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Whether high-tech or slow-food – it’s #allthere in the district of Wolfenbüttel

Krumme Straße in der Altstadt von Wolfenbüttel zeigt viele Fachwerkhäuser (Copyright: Frank Bierstedt)

The district of Wolfenbüttel has something to offer for everyone – but above all, a cosmopolitan outlook, innovative and unconventional thinkers, country getaways, tolerance and a culture of togetherness. Join us on a journey through the beautiful Harz Foreland!

If you happen to hear medieval prankster Till Eulenspiegel, the famous poet of the Enlightenment Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and the high-proof herbal liqueur Jägermeister mentioned in the same breath at Wolfenbüttel’s weekly market, the person saying these things isn’t drunk; they are probably just talking about their home region, the Wolfenbüttel district. After all, this charming district north of the Harz Mountains and south of the Lüneburg Heath not only easily bridges the gap between popular satire, high culture and the traditional art of distilling, but also offers culinary highlights ranging from farm shops to coffee roasters in addition to attractive work opportunities and pleasant local recreational areas for old and new citizens alike. Incidentally, the region is also at the forefront of the field of knowledge and technology transfer – would you have guess it?

 employee
A Jägermeister employee displays a bottle (Photo: christo.cc)

A top location for start-ups and long-established companies

When it comes to jobs, the companies in this region offer excellent opportunities. And this includes top companies such as market-leading automotive supplier Ficosa, which develops mirror technology for the commercial vehicle industry in Wolfenbüttel. Or Sattler Mediapress, one of the most successful printers in Germany, which produces a full range of modern print products at its Hornburg site on two web offset printing presses. Well-known corporate brands such as Mast-Jägermeister SE, Eder Maschinenbau GmbH and Nordzucker AG are also regularly looking for skilled workers.

But that’s not the only advantage that the district has to offer in terms of professional prospects. The area of knowledge and technology transfer is a bit of a buzzword these days, and the Wolfenbüttel economic region has blossomed into a mecca for people willing to start a business. Students, graduates and scientists at the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, which is based in Wolfenbüttel and has five faculties, receive support to help them do just this, ranging from coaching to free office space to procuring start-up capital to establish a business.

Another start-up incubator is the Technical Innovation Centre Wolfenbüttel (TIW), which offers business start-ups from a broad range of sectors favourable conditions for getting their business ideas off the ground. Examples include successful start-ups such as Mobfish, whose founders already developed a free game app back when they were students, and now market it as an advertising medium. Phadiso, a company specialising in pharmaceutical services and software, had its inception at TIW. Just like C&S group GmbH, which initially existed within the University of Applied Sciences Wolfenbüttel (now Ostfalia Hochschule) and became experts in the field of automotive networks thanks to TWI: this is start-up culture at its best!

Heimatmuseum Hornburg
Outside view of Heimatmuseum Hornburg, a museum of local history. (Photo: Nördliches Harzvorland Tourismusverband e.V., CC BY-SA, Amt für Tourismus Hornburg/Henning Meyer)
Kaiserpfalz Werla (Werla Imperial Palace)
Kaiserpfalz Werla (Werla Imperial Palace). (Photo: Nördliches Harzvorland Tourismusverband e.V., NHaVo/Christian Bierwagen)

True community spirit

People know each other, value each other, and talk to one another. This advantage of a rural community is part of life in every corner of the district of Wolfenbüttel. There are plenty of opportunities for adults and children alike to play an active role in shaping their community. The comprehensive range of educational opportunities plays a significant role in this. Modern nurseries, all types of schools and a dedicated youth parliament lay the foundations for an active adult life, in which the focus is not only on consumption, but above all personal creativity. Since 1 April 1 2017, Wolfenbüttel has fulfilled all of the relevant criteria in the area of child friendliness, which means it can be certified as a ‘KinderFerienLand’ location (tourist region for children). Along with Butjadingen, this makes Wolfenbüttel the second municipality in Lower Saxony whose services for family trips – including child and family-friendly accommodation, dining facilities and leisure and adventure parks – have been officially recognised. Numerous associations from the AHA-ERLEBNISmuseum (a children’s museum) to the Zentrum für Umwelt und Mobilität (Centre for Environment and Mobility) offer a wide range of opportunities to become personally involved, which helps newcomers quickly feel at home.

This openness hasn’t come about by chance; rather, it’s a longstanding tradition in the northern Harz Foreland. Enlightenment thinkers, such as Lessing, soon came to the conviction that the adversities of human coexistence can be best overcome with reason and personal freedom of action. Lessing thus promoted civic self-awareness, which continues in the city and countryside to this day in the form of an active array of foundations. The holistic tradition of education is also reflected in the Landesmusikakademie Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony’s music academy), the Federal Academy for Cultural Education and Duke August Library, which is renowned far beyond the state’s borders.

