Length 12.7 km (7.9 miles) or 6km if you turn around after Bürgerpark, terrain: flat
Braunschweig (Brunswick in English) offers a lot to see, with a lot of beautiful corners in the old-town and a string of parks following the Oker River southwards. This route will connect those together into a run you're not likely to soon forget. You can either run the short version of the route, through the old town and the Bürgerpark, or double the distance by adding on the further parklands down past Südsee (South Lake).
|Half-timbered house in Braunschweig|
So let's start the run right in the heart of this history, at Burgplatz, the square between Dankwarderode castle, the cathedral and the Lower Saxony State Museum. The square is dominated by the lion statue, symbol of the most famous Saxon duke, Henry the Lion.
|The Braunschweig Lion in Burgplatz|
Through the arched arcades bridging the castle and cathedral you can see the neogothic tower of the town hall to the east.
So, if you can tear yourself away from this inspiring scene, turn your back to the castle and face westwards. Start running down Vor der Burg, past half-timbered houses.
You'll come to another big square, Kohlmarkt, with a round fountain and lined with old houses. Now turn left to exit the square along Hutfiltern.
In a block you'll come to a street with a tram-line down the middle, Waisenhausdamm. Cross the street and continue straight on, along Hinter Liebfrauen.
Now keep right and pass the church along its west side, past more beautiful half-timbered houses and the peaceful churchyard, running southwards. This is the one-kilometer mark.
|Lessing, with a beer in his hand|
Now cross the street and run south along Nimes-Straße, passing the Steigenberger Hotel. After the hotel, you'll find yourself entering Bürgerpark. The park lines the Oker River and contains a string of ponds.
Turn right here, at the 3-kilometer mark, and pass the watermill on the Oker River. The street curves to the right just past the mill.
|At the watermill|
To do the long version of the run, follow the small street, Kennelweg, southwards under the two train bridges. The Oker River and swampy marshes will be to your left.
|Railway bridge over Kennelweg|
|The riverside trail|
You'll soon come to Südsee, where we'll keep the water to the right side and run the 1.5-km to the south tip of the lake. You can either run on the main paved path or take the dirt path closer to the water.
|Südsee on a frosty day|
So when you come to the southern tip, with its reeds and waterbirds, keep the water to your right side and now head back northwards for the return half of the run, running up the west side of the lake.
At the north end of the lake, the trail will merge back to the same trail that we first ran along earlier.
Now follow the same way back to the watermill. But once there, to see more of the area, keep running along Eisenbüttler Straße for a few blocks, until it makes a sharp turn to the left. At that spot turn right and follow the bike/pedestrian path into Bürgerpark again, over the footbridge across the Oker.
|The footbridge over the Oker|
Run through Lessingplatz and past the Ägidienkirche again to Auguststraße.
Now let's discover another cool old-town neighborhood, the Magniviertel, maybe the nicest old-town neighborhood. So cross Auguststraße, and run up Mandelnstraße for its one short block. Then turn right then left to run along Ritterstraße. When you hit the square with the Magnikirche (church), you've come to the heart of the neighborhood, with beautiful half-timbered houses, full of shops and restaurants. This is a great neighborhood to return to in the evenings.
|Strange buildings along Ackerhof|
Just past the weird houses, you'll be at a busy street, Georg-Eckert-Straße. The big ducal palace is right across the street, so let's get over there. Run around to the left to the front side.
|The palace at night|
Now leave the big palace square to run westwards, past the neo-gothic town hall with its tall tower.
|Re-enter Burgplatz under the arcade|