Historic timber-framed craftsmanship

#TIMBER-FRAMEDCITY

A stroll through the past

If you are walking through Einbeck’s narrow streets and across Market Square, they immediately catch your eye: Our beautiful timber-framed houses, richly decorated with coloured wood carvings. 700-years of beer brewing traditionin our city are also still present on the houses' façades.

Probably the most impressive timber-framed houses of our town are originated in the Renaissance period and were built after the huge city fires in 1540 and 1549. Due to further fires in the 17th and 19th century, today we still count with approx. 150 of these mighty buildings in our Old Town. The consequences of the fires can still be seen on different timber-framed constructions, e.g. on Market Square where houses from the 16th to the 20th century can be found closely side by side. The Old Town Hall, the Brodhaus and the Town Pharmacy (Rats-Apotheke) were rebuilt in the middle of the 16th century, and on the southern side of Market Square various three-storied timber-framed buildings were constructed after a fire in 1832. The Stone House (Steinerne Haus) was rebuilt in 1923.

Just imagine: The Brodhaus is supposed to be one of the oldest inns in Lower Saxony! Built in 1552, it was Einbeck’s bakers’ guildhall and an inn at the same time, and even today you may still enjoy freshly draught Einbecker beer here.

After the huge city fire in 1540, people in Einbeck continued to build their houses in the medieval Gothic construction method (12th – 16th century), i.e. two or three-storied timber-framed houses in the post-and-beam construction method. However, the decorative ornaments on the façades with a great variety of ornamental wood carvings such as fan rosettes were typical for the Renaissance period (15th – 17th century). The rich ornamentation with wood carving art and friezes with inscriptions displays furthermore the wealth of the beer-brewing citizens of our Hanseatic town. It was only after the Thirty-Years War that houses were no longer decorated with ornaments. The roofs were covered with sandstone slabs from the mountain range Solling that is close by, but only a few of those roofs are preserved until today.

You can marvel at a very special jewel of skilled craftsmanship on Market Street – the Eicke House built in 1612. Today, you will find our Tourist-Information and the KulturRing in this house. Discover the numerous wood carvings of the planet divinities, the seven liberal arts, the virtues, the Muses, the five senses as well as Jesus Christ and the four evangelists on the house’s façade.

Timber-framed construction methods in Einbeck

The post-and-beam construction method was the original, typical construction method in the Middle Ages. Due to the enhanced static preconditions the post-and-beam construction method offered a possibility to construct multi-storied buildings. Therefore, this method is also called storey construction method. In the 16th century, this construction method was replaced by the jettying construction method. With this construction method, the posts that form the inner and side walls and carry the main load of the construction are only a little higher than one storey. Using the jettying construction method each upper storey could be built slightly protruding over the lower storey. It allowed to gain a little more room on the narrow plots if the upper storeys protruded over the sidewalk or the street.

The Town Pharmacy (Rats-Apotheke) on Market Square is a typical example of a Renaissance building that combines both construction methods. The front of the left house is built in the jettying construction method, however the long side facing the street Münsterstraße is constructed in the post-and-beam construction method just as the adjacent building. Both houses were once constructed individually and only united under one roof in 1590.

 

However, the timber-framed houses in Einbeck were mostly constructed in a mixed construction method using both construction types as it was usual in the Gothic period, i.e. to a ground floor built in the post-and-beam construction method an upper storey was added using the jettying construction method. A large number of these houses had gruit (brewing) rights in medieval times – therefore the houses had high, round-arched entrance gates. On brewing days, brewing carriage and vessel were driven through these entrance gates into the former brewing halls.

Tiedexer Street (Tiedexer Straße) leading from Market Square to today’s PS.SPEICHER is a special well-preserved example for a row of timber-framed houses in a mixed construction method and was built in the 16th century. It is the longest row of timber-framed houses in Einbeck! And probably also one of the longest in Lower Saxony.

You want to learn more? Come to Einbeck and have a stroll through our lovely Old Town. The best way to discover more is on one of our many guided city tours.

