The town of Bückeburg owes its origins to a moated Castle built around 1300 (Schloss Bückeburg; now the Palace of Bückeburg). The town took on the name of the "Old Bückeburg" which was near Obernkirchen (8 KM to the east of Bückeburg) when it fell into decay in the 12th century. As early as 1365, the privileges of a trading town were bestowed on the town by the Lords of Schaumburg. This elevated Bückeburg to the ranks of an independent community. After this promising start, followed a stagnation period of more than two hundred years during which Bückeburg did not succeed in developing beyond its rural limitations.
This situation only changed when Prince Ernst of Holstein-Schaumburg (1601-1622), one of the most significant rulers of his time, not only chose the Palace of Bückeburg as his seat of residence, but also declared the town as the seat of government, bestowing the rights of a town on Bückeburg. At the same time, he also saw to it that his seat of residence took on the character of a capital city. It is thanks to the many famous artists and craftsmen who came at his behest, that culture in Schaumburg first began to flourish. From all the buildings which were erected at that time, the Town Church must first and foremost be mentioned, since it is one of the most superb examples of Weser Renaissance and even today still dominates the townscape.
After the division of Schaumburg, Bückeburg became the capital of - Schaumburg-Lippe. The most famous ruler was Earl Wilhelm (1748-1777), who not only made a name for himself as a military commander and theorist, but also by summoning Thomas Abbt, Johann Gottfried Herder and Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, achieved for Bückeburg a permanent place in German intellectual history.
The appointment of Dr. Bernhard Christoph Faust as the count's personal physician proved to be very important. Dr. Faust brilliantly contributed to the field of medicine, among others by introducing the small pox vaccination. This important man is still remembered today when the school kids celebrate the "Krengelfest" every four years. This celebration is based on the fact that once the school kids received a "Krengel" (pretzel) after they had been vaccinated.
The Residence city remained virtually unscathed by the industrial developments of the 19th century; the population continued to increase from approximately 2,500 around 1800 to approximately 6,500 around 1900.
The famous writer Hermann Löns edited the county's newspaper from 1907 to 1909. He erected a not very complimentary memorial in the honor of Schaumburg-Lippe by means of his satirical "Duodez".
In the course of the 20th century, Bückeburg underwent numerous serious modifications. Bückeburg remained the capital of the independent state Schaumburg-Lippe in 1918. It lost its county privilege in 1934. In 1946 Bückeburg became annexed to the State of Westphalia and finally to the newly-formed State of Lower Saxony. As a result of which, Bückeburg forfeited the seat of state capital in 1948. At the same time, it became the seat of the newly-formed Bückeburg District Council, which, less than two years later was amalgamated with the Stadthagen District Council to form the new Schaumburg-Lippe District Council. As compensation for the loss of state capital and District Council status, some authorities remained in Bückeburg, such as the entire Administration of Justice, the Authority for Structural Engineering, the Government Archives and the Land Registry.
The town increased in size and influence after the war due to the influx of many refugees and due to the incorporation of surrounding villages. To the modern-day visitor, Bückeburg offers the image of a town which can look back on a proud tradition, but has not allowed this to stand in the way of progress.
Until recently, Bückeburg had a number of British residents, being a former British garrison town. British homes surrounded the outskirts of Bückeburg, but today their number has decreased to fewer than 50. The majority of Bückeburg's British residents work at the local English school in Rinteln, Prince Rupert School.
Castle/Palace Bückeburg: The palace, part of which is open to the public, is a major touristic point of interest and houses important works of art and an important library. The history of the building spans 700 years, with the most important contributions stemming from the 16th, 17th, and 19th century.
Mausoleum: The Princely Mausoleum in the palace courtyard is open to the public as well. Built in 1915 in Neo-Romanic style resembling the Roman Pantheon, it is the world's largest private sepulchre still in use. The cupola is adorned by an impressive gold mosaic, the second largest of its kind after the one in the Hagia Sophia.
Town Church: The Town Church of Bückeburg (Bückeburger Stadtkirche) was one of the first Lutheran churches built after the Reformation. It is known for its pulpit and especially for the ornately decorated bronze-cast font, made by the Dutch artist Adriaen de Vries.
Museum Bückeburg for the History of Bückeburg and Schaumburg-Lippe
City Hall and historic Market Place
Helicopter Museum: Bückeburg is also home to a Helicopter Museum, which features the early drawings of flying objects by Leonardo da Vinci as well as 40 actual helicopters. The German Army's Army Aviators School using Bückeburg Air Base is located here.