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Imperial Saxony

23 May 2022

7 days from £2,450pp

Saxony’s career within the medieval German empire is striking, there is no other region in Germany richer in early mediaeval art and architecture. “There is no other region in Germany richer in early mediaeval art and architecture!” 
Dr Ulrike Ziegler
  • A visit to the “Ottonian Crownland” in Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony offers the most comprehensive insight into German art and architecture of the 9th to the 11th centuries
  • Quedlinburg’s heritage of c. 1200 half-  timbered houses earned the town the title of a UNESCO status
  • Enjoy some of the finest church treasuries in the country, particularly rich in rare Romanesque textiles and bronze work
Saxony’s career within the medieval German empire is striking. It took Emperor Charlemagne over 20 years to subjugate the rebellious Saxons and make them a loyal member of the Frankish Empire. And only some 100 years later, Saxons successfully rule the vast realm as emperors themselves. With the election of the Saxon duke Henry I to the royal throne in 919, the Ottonian dynasty’s rise to power began. By founding palaces and endowing the church, they distinguished their Saxon heartland stretching from the fabled, densely forested Harz Mountains to the sandy plains around Magdeburg on the river Elbe. Quedlinburg, one of the region’s many beautifully preserved or sensitively restored towns, became the preferred site of imperial visits. Some of Germany’s most spectacular Ottonian architecture is to be found in and around this delightful half-timbered town. To enforce their rule, the emperors heavily relied on the learned bishops of their realm. Their impressive cathedrals in Hildesheim, Halberstadt, and Magdeburg, replete with sumptuous sculpture in stone, wood, stucco and bronze, testify for Saxony’s international artistic connections at the time. The wealth of church treasuries in this region, the precious metalworks and textile arts they hoard, are hardly paralleled anywhere else in the country. Monumental works of art in bronze – church doors, chandeliers, a throne and an altar – are preserved in pristine conditions in Goslar and Hildesheim. When the Ottonian house became extinct in the male line, power shifted from Saxony to the Rhine. However, the new Salian emperors remained loyal to Saxony, again testified by artistic treasures created for Saxon institutions on imperial commission. And not before long, a Saxon duke, Henry the Lion, will challenge imperial power by marking his claim to the throne with yet another palace and church building, this time in his residence at Braunschweig.

Your Accommodation

Your Accommodation

 

Romantik Hotel am Brühl

★★★★

Opened in 1992, the Romantik is spread across a number of lovingly restored, listed buildings. A timbered barn that was previously home to a seed-growing company, a palace from the Gründerzeit period formerly owned by the Harzer Likörfabrik distillery – the birthplace of the Harzgeist liqueur – and a barn with a Prussian vaulted ceiling and cast iron columns surround the hotel’s beautifully green garden, a place in which our guests can enjoy a relaxing, almost Mediterranean atmosphere.

Room Facilities & Amenities
  • Smart HDTV
  • Free wireless internet access
  • Radio 
  • Telephone
  • Minibar
  • Hairdryer

Van der Valk Hotel Hildesheim

★★★★

Located directly on the historical market square. Behind the landmarked half-timbered and Rococo façade, the 4-star hotel offers 110 individually decorated rooms, the stylish Restaurant Gildehaus, the modern Stadtschenke Bar and seven multifunc-tional event rooms. For your rest and relaxation, feel free to take advantage of the swimming pool, sauna and fitness room and the Valentina Cosmetic Salon. Hildesheim is located close to Hannover, the Exhibition City, and is able to boast excellent infrastructure (A7 motorway, ICE train station). The cultural highlights in the city include the 1000-year-old rosebush, the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Cathedral and St. Michael’s Church and one of the most renowned collections of Egyptian art and culture in Europe. 

Room Facilities & Amenities
  • Refrigerator (not filled)
  • Free WiFi
  • Flatscreen television
  • Coffee and tea facilities
  • Telephone
  • Safe
  • Hair dryer
  • Airconditioning