Legendary libertine Giacomo Casanova spent “the most wonderful week of my entire life” there and Wilhelm Busch, father of the modern cartoon-strip, declared the place “marvellous”. Yet still WOLFENBÜTTEL is not as well known as it deserves to be. Having escaped war and mass tourism, this small town, with an ensemble of over six hundred half-timbered houses, has an almost fairytale quality, a blend of aristocracy and an erudite mindset that sees its museums publish websites in Latin. Partly to blame is the ducal House of Braunschweig which declared Wolfenbüttel a Residenzstadt in 1432. Under the Guelphic dukes’ three-century tenure, high culture flowered and the royal town metamorphosed into the first planned town in Renaissance Germany. And when the dukes shifted back to Braunschweig in 1753 they sent Wolfenbüttel into a deep sleep from which it seems yet to awake – one reason to go.
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