 

Interesting facts on our timber-framed city

46 villages

belong to our timber-framed city. Therefore, according to area Einbeck is the largest city district in Lower Saxony.

of our town are from the Renaissance period and were built after the large city fires in 1540 and 1549.

can be found in our Open-Air-Galery. Timber-frame meets Graffiti!

The Eicke House - Einbeck's timber-framed jewel

Built in 1612, the Eicke House in Market Street is the timber-framed house with the most important ornamental wood carvings in Einbeck and has an exceptional position.

The building owner had a pictorial programme added on 42 panels to two façades. This way education and faith were displayed. In addition to panels showing Christ, the four evangelists and the apostles, the seven liberal arts, the virtues, the planet divinities and the five senses are shown. The seven liberal arts account for the humanities, the nine muses for history as well as for culture. 100 heads and masks decorate the beam heads and posts between the breast plates. The corner beams are both impressive and unusual. They show nearly completely three-dimensional warriors who seem to “carry” the house. Towards the top the load becomes lighter so that the warrior on the top only needs one arm to lift the house. Further to the Old Latin School in Alfeld, this town house is one of the buildings with the largest preserved pictorial programme in norther Germany and it counts as a monument of special national and cultural historic importance since 2001.

But who was the owner of this magnificent building? For all that is known, probably it must have been a wealthy and well-educated merchant.

After its completion, the building often changed owners. Its name “House of Eicke” reminds of the haberdasher and wool merchant Herrmann Eicke. He bought the splendid timber-framed building in 1877 and, for more than 60 years, the building housed his laces, embellishments & Co. business. Since 2002, this timber-framed jewels belongs to Foundation The House of Eicke. The foundation was created to gather funds for the necessary renovation to put the house back into use. The house was restored until 2006 and repaired from a static point of view. Structural engineers, archaeologists, architects, monument preservationists, conservationists and more than 40 trades worked for four years to restore the house’s stability and have it shine in new splendour. The numerous, previously coloured ornamental wood carvings were returned to its wood-coloured status and refined with linseed oil and waxes. With a great festival for its citizens, Einbeck inaugurated the Eicke House on 3rd September 2006. The foundation received the German Award for Timber-Framing for the restoration work around the project “The Eicke House” in 2009.

History of the town of Einbeck in numbers

Development of Einbeck

The name Einbeck originates from the word einbeeke meaning “at the stream” in Low German. The town originated at a military important river crossing of the stream Krumme Wasser, a northern inflow of the river Ilme, as well as at the crossroads of two important trade routes. Even today the stream can be seen on the city’s coat of arms. In the North of the Krumme Wasser the Counts of Katlenburg built an estate.

Ein Einblick in die Heilig-Blut-Kapelle der Mpbnsterkirche St. Alexandri.

St. Alexandri Collegiate Church and Holy Blood Relic

Count Dietrich II of Katlenburg founded on the estate St. Alexandri Collegiate Church in honour of the Holy Alexander of Rome. In 1108, the building of a Romanesque basilica was finished. This basilica is the foundation of today’s St. Alexandri Collegiate Church. A relic – a drop of Jesus Christ’s blood – turned the Collegiate into a place of pilgrimage at the beginning of the 12th century.

 

Tradesman settle

In the South of St. Alexandri Collegiate Church, on the other side of the bank of the stream Krumme Wasser, merchants and tradesman settle – a market settlement emerges. The river plain between the market and the Collegiate is filled up and people also settle here. St. Jacob’s Market Church is built. In 1238, this church is mentioned for the first time.

historische Verteidigungsanlagen am Storchenturm in Einbeck.

First town fortifications

The rampart with moat walling the market settlement and the Collegiate was the beginning of Einbeck’s town fortifications around 1250. A town wall was first mentioned in a document 1264.

 

Merian-Kupferstich nach Buno-Zeichnung

Official foundation of the town

In 1252, Einbeck had its town charter, a town council was mentioned. Therefore, this year accounts as the year of the official foundation of the town.

