over the area as well as long distance walks like the ''Freudenthalweg'' and ''Hermann Billung Weg'' that are over 100 kilometres long. Many of the trails are suitable for cyclists and Nordic walkers too and there are cycle paths beside many of the roads.
*<do name="'''Heide Park" alt="" address="Heidenhof, 29614 Soltau" directions="By car: exit the A7 at Soltau-Ost and follow the signs. By rail: catch the train to Wolterdingen / Soltau and walk: it's only 2 km! Or take the train to Soltau from Hamburg'', Hanover or Bremen, then catch the bus to the Park from Wolterdingen and in [[Soltau railway stations]]. About 25 min from Bergen or Bad Fallingbostel up the B3 and A7 respectively" phone="+49 (0)1805 / 919101" url="http://www.heide-park.de/en/" hours="mid Mar-Oct 9am-6pm (Jul-Aug open to 8pm)" price="Adults: €37 or €33.30 (online), 4-11 yrs: €30 or €27 (online), under 4s go free" lat="" long="">The Heide Park is the biggest amusement park in North Germany. Expensive, but fun for families and groups alike.</do>
[[Image:Serengeti-Park Tierland.jpg|thumb|right|Animal World at Serengeti Park]]  *<do name="'''Serengeti Park" alt="" address="Am Safaripark 1, 29693 Hodenhagen" directions="Take junction 49, Westenholz''', from the A7 motorway between Hanover and Hamburg and just follow the signs. The park is about 15 km south of [[Bad Fallingbostel#Get out|Bad Fallingbostel down the A7, 3 min from the motorway exit]]." phone="+49 (0)5164 / 97 99 0" url="http://www.serengeti-park.de/en/welcome.html" hours="2 Apr-30 Oct 2011, 10am-6pm; public holidays and Lower Saxony school holidays 9.30am-6.30pm" price="Adults €25; 3-12 yrs €20, bus tour €3.50, parking €3; concessions available for groups and disabled; free ticket for drivers online" lat="" long="">The largest safari park in Europe, the Serengeti Park is a top attraction for visitors to the area. It features 4 zones: Animal World, an open safari park which can be toured by car or bus; Water World, with a mix of water rides, whitewater rafting, pedal boats and more, as well as lakes of waterfowl; Monkey World, with safari tours through the terrain, and Leisure World, a fairground and leisure complex with high rope course, baby park and play parks for children. Pricey, but a great day out for families.</do> [[Image:Riesentukan_(Toco_Toucan)_Weltvogelpark_Walsrode_2010.jpg|thumb|Toucan, emblem of the Bird Park]]
*<do name="'''Walsrode World Bird Park" alt="Weltvogelpark Walsrode" address="Am Vogelpark 29664, Walsrode" directions="Take the Walsrode West exit from the A27 motorway or the Bad Fallingbostel exit from the A7, and just follow the signs. About 10 min from the centre of Bad Fallingbostel." phone="+49 ''' ''(0Vogel Park) 5161 6044-0 " url="http://www.weltvogelpark.de/english/weltvogelpark.html" hours="18 Mar-1 Nov 2011'', 9am-7pm" price="Adults €16, 4-17 yrs €11in [[Walsrode]]. Concessions" lat="" long="">The world's largest bird park and one of the top ten zoos in the world for numbers of species, this park is a must for families and quite reasonably priced as one of the area's major attractions. </do>
*<do name="Hankensbüttel Otter Centre" alt="Otter'''International Wind-Zentrum Hankensbüttel" address="Sudendorfallee 1" directions="North of Gifhorn on the B 244 federal road, about 1 hr by car from Hanover or Brunswick. Approach from the N or S on the B 4 and follow the signposts" phone="" url="http://cms.otterzentrum.de/cms/front_content.php?idcat=57" hours="Open: 1 Feb Watermill Museum''' ''(Wind- last Sun in Mar, 9.30am und Wassermühlen- 5pm, last Sun Museum)'' in Mar - last Sun in Oct[[Gifhorn]]* '''Hankensbüttel Otter Centre''', 9.30am - 6pm, last Sun in Oct - 30 Nov, 9[[Gifhorn]].30am - 5pm" price="Adults €8.50, children 4-17yrs €5, family tickets and student etc. reductions available" lat="52° 43´55´´" long="10° 37´12´´">A great place to relax and enjoy wildlife. As well as otters, there are polecats, minks, otter hounds, badgers and much more besides. Very educational and child-friendly with a good self-service restaurant on site. Well worth a detour.</do>
[[Image:Snowdome Bispingen Germany 5.jpg|thumb|The SnowDome at Bispingen]]
