The second largest city in Lower Saxony, Braunschweig flourished as a powerful commercial hub during the medieval period and is now known for its scientific research and development. It’s nicknamed the “City of Lions”, with beautiful ar-chitecture showcasing its rich history as a Hanseatic city and scenic parklands that sprawl along the banks of the Oker River. Get lost in the winding alleyways of its Magniviertel district and discover the independent boutiques that make Braunschweig a popular shopping destination.

At the heart of Braunschweig lies the Burgplatz square, which was expanded in the 12th century by Henry the Lion and is home to the Dankwarderode Castle. This historically accurate representation of his former castle now houses a per-manent collection of medieval art from the Duke Anton Ulrich Museum, one of Europe’s oldest museums of art. Opposite stands the Romanesque-style Bruns-wick Cathedral, together with a lion statue representing the power and jurisdic-tion of Henry the Lion.

One landmark not to miss is the grand neoclassical Brunswick Palace that served as a residence for city dukes from 1753 to 1918 and is topped by a large Brunonia Quadriga chariot sculpture. It suffered heavy damage during World War II bombings, with the rebuilt palace and its equestrian statues opened to the public as recently as 2007.

Delve into the local history at the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum, with its main collection housed in the neoclassical former publishing house of Vieweg Verlag. If you’re interested in Lower Saxony’s rural lifestyle, head to the Bau-ernhausmuseum near the village of Bortfeld, which centers around a 17th-century farmhouse building.