Extended town charter was given to Einbeck by its sovereign Heinrich Mirabilis in 1279.

 

Choir stalls of St. Alexandri

The wooden choir stalls dated 1288 are some of St. Alexandri’s treasures. They were meant for 18 canons and are the oldest dated choir stalls in Germany. Further to wood carved heads, foliate masks and other ornaments also a hop cone stands out from its decoration: An indication that this ingredient for beer brewing was already known at the time.

Einbeck becomes beer town

Beer from Einbeck is first mentioned in long-distance trade. Beer trade was very important for the former Hanseatic town. More than 700 houses in Einbeck had the right to brew beer. The town council bought the overproduction and took care of its commercialization all over Germany and abroad. Until today, the interaction between brewing and construction methods may be seen from the architecture of the historic timber-framed houses.

Beer city

Member of the Hanseatic League

Einbeck is mentioned for the first time as member of the Hanseatic League of cities that was founded after the Hanseatic days in Lübeck 1356/58.

New building of St. Alexandri

The Gothic new building of St. Alexandri Minster in Einbeck is finished after more than 200 years. The hall church combines building types from the High Gothic, Late Gothic and Baroque periods.

Reformation in Einbeck

Enforcement of the Reformation in Einbeck.

City fires and timber-frame

Two large city fires destroyed nearly the entire medieval Einbeck. The timber-framed houses were reconstructed in the Gothic construction method, many times with influences from the Renaissance periods and with wood carvings.

Einbeck im 17. Jahrhundert, Kupferstich

During the Thirty-Years War

The town is occupied twice by enemy troops and raided.

Blue Dye Printing

Foundation of the dying workshop Wittram. The blue dye printing technique was introduced by the founder's son in Einbeck around 1700.

More details
Marktkirche St. Jacobi auf dem Marktplatz in Einbeck

Leaning tower of Einbeck

A supporting façade is added to the 65-metres high steeple of St. Jacob’s Market Church that is inclined to the West. Because of insufficient foundations in the area of the church tower, intensive vault redevelopments already had to take place in 1471/73. The norther side aisle had to be completely replaced. Nevertheless, the steeple is still inclined by 1.50 metres to the side and has been nicknamed “Leaning tower of Einbeck”.

Railway starts operating

In 1883, the train Ilmebahn connects Einbeck to the railway network.

August Stukenbrok

August Stukenbrok, businessman from Einbeck, opens a small bicycle shop in 1890. Within a couple of years this shop grows into a large company. His secret is bulk purchase at the manufacturers and direct selling to the clients. August Stukenbrok is successful and extends his range of products. He becomes the first “mail order king” of Germany. The global economic crisis hits the company hard. In 1931, the company has to file for bankruptcy, 400 workplaces are destroyed.

Nasenschild an der Fassade des Museums in Einbeck

StadtMuseum

Today's TownMuseum (StadtMuseum) is opened.

TownMuseum

Mustard of Einbeck

The company Dähnhardt produces mustard in Einbeck in the grinding by millstone procedure for the first time. In the first half of the 20th century, mustard miller Henry Dähnhardt produces high-quality mustard in the street Altendorfer Straße for 30 years. His maxim: “The honourable reputation of the old Hanseatic town Einbeck is a commitment to widely known quality”.

Einbeck’s Mustard Mill

Foundation of the Heidemann Werke (HWE)

The bicycle manufacturer Karl Heidemann (Baronia) from Bielefeld bought Stukenbrok’s unused buildings in 1937 and built a bicycle manufactory at this site. The Heidemann Werke (HWE) – taken over by Karl’s son Gerhard in 1942 – were soon to be Germany’s largest bicycle producer. In 1977, a modern bicycle manufactory is constructed in the Einbeck’s industrial area. Furthermore, Heidemann also supplies parts to the car industry. At the end of the 1980s the company is completely restructured and bicycle manufacturing is abandoned in 1992.

