Celle Castle or, less commonly, Celle Palace, in the German town of Celle in Lower Saxony was one of the residences of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg. This quadrangular building is the largest castle in the southern Lüneburg Heath region.
Celle Castle is based on a fortified wall tower with the character of a water castle, that guarded a ford over the River Aller. This first fortification, called Kellu, was built by a Brunonen count around 980 AD. Another forerunner of the castle, which may have been an extension of the wall tower, was founded in 1292 by Otto the Strict. The cellar vault and the lower stories of the watch tower have survived to the present day. Its ruins lie underneath the castle theatre. Around 1315 the actual Castrum Celle was first recorded. As a consequence of the War of the Lüneburg Succession, in 1378 the Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg moved their Residenz from Lüneburg to Celle and began transforming the Burg, now encircled by ditches and embankments, into a Schloss. About a century later the castle was further expanded by Frederick the Pious from 1471–1478, and the castle chapel was consecrated in 1485. Ernest I the Confessor had the castle decorated from 1530 in the renaissance style. At the same time, between 1520 and 1560, the defences, in the form of ramparts and bastions, were pushed further out. At this time the castle was typical of its era, a quadrangular building with a rectangular courtyard, with massive corner towers, a large main tower and characteristic features of Weser Renaissance.
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