World Heritage and history
Both churches still have an unusually large number of historical objects, which provide a unique overview of the way in which the churches were decorated and designed during the Romanesque period. In the Cathedral, this includes Bernwards Door, which was cast in bronze in 1015, and Christs Pillar dating from 1020, impressive evidence of the enormous creative talent of Bishop Bernward. With its monumental painted ceiling dating from the 13th century depicting the lineage of Christ, St. Michaels Church is considered to be one of the most beautiful early Romanesque churches in Germany. As masterpieces of religious architecture, these two churches fascinate tourists as well as art experts with their art treasures. The 1,000-year-old rosebush, which continues to bloom at the apse of the Cathedral, is also one of the citys popular tourist attractions.
Following the 1,000-year anniversary of St. Michaels Church in 2010, there was cause for celebration in 2015 as well: this year marked the 1,200-year anniversary of the Bishopric and thus the birth of the city of Hildesheim.
Just a few streets away from the Cathedral, youll find the Gothic St. Andrews Church, whose tower can be climbed to a height of 75 metres up 364 steps. The church steeple is 114.5 metres high in total, the highest church steeple in all of Lower Saxony.
Culture and education
Hildesheims museums are home to treasures of international renown. The Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum in particular is famous for its ancient Egyptian collection. The world-famous collection owes its beginnings to the merchant, collector and patron Wilhelm Pelizaeus. He gave the collection to his hometown of Hildesheim as a gift in 1907 and the museum that still bears his name today was erected in 1911. In addition, the museum has made quite a name for itself by also featuring outstanding special exhibitions on a wide variety of different topics. The Hildesheim Cathedral Museum reopened to visitors in spring 2015 after five years of renovation. It is home to a collection of treasures from the cathedral's history and the remarkable Cathedral Treasury, which forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. The famous Butchers Guildhall houses the Civic Museum, which features presentations on the history of Hildesheim and the surrounding region. The Magdalenen Gardens are also certainly well worth a visit. They were completely redesigned in 2003 on the basis of old plans dating from the Baroque period it is one of the oldest convent gardens in Lower Saxony and the venue of a garden festival each year in June. One of its main features is the rosarium with more than 1,800 rosebushes. The Historical Market Square is the touristic heart of Hildesheim. With its buildings, which were carefully reconstructed after having been destroyed in World War II, it once again presents a complete picture today and draws crowds of tourists every year.
Anyone interested in culture can take advantage of many different events, concerts, exhibitions and theatre performances throughout the entire year. The varied repertoire of the Theater für Niedersachsen (Theatre for Lower Saxony TfN), which is based in Hildesheim, includes operas, plays, concerts and even has its own musical company. This range of offers is complemented by an impressive free theatre scene with perhaps first and foremost, the Theaterhaus Hildesheim. An impressive number of sporting events, festivals, markets and open-air events attract large, enthusiastic audiences during the summer months in Hildesheim. Whether its Jazztime or the International Street-Music and Street-Art Festival entitled Pflasterzauber (Cobblestone Magic), which features artists, comedy, show elements using fire and flames and lots of music, or the Mera Luna Festival for the Gothic scene there is certainly something for everyone in Hildesheim. Culture and entertainment are also offered by the University of Hildesheim, which organizes the festive Mid-Summers Night in the Marienburg Manor. The Rosenstadt Initiative organizes the popular Magdalenen Festival in the Magdalenen Gardens, the Association of Fine Arts presents the crème de la crème from the regional art scene with its annual exhibition in the Stammelbach warehouse and the Olympic Camp sets up its tents at the Jo-Wiese outdoor swimming pool every summer.
Hildesheim owes its rich diversity not least to the thousands of students who take advantage of the many courses of study offered at the University of Hildesheim, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen (HAWK) and the North German Technical College for Legal Assistants (FHR-Nord). Life-long learning thats something you can find in Hildesheim. The educational landscape here provides optimal coverage for all types of schools. The local community college, the Volkshochschule Hildesheim, rounds out the offer.
Living and leisure time
Hildesheim is able to boast special qualities in the healthcare sector and has more strengths in this field than many other cities: with two hospitals, a specialist clinic for psychiatry and psychotherapy and an above-average number of doctors in private practice, the city is able to provide excellent local medical facilities and healthcare. In addition to the medical facilities, the city is also situated in a very scenic location in southern Lower Saxony, nestled between the foothills of the Harz Mountains and the northern German lowlands. The rich offer of recreation areas in the city with lakes, parks and forests is diverse, easy to reach on foot and invites citizens and visitors alike to enjoy physical exercise and lead a healthier life. Its no coincidence that a popular German magazine, Hörzu, selected Hildesheim as the healthiest city in Germany a number of years ago.
The Baroque Magdalenen Gardens, the Ernst-Ehrlicher Park with its old trees, the green areas on the Kehrwieder Wall, the Hohnsen Lake recreation area and the Hildesheim Forest offer ample opportunities to take walks and go hiking or jogging. Well-signed paths, along the Radweg-zur-Kunst (Cycling Path to Art), for example, take cyclists in the area around Hildesheim all the way to major national cycling paths. The plains of the Hildesheim Börde (a lowland area) and the Giften Lakes recreation area, the Leine and Innerste Rivers and the Leine hill country and foothills of the Harz Mountains provide many more opportunities for recreational activities and holidaymaking. In the surrounding area, the summer residence of the last Queen of Hannover, Marienburg Castle, the Fagus Factory in Alfeld, which was built by Walter Gropius and added to the list of World Cultural Heritage sites in 2011, and Bad Salzdetfurth, a spa city, are all also well worth a visit.
As a compactly designed shopping city, Hildesheim is a magnetic for a large surrounding region. With attractively designed pedestrian zones and shopping streets with small shops interspersed with large department stores and a recently built shopping mall, its difficult to resist going on an extended shopping expedition once youre in the city centre. Hildesheim is also able to boast excellent travel connections. The A7 motorway and the ICE train stop on the Frankfurt-Berlin route provide travellers with ideal connections. In addition, Hildesheim has an inland port and an airport, which is able to accommodate aircraft up to 5.7 tons.