Wappen der Stadt Thiais in Frankreich

Partner town Thiais (France)

As part of the Franco-German agreement the French city Thiais, Departement du Val-de-Marne, becomes twin town of Einbeck. 60 years later, Einbeck and Thiais still maintain the exchange between groups and associations related to culture, sport and youth. The square Thiaisplatz is located at Einbeck central train station. Every year a French delegation comes to the Owl Festival and offers wine from their region at their booth.

Mehr erfahren

Municipal reform

Einbeck an 31 suburbanised villages become part of the Northeim county.

Member of the German Half-Timbered Houses Route

Under the slogan “Half-timbered unites” timber-frame towns from 7 German federal states joined up in order to coordinate their marketing. The German Half-Timbered Houses Route runs meanwhile from the river Elbe in the North passing the region Oberlausitz in eastern Saxony to Lake Constance in the South through the federal states of Saxony, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Hesse, Thuringia, Bavaria and Baden Wuerttemberg. It is divided into seven regional routes - Einbeck is located on the route “From the river Elbe to the Harz mountains”.

Partner town Artern (Thuringia)

After the Germany’s reunification Artern in Thuringia becomes twin town of Einbeck. The square Artern-Platz is inaugurated in 2012. As “the East and the West” have been growing closer together over the last decades, there are now only occasional exchanges between groups and associations as well as representatives from city council and administration.

Mehr erfahren
Wappen der Stadt Paczków in Polen.

Partner town Paczków / Patschkau (Poland)

After the World War II Einbeck received Germans expellees from Patschkau in today’s Poland. Since 1954, Einbeck is their twin town and people meet up on a regular basis. You can learn more in our TownMuseum (StadtMuseum). As a symbol of reconciliation and of the European friendship, a twin town agreement is closed with the Polish who now live in Paczków (formerly Patschkau). There are special contacts in relation to the youth and culture. Every year, a Polish delegation comes to the Owl Festival and their regional products at their booth.

Twin town Keene, New Hampshire (USA)

A visit of Einbeck’s delegation gave occasion to sign a twin town document in Keene in a ceremony. Einbeck city council agreed on the partnership with Keene city. Keene, New Hampshire (USA), had already initiated a first contact with Einbeck in 1998. There are special contacts in the areas youth, sport and culture.

Mehr erfahren

The Eicke House

In order to restore the former glory of this timber-framed jewel in the street Marktstraße, the foundation Stiftung Eickesches Haus was founded in 2002. During four years the houses is restored and repaired from a static point of view. With a great festival for its citizens, Einbeck inaugurated the Eicke House on 3rd September 2006.

More details

German Award for Timber-Framing

The foundation received the German Award for Timber-Framing for the restoration work around the project “The Eicke House” in 2009 awarded by the working group Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutsche Fachwerkstädte e.V. Thus, the jury honours the “exemplary and model restoration” of the building and the “great commitment for timber-framing”.

Mehr erfahren

Largest municipality in southern Lower Saxony

The city of Einbeck merges with the community Kreiensen: As of now 46 villages belong to Einbeck so that it is now the largest municipality according to size in southern Lower Saxony.

Twin Town (Austria)

Since 1987, the former community Kreiensen is twin town of the municipality of Wieselburg in Lower Austria. After merging with Kreiensen, Einbeck continues the partnership. A lot of associations and the fire fighters - especially in the region of the former community Kreiensen - have been bringing life to this partnership for three decades and visit each other on a regular basis. And there are more common topics: The 4,000-citizens town Wieselburg is beer town just like Einbeck, but also the automobile and mobility sector.

Fachwerk5Eck

The cities Einbeck, Duderstadt, Hann. Münden, Northeim and Osterode am Harz join up in the project “Fachwerk5Eck” (pentagon of timber-framed cities) to promote the Lower Saxony as a region. A unique selling point of this region is the large amount of well-preserved, protected timber-framed houses from seven hundred years. The unique portfolio of timber-framed buildings represents timber-framed architecture from different periods and counts as important cultural heritage that has to be preserved.

