Brandenburg - Historical Architecture and Rural Harmony
Experiencing culture, taking a deep breath and relaxing in the wonderful nature or using the excellent water sports facilities - Brandenburg is dynamic and harmonious at the same time. Come and be captured by this region on the water, on shore and from the air.
Geography - A sparsely populated state
With only 2.53 million inhabitants on an area of 29,476 km², Brandenburg is the second most sparsely populated state of Germany after Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is located in the north-east of the country and borders on the states of Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony and Lower Saxony as well as on Poland. In the centre of Brandenburg, you find the city state and capital of Berlin. Brandenburg's state capital is Potsdam, which lies south-west of Berlin. Other big cities are Cottbus, Brandenburg an der Havel and Frankfurt (Oder). Brandenburg lies in the transition area between the oceanic climate in the west and the continental climate in the east. Differences can only be felt to a limited extend. There are around 1,600 hours of sunshine per year, which makes Brandenburg the sunniest German state.
Nature - An abundance of waters
Brandenburg's scenery is unique because it is the state which is richest in waters with its many lakes. There are over 3,000 natural lakes and about 33,000 kilometres of flowing waters. Important rivers are the Elbe, Oder, Spree, Havel, Elster and the Lusatian Neisse. Besides the abundance of waters, the state is heavily forested. Brandenburg is very flat with only a few hills. Regarding the landscape, Brandenburg is divided into different regions such as the Havelland, Lusatia, the Elbe-Elster district, Prignitz, the Uckermark, the Spreewald, the Oderbruch and the Fläming Heath. Travellers can visit several biosphere reserves such as the Spreewald, the River Landscape Elbe-Brandenburg, the Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve and a number of nature parks. Examples of the latter are the Dahme-Heideseen Nature Park, the Westhavelland Nature Park, the Stechlin-Ruppiner Land Nature Park, the Uckermark Lakes Nature Park and the Märkische Schweiz Nature Park. Apart from the many zoos, game enclosures and animal parks, Brandenburg offers animal lovers a number of local creatures such as the ostrich-like great bustard. The many waters and parks invite visitors to rest and relax.
Culture - Fairy-tale castles and architecture
Brandenburg's history is closely related to Berlin's history. Nevertheless, Brandenburg's population voted against a union with Berlin to form a single state in a plebiscite in 1996. The Margraviate of Brandenburg was founded as part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1157 and went to the House of Hohenzollern in 1415. From 1701 on, the Margraviate was the centre of Prussia and formed the Province of Brandenburg in the Soviet occupation zone after 1945. When Germany was reunited in 1990, Brandenburg was newly founded as a German state. The south of Brandenburg is populated by about 20,000 Sorbs, who have their own language (Lower Sorbian) and cultural history. One cultural highlight and the cultural centre is the capital of Potsdam with Sanssouci Palace and Park, the orangery and the beautiful historical architecture. Other parts of the city are part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. You feel as if you are in a fairytale in the New Garden with the adjacent Cecilienhof Palace. Travellers can visit the Brandenburg Gate in the city centre, the Potsdam City Palace and one of the numerous museums. There are many magnificent castles and parks which are worth seeing. Examples are Boitzenburg Castle, Meseberg Palace, Neuhardenberg Manor and Rheinsberg Palace.
Experience - Enjoying the rustic cuisine
Brandenburg's rustic cuisine offers many specialities to connoisseurs. Common ingredients are fresh local products. Due to the abundance of waters, there are many dishes which contain fish and potatoes are popular as well. The best-known delicacy are without doubt the Spreewald gherkins, which are usually eaten with bread and dripping. Plinsen (a kind of pancake), Wruken (turnip stew), Kloppschinken (breaded ham) and Knieperkohl (pickled cabbage) are equally delicious. Fürst Pückler Ice cream, a combination of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, as well as Beelitzer Spargel (white asparagus from the historic town of Beelitz) are known across the state's borders. Party-goers should visit the state's capital. Those looking for an extravagant nightlife, however, should go to Berlin. A festival which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors is the Baumblütenfest ("tree blossom festival") in Werder (Havel), which traditionally takes place in May. Potsdam's city centre is a great destination for going shopping. Shops string together here. Visitors cannot only relax in nature here but also in numerous spas, thermal baths and saunas. Holidaymakers who want to offer their children a special experience should go on a day trip to Tropical Island or to the Filmpark Babelsberg.
Activities - Mobility on shore, in the water and in the air
Due to its many waters, Brandenburg is a wonderful travel destination for water sports fans. The rivers offer great conditions for going canoeing, kayaking and rafting and the lakes are popular sailing locations. Many locals have their own motor or house boats or a small rowing boat, in which they spent a majority of their free time on the water as a way of unwinding. In summer, the lakes are suited for going bathing, surfing, wakeboarding and water skiing. In addition, there are many opportunities of being active on shore. Travellers can, for example, go hiking, jogging, Nordic walking, golfing horseback riding, skating and ride draisines or bicycles. Motorsport fans can enjoy quad safari tours as well as motocross and racing tracks. If you are looking for a rush of adrenaline, you can go into the air and see the state from above. A number of operators offer balloon, sightseeing and gliding flights. Holidaymakers who prefer winter sports can pursue their hobby in the indoor skiing centre in Brandenburg-Senftenberg.
Together with Berlin, Brandenburg constitutes the European Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. Therefore, the road and rail network is fully developed. In addition, Brandenburg can easily be reached by plane via the airports in Berlin.
Brandenburg is the ideal destination for travellers who are looking for tranquillity and seclusion. However, the state also offers culture and a unique nature. The German capital of Berlin is only a stone's throw away.