*<do name="'''Snow Dome Bispingen" alt="" address="Horstfeldweg 9" directions="Just off the A7 motorway. Take the Bispingen exit - you can't miss it!" phone="+49 (0)5194 / 4311-0" url="http://www.snow-dome.de/snowdome-home.html" hours="Mo-F 1-9pm'', Sa 9am-9pm, Su 9am-7pm" price="3 hour ticket €26; 6-12 yrs €18. Reductions and deals availablein [[Bispingen]]." lat="" long="">Go skiing all year round at this superb indoor ski slope equipped with a 300 metre slope and snowboard park served by a six-seater chairlift. Children's slope. Ski and snowboard hire. Shop. Bavarian-style restaurant. Equally good for warming up before a skiing holiday or just for a fun day out.</do> * <do name="Bergen-Belsen concentration camp" alt="Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen" address="Anne-Frank-Platz,29303 Lohheide" directions="10 minutes from Bergen, just south of the village of Belsen" phone="+49 (0) 5051 – 47 59-200" email="[email protected]" fax="+49 (0) 5051 – 47 59-118" url="http://bergen-belsen.stiftung-ng.de/de/home.html" hours="" price="">The infamous Belsen concentration camp, liberated by British forces in 1945, is now a memorial site with a comprehensive visitor centre. Today, only the sombre mounds of mass graves remain along with various monuments to those who died; the original camp was razed by the British after its survivors had been rescued and, in most cases, temporarily housed in the nearby barracks of ''Lager Hohne''.</do>
==Eat==
If you're based in the Lüneburg Heath, here are some suggestions for day excursions:
* [[Holstein Switzerland]] ''(Holsteinische Schweiz)'' – just an hour north of Hamburg is an expansive lake district nestling like a hidden jewel amongst the hills and fields of Holstein. Take a cruise on Lake Plön or a tour around Eutin Castle. Hire a bicycle and just explore the lakes. * [[Hamburg]] – Tour Germany's biggest port by boat, stroll round the Alster Lakes, visit the Warehouse Quarter ''(Speicherstadt)'' and ''HafenCity'', where an industrial wasteland has been converted into a posh shopping district. Or check out the ''Hamburger Kunsthalle'', one of Germany's biggest art museums. * [[Bremen]] - Visit the ''Marktplatz'', one of the most beautiful market squares in Germany, walk down the tiny lane of ''BöttcherstrasseBöttcherstraße'', educate yourself at the Overseas Museum or take a tour of the port by boat.
* [[HamburgHanover]] - Tour Germany's biggest port – Shop in the capital of Lower Saxony, devastated by boatthe war, stroll round but completely rebuilt. Follow the Alster Lakes, visit red line guided tour around all the Warehouse Quarter and ''HafenCity'', where an industrial wasteland has been converted into important sites - you can even get a posh shopping districtrecorded commentary in English. Or check out Enjoy the wildlife at Hanover Zoo. And don''Hamburger Kunsthalle'', one of Germany's biggest art museums.t forget to visit the amazing Herrenhausen Gardens!
* [[HanoverBrunswick]] - Shop in the capital of Lower Saxony, devastated by the war, but completely rebuilt. Follow the red line guided tour around all the important sites - you can even get a recorded commentary in English. Enjoy the wildlife at Hanover Zoo. And don't forget to visit the amazing Herrenhausen Gardens!'(Braunschweig)'' and [[Wolfenbüttel]]
* [[Harz Mountains]] - if you want a change of scenery, head for the Harz with its breathtaking ravines, rocky crags, castles and spruce-covered slopes. Mining museums recall the days when the wealth of the Kingdom of Hanover was underpinned by silver mined in these hills. Go canoeing, mountain biking, climbing or just chill out with a beer by a mountain lake or enjoy a coffee in a former mining village.
* [[Holstein Switzerland]] - just an hour north of Hamburg is an expansive lake district nestling like a hidden jewel amongst the hills and fields of Holstein. Take a cruise on Lake Plön or a tour around Eutin Castle. Hire a bicycle and just explore the lakes.
{{IsPartOf|Lower Saxony}}
[[wikipedia:Lüneburg Heath]]
[[de:Lüneburger Heide]]
[[nl:Lüneburger Heide]]
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