Zu Fachwerk5Eck

Inauguration PS.SPEICHER

Inauguration of the vintage cars experience exhibition PS.SPEICHER in the historic granary.

Vintage cars city

Re-activation of the railway section

The railway section between Einbeck city centre, Einbeck central train station, and Einbeck-Salzderhelden train station is re-activated in December 2018.

New brand, new logo

After a yearlong brand development process Einbeck has a new brand. With a new focus, new logo and new target groups.

Craftsmanship in timber-framed architecture

Beer, Blue Dye Printing & Mustard

Traditional craftsmanship in timber-framed architecture – a priority in Einbeck. The basis of our 700-year brewing tradition can be found in the former brewing houses with high-arched entrance gates that you can still admire in the street Tiedexer Straße nowadays. But the technique of blue dye printing has also been used in Einbeck’s Old Town since the 17th century. In a historic timber-framed building at the square Möncheplatz traditional craftsmanship from centuries’ ago is still used to make typical patterns appear like miracle on fabric. During a guided tour you can watch how this is done. At only a couple of metres distance, Einbeck’s Mustard Mill produces the Hottest of the North right in the middle of magnificent timber-framed houses in the street Knochenhauerstraße. The mustard is produced from regional ingredients in the grinding by millstone procedure. During a tasting, you can try delicious mustard from Einbeck.

 

Guided city tours in timber-framed scenery

Discover our lovely timber-framed town with our trained city tour guides!

On a guided city tour you will see the beauties and sights of our historic Old Town. Listen to exciting tales and stories about the huge city fire in 1540, about well-known personalities from Einbeck, and funny anecdotes and learn more about former the Hanseatic town Einbeck.

 

© Daniel Li Photography
© Daniel Li Photography

Indulgence in timber-framed architecture

Discover Einbeck's delights

Einbeck also has a lot of culinary delights to offer right in the middle of the timber-framed scenery.

For example, you can taste your way through freshly draught Einbecker beer specialities during a beer tasting in the Brodhaus on Market Square.

Or sit and relax on Market Square after a short wander through the city, and enjoy a freshly brewed coffee of Einbeck’s coffee roasting house.

You are in the mood for something hot? Treat yourself to the Hottest of the North in Einbeck’s Mustard Mill. In the branch located in the street Knochenhauerstraße you will not only get 10 different types of regional mustard, but also further tasty gift ideas from our region offered by Kostbares Südniedersachsen.

Timber-frame meets Graffiti

Discover south Lower Saxony’s largest open air gallery

You may not expect it, but it’s true: Our romantic Einbeck has been in the spotlight of the international Street-Art-Scene for years. Since 2014, every year a lot of well-known street art artists from all over the world come to Einbeck to make our beautiful timber-framed town even more beautiful and interesting with their colourful artwork.

Nowadays, we already count with 60 ArtSpots - some of them enormous – on walls of buildings and houses!

© YoungArt Einbeck

Fachwerk Hooray

Timber-framed art

In one of the most beautiful timber-framed building of Einbeck you may discover or re-discover Einbeck’s timber-frame themes. At the Martkplatz 31, preservation activist Patricia Magdalene Keil presents detail-loving art, creative and bizarre things related to timber-frame.

Timber-framed houses painted on stones that snugly fit in your hands, details photographed from completely new perspectives and cast on always pretty and sometimes useful items and fashion – that’s what Fachwerk Hooray is about.

Event tip: Fachwerk-Kultur-Sommer

Timber-frame, culture & indulgence

There is loads to discover during Einbeck’s Fachwerk-Kultur-Sommer (timber-frame-culture-summer) in JUNE (in 2021: exceptionally September)! Street musicians and artists show their talents, food trucks seduce with culinary temptations and all that in the impressive scenery of timber-frame city Einbeck.

Timber-framed jewels in the evening light and at night

In the mood for more?

Come and discover further facets of our town!

It appears that you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer as your web browser to access our site.

For practical and security reasons, we recommend that you use a current web browser such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, or Edge. Internet Explorer does not always display the complete content of our website and does not offer all the necessary functions.