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Wolfenbüttel Castle
Wolfenbüttel Castle
Coat of arms of Wolfenbüttel
Coat of arms
Wolfenbüttel  is located in Germany
Country Germany
State Lower Saxony
District Wolfenbüttel
 • Mayor Thomas Pink (CDU)
 • Total 78.46 km2 (30.29 sq mi)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 51,569
 • Density 660/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 38300, 38302, 38304
Dialling codes 05331
Vehicle registration WF

Wolfenbüttel is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany, located on the Oker river about 13 kilometres south of Brunswick.[2] It is the seat of the District of (Landkreis) Wolfenbüttel and of the bishop of the Protestant Lutheran State Church of Brunswick. It is also the southernmost of the 172 towns in northern Germany whose names end in büttel, meaning "residence" or "settlement."


  • History 1
  • Main sights 2
  • Culture 3
  • Twin cities 4
  • People 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


It is not known when Wolfenbüttel was founded, but it was first mentioned in 1118 as Wulferisbutle. The first settlement was probably restricted to a tiny islet in the Oker river.

Wolfenbüttel became the residence of the dukes of Brunswick in 1432. Over the following three centuries it grew to be a centre of the arts, and personages such as Michael Praetorius, Johann Rosenmüller, Gottfried Leibniz, and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing lived there. The ducal court eventually returned to Braunschweig in 1753 and Wolfenbüttel subsequently lost in importance.

The Battle of Wolfenbüttel, part of the Thirty Years' War, was fought here in June 1641, when the Swedes under Wrangel and the Count of Königsmark defeated the Austrians under Archduke Leopold of Habsburg.

The composer Johann Rosenmüller, who had to flee Germany due to allegations of homosexuality and spent many years in exile, spent his last years in Wolfenbüttel and died there on 1684.

In the late 18th century, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing directed the ducal library, the Herzog-August-Bibliothek, and established one of the first lending libraries in Enlightenment Europe.[3]

During World War II, the city prison became a major execution site of prisoners of the Gestapo. Most of those executed were members of various Resistance groups.[4] One such victim was a Dom Lambert, a monk of Ligugé Abbey in France, who was beheaded there on 3 December 1943.[5]

Main sights

  • The baroque castle Schloss Wolfenbüttel. In 1866, the castle became the Anna-Vorwerk-School for girls. Today part of the building is used as a high school; it also houses a great example of Baroque state apartments, which are open to the public as a museum.
  • Herzog-August-Bibliothek (HAB), the ducal library, hosts one of the largest and best-known collections of ancient books in the world. It is especially rich in bibles, incunabula, and books of the Reformation period, with some 10,000 manuscripts. It was founded in 1572 and rehoused in an interpretation of the Pantheon in 1723, built facing the castle; the present library building was constructed in 1886. Leibniz and Lessing worked in this library, Lessing as librarian. The Codex Carolinus in the library is one of the few remaining texts in Gothic. The library also houses the bible of Henry the Lion, a book preserved in near mint condition from the year 1170.[6]
  • Klein-Venedig. A pittoresque waterside building ensemble (Gracht) along the River Oker built in the 18th century.
  • The churches Marienkirche (Hauptkiche Beatae Mariae Virginis), built during the 17th century, and St.-Trinitatiskirche (Trinity Church), built during the early 18th century.

The town is also the location of the former Northampton Barracks, which housed units of the British Army of the Rhine until 1993 (postcode: BFPO 33).

Today, Wolfenbüttel is smaller than the neighbouring cities of Braunschweig (Brunswick), Salzgitter, and Wolfsburg, but, because it was largely undamaged by the war, its downtown is rich in half-timber buildings, many dating several centuries back, and it still retains its historical character. Wolfenbüttel is located on the German Timber-Frame Road.


The herb liqueur Jägermeister is distilled in Wolfenbüttel

Wolfenbüttel is home of several departments of the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences[7] and the liqueur Jägermeister is distilled in Wolfenbüttel and the headquarters of Mast-Jägermeister is still located there.

Wolfenbüttel hosted the three day International German Bus Pulling Championships in May 2009, where five-person teams pull a 16-ton bus 30 meters.[8][9]

Twin cities

A bridge in Wolfenbüttel is named after each of these cities. In Kenosha, there is a park located on the coast of Lake Michigan named after Wolfenbüttel.


See also


  1. ^ Landesbetrieb für Statistik und Kommunikationstechnologie Niedersachsen, 102 Bevölkerung - Basis Zensus 2011, Stand 31. Dezember 2013 (Tabelle K1020014)
  2. ^ The Latin adjective deriving from the town is Guelpherbytanus; e.g. Bibliotheca Guelpherbytana.
  3. ^ Horn Melton, James Van, The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2001), p106
  4. ^ "Braunschweig - Brunswick". Slave Labor in Nazi, Germany, Camps. 
  5. ^ "Presentation: Historique". Abbaye Saint-Martin de Ligugé (in Français). 
  6. ^ Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. "". Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ page 22 March 2009 Forbes
  9. ^ "Bus Pulling Germany website". Retrieved 2013-01-01. 

External links

  • Official Webpage
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