Bergen – Journey Back Into History

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The megalithic stones and pre-historic burial mounds near Bergen have been there for around 5000 years and still confuse and baffle archaeologists and visitors. But for history buffs, the ancient artefacts are worth venturing to during a hike through the scenic greens the Celle district of Lower Saxony in Germany is blessed with. The former agricultural market town has not lost any of its medieval charm although today is mostly known for its British Military base and its proximity to the infamous Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which was the scene of many atrocities committed by war-time Nazis. Bergen may be small, but the wealth of history and natural beauty here is enough to keep visitors occupied.

Location: Close to Hamburg and Hannover

Located among the fields and forests of Lower Saxony, Bergen is easy to reach by rail and road. Its three stations receive trains and buses from the nearby major cities of Hamburg and Hannover, both of which have international airports.

Culture: Mysterious pre-historic monuments

The wealth of culture in Bergen is one of the major draws to inquisitive visitors with an interest in history. By all means, pop into the small Local History Museum housed in a 350-year old farmhouse, but the sights of greater interest lie further afield. The haunting Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is a must-visit pleace, although not for the faint of heart. If you have an interest in ancient history, head for the megalithic gravesite of Sieben Steinhauser and Siddernhausen Dolmen which are thought to have existed since around 3000 BCE. In the pastures, you will also find strange man-made hills, thought to be prehistoric burial mounds from the early bronze-age although nobody is entirely sure why they are there. It’s a mystery worthy of further exploration!

Activities: Find peace in the parks

For something to do, head to Schützenplatz or Bürgerplatz which are surrounded by woodland parks where you can escape to the peace and quiet and is easily accessible by bike. Families with small children will enjoy feeding the ducks by the pond, or get out of the city along one of the nature trails and admire the beauty of the surrounding area. You may also be interested in taking the self-guided Bergen History Trail, which stops of at 11 sites, each of which has an information board which describes the story of each building en-route.