CELLE, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Hanover, on the left bank of the navigable Aller, near its junction with the Fuse and the Lachte, 23 m. N.E. of Hanover, on the main Lehrte-Hamburg railway. Pop. (1905) 21,400. The town has a Roman Catholic and five Protestant churches, among the latter the town-church with the burial vault of the dukes of Lüneburg-Celle. Here rest the remains of Sophia Dorothea, wife of the elector George of Hanover, afterwards George I. of England, and those of Caroline Matilda, the divorced wife of Christian VII. of Denmark and sister of George III. of England, who resided here from 1772 until her death in 1775. The most interesting building in Celle is the former ducal palace, begun in 1485 in Late Gothic style, but with extensive Renaissance additions of the close of the 17th century. The building of the court of appeal (Oberlandesgericht), with a valuable library of 60,000 volumes and many MSS., including a priceless copy of the Sachsenspiegel, the museum and the hall of the estates (Landschaftshaus) are also worthy of notice. There are manufactures of woollen yarn, tobacco, biscuits, umbrellas and printers’ ink, and a lively trade is carried on in wax, honey, wool and timber. Celle is the seat of the court of appeal from the superior courts of Aurich, Detmold, Göttingen, Hanover, Hildesheim, Lüneburg, Osnabrück, Stade and Verden. Founded in 1292, the town was the residence of the dukes of Lüneburg-Celle, a cadet branch of the ducal house of Brunswick, from the 14th century until 1705.
See Dehning, Geschichte der Stadt Celle (Celle, 1891).