This time last week, A.J. and I were making our way back to the U.S., through a variety of cities and airports. But for the three-and-a-half days before that, we’d been in lovely Celle, Germany. Our main goal in being there was to watch the Concours International d’Attelage de Tradition (CIAT, or International Traditional Driving Event), but we also had fun exploring the old city.

The city of Celle has a remarkably well-preserved and vibrant city center, filled with hundreds of buildings built between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. It may be difficult to see in some of these photos where I’ve used a wide-angle lens and skewed the perspective, but a lot of these buildings are really uneven — with door frames, floors, and window frames at odd angles to each other — after several centuries of settling.

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see the dates on the right-hand building (“erbaut Anno Domini 1629” and “umgebaut im Jahre 1980”)? this building was built in 1629 and renovated in 1980

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Saturday morning featured a farmers’ market that filled the squares in front of and beside the old Rathaus:

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Also on Saturday, we watched the presentation portion of the CIAT (which I’ll post photos of tomorrow). Two of the three judging stations were in front of Celle’s palace, which we wandered around in the morning to photograph.

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this path goes all the way around the castle, next to what used to be the moat

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… The third judging station for presentation, the final test during Sunday morning’s drive, and the cones competition were held at the nearby Landgestüt Celle (the state stud farm of Lower Saxony). The world-famous Hannoverian breed calls this lovely farm home, and this statue on the palace grounds commemorates the Hannoverian stallions and their trainers.

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