But not only traditional stores of knowledge are easily accessible in the district of Wolfenbüttel. The district provides a comprehensive fibre optic network with VDSL bandwidths of up to 100 mbps. And the infrastructure is being constantly expanded – for example, by building 25 hotspots throughout the entire district. In other words, the conditions for state-of-the-art approaches to life and work, far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

The health care provided to the citizens of the city and district is just as exemplary as the availability of state-of-the-art communications technology. Ärztehaus Wolfenbüttel health centre is home to a GP’s surgery, occupational, speech and physical therapists, a specialist in ophthalmology, a nursing service, a gynaecological practice, two chiropractors and a practice for psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy.

A transfer of knowledge happens where people speak with each other. The special sense of community in the district can be traced back to the excellent educational opportunities, medicine and communications technology that are available. Plus there’s the productive combination of modern and traditional, analogue and digital opportunities, which are created on the basis of shared collaboration. The weekly market in the city of Wolfenbüttel is thus still an ideal meeting place, where long-time residents and new citizens alike come together and share casual conversations. And this works perfectly in the region, even if it’s a traditional way of doing things. An analogue Facebook, if you will.

 headquarters of Mast-Jägermeister SE
The headquarters of Mast-Jägermeister SE. (Photo: Lessingstadt Wolfenbüttel / Christian Bierwagen)
Eulenspiegel performer
An Eulenspiegel performer in Wolfenbüttel. (Photo: Thomas Kempernolte)

A cosmopolitan outlook, tolerance and the Enlightenment

In Wolfenbüttel, the largest city in the district of the same name, visitors can explore the life and work of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing on a refreshing walk through the city, which is rich in historic half-timbered houses. Starting at his home, to his place of work, the Duke August Library, to the Nathan statue – in honour of the protagonist of his famous drama ‘Nathan the Wise’ – the stops along the tour illustrate the spirit of the Enlightenment and its concept of tolerance, which is so very relevant today.

 

Anyone who wants to combine a natural experience with a historical practical joke while being physically active at the same time will enjoy the 60-kilometre-long Eulenspiegel bike path. The spectacle-shaped circular route, which highlights the stories of the medieval prankster with numerous outdoor installations at original locations, meanders between Elm and Asse. Not far from his presumed place of birth, the tour culminates in Schöppenstedt’s Till-Eulenspiegel Museum. And never fear if you get hungry along the way: the historic Waldgaststätte Tetzelstein restaurant entices with hearty meals – from venison specialities to home-made apple cake. You can fill up on plenty of energy for the next few kilometres here!

 

In addition to the Eulenspiegel bike path, the district of Wolfenbüttel offers numerous other possibilities to relax in nature, on foot or by bike. Whether it’s along the fast-flowing Oker River, through the forested areas of the Oderwald region or on a discovery tour in Geopark Harz,, which UNESCO named a geological and cultural heritage particularly worthy of protection in 2015.

Indulgence and quality of life – herbal liqueur, coffee roasters and more.

Love to end a hearty meal with a neat herbal liqueur? If so, you’re not alone in Germany, and you’ll be absolutely in the right place in Wolfenbüttel. The far most successful company in the fine spirits segment has its headquarters in Wolfenbüttel. We are talking, of course, about Jägermeister, or more precisely, Mast-Jägermeister SE. And if you have ever wanted to know how this hit export in a bottle, which includes 56 herbs, is made, you can discover the secret behind the traditional drink on a factory tour.

But Jägermeister fans aren’t the only ones who get their money’s worth in the Wolfenbüttel district. Discerning coffee lovers’ taste buds won’t be disappointed at the two local roasters and their adjacent cafes. On the contrary, Pinocchio – which is owned by Jo Weigmann, a retired police sergeant and keen barista – offers everyone their perfect cup of coffee, whether fruity or chocolaty, mild or strong. Monika Steinig, who owns Treccino Cafébar & Rösterei, attaches great importance to fair trade and social justice in addition to the highest standards of quality. For this reason, she buys most of her raw coffee directly from the grower, without intermediaries. That is the way to enjoy a truly sustainable cup of coffee!

But Wolfenbüttel doesn’t just have treats for adults; there are perfect shopping opportunities for the whole family as well. The organic market close to the city centre, which offers a complete range of food plus natural cosmetics in a 500-square-metre space, is the epitome of a healthy, local option. If you spend a bit more time, you can find plenty of products in the area that come straight from the producer. Depending on the season, apples, cherries and raspberries are available fresh from Obsthof Molks fruit farm in Evessen. Dairy products and speciality cheeses are on offer in a historic setting at Klostergut Heiningen estate. Bioland organic potatoes, vegetables, salads and herbs can be found in Eilum at Lindenhof farm.

Half-timbered architecture in Hornburg (Copyright christo.cc)
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