Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's third-largest city with a population of around 65,000, takes its guests back to bygone times with magnificent collections and historic buildings - and also has plenty of nature and modern attractions to offer. Here are eight things you should do during your visit:
Table of contents
1. Enjoy the most beautiful views
2. Visit the Concert Church of St. Mary
3. Discover culinary treasures
4. Stroll along the historic rampart
5. Visit art collection and Franciscan monastery
6. Stroll through the cultural park
7. Wakeboarding on the Reitbahnsee
8. Spend great days at the Tollensesee
Two viewpoints can be more different hardly be. Neubrandenburg's highlights in the truest sense of the word offer visitors panoramic views of a special kind. Around five kilometers south of the city center, the Behmshöhe observation tower stands in the middle of a green forest in Nemerower Holz, not far from the eastern shore of Lake Tollensee. The brick tower, which was once financed by donations and proceeds from public festivals and opened in 1905, is a proud 34 meters high - those who have conquered the 111 steps land on a small viewing platform and enjoy a magnificent view over the forest and lake to the skyline of Neubrandenburg.
Much more comfortable, namely by elevator, you can get to the viewing deck of the HKB tower. The 56-meter-high tower of Culture and Education (HKB), also known as the "culture finger," is located in a completely different environment: It stands directly on the market square in the middle of the center of Neubrandenburg, a location could hardly be more urban. As the city's cultural event center, it houses, among other things, an event hall, a library, the tourist information office, as well as two café-restaurants and, on the 15th floor, the grandiose viewing platform - from there, of course, you can also see the sparkling Tollensesee lake in the distance.
Outside a Gothic brick church, The interior is a veritable concert hall with lots of glass, steel and wood. After St. Marien was ceremoniously reopened on July 13, 2001, its reputation as Germany's most exciting concert church was quickly established. Consecrated as early as 1298 by the Bishop of Havelberg, the ornate brick Gothic building has been repeatedly damaged and restored over the centuries. Most recently, Finnish architect Pekka Salminen was commissioned to integrate an ultra-modern concert hall into the time-honored brick shell. His wonderful symbiosis of old and new has been honored by numerous architectural awards, and the outstanding acoustics have delighted thousands of visitors ever since.
For music lovers Neubrandenburg's concert church offers a great contrasting program - from opera to ballet and musical to philharmonic concert, everything finds its place here. In addition, the church tower, which was reconstructed in the 1980s, is the tallest structure in the city at 90 meters. A permanent exhibition in the tower area provides information on the history of brick Gothic, and eight synchronized beamers project a historical cityscape from 1900 onto the masonry. Those who have then made the climb to the balustrade experience another magnificent view over the city of the four gates on Lake Tollense.
In the old town alleys Neubrandenburg is home to one cozy restaurant after another; eating well is the order of the day in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's third-largest city. Sometimes the choice is not easy. One of the outstanding addresses is the "Gasthaus zur Lohmühle," located right next to the famous Stargarder Tor. The dishes, ranging from hearty home-style cooking to creative cuisine and fine desserts, are served in the romantic ambience of the pretty half-timbered house, and guests can learn a lot about the history of the place. The gable end of the former mill building, for example, is adorned with a large mill wheel that was once driven by the Linde stream to grind grain and tan.
Only about ten minutes walk Another historical gem is located directly on the completely preserved city wall. The family-run restaurant "Mudder Schulten Stuben", named after a Neubrandenburg city original, lovingly serves delicacies such as catfish fillet with mushrooms or kangaroo steak with port wine sauce, in good weather in the summer garden. The good restaurant "Wiekhaus 45" is integrated directly into the city wall. And on an airy terrace you sit in the restaurant "Das Bootshaus" between all kinds of boat sheds. Here, small and large fish from the fresh counter, seasonal matjes specialties ("Matjes-Kräuterröllchen umschwärmt von einer passierten Kartoffelsuppe") and later local strawberries are nibbled - for a digestive walk it is then only a few steps to the beautiful Tollensesee.
A magical green belt encloses the city wall and the historical center of Neubrandenburg, the rampart stretches like a protective ring around the heart of the city. It consists of a double rampart flanked by three ditches, which were originally filled with water from Lake Tollensee. The green belt has a width of up to 70 meters between the outer rampart and the city wall, plenty of space for flora and fauna rich in species. Gnarled oaks, but also a variety of wildflowers and medicinal plants grow here, it is green and fragrant - the facility is an oasis of relaxation for locals and visitors all year round.
Also the approximately 2.5 kilometer long and 7.5 meters high city wall made of field stones, built around the year 1300, is worth an extensive visit. With its cradle houses (extensions for sentries), gates and towers, it conveys a picture of the fortified nature of the medieval town. Four gates cut through the old walls. The oldest is the Friedländer Tor in the northeast from 1300, followed ten years later by the southern Stargarder Tor. The most representative is the almost 32-meter-high Treptower Gate from 1400 in the west, and finally the New Gate was built around 1450. You can find out more about this, for example, on a virtual tour of the city - at 15 locations, QR code keys open display windows that convey interesting facts about the nature and development of the city in sound and vision.
Art and culture lovers get their money's worth in Neubrandenburg; one of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's four renowned art museums is located in the city center. Its predecessor was the old Municipal Art Collection (1890-1945), whose holdings were largely destroyed in a fire. After intermediate stops, the current facility was opened in 2003: In two years of construction, a half-timbered building from the 18th century had been reconstructed and extended with a modern annex to form a museum complex. On 400 m² of exhibition space, two different areas for existing and special exhibitions can now be visited, containing several thousand works of painting, graphics and sculpture - absolutely worth seeing.
Another important collection visitors will find in the former refectory of the Franciscan monastery, the most historically valuable building complex in the city center. Today, it houses the Regional Museum (founded in 1872) as one of the oldest civic museums in the state. With the help of original testimonies and the use of modern media, a wide range of information about the region is conveyed here, from the founding of the city to the present day. Changing special exhibitions also deal with topics of regional art and cultural history - so a day goes by in a flash for interested visitors.
Wide green spaces between large trees, playgrounds, animal enclosures, themed gardens, a boat rental, cozy gastronomy and all kinds of artistic exhibits - the Kulturpark in front of Neubrandenburg's brick gates is an ideal recreational destination for locals and visitors alike. Like a large green oasis, it connects the city center with Lake Tollense. As early as the 19th century, targeted plantings were made here in the "Tollense Basin," and a promenade to the lakeshore was laid out in 1904.
Between 1969 to 1975 created then professional and folk artists created all kinds of sculptures in this green area, which was even given monument status as a cultural park in the guise of a landscape garden in 1981. Today, the city park offers good air and plenty of space for fun and games all year round - in addition, attractive events take place here, from concerts and circuses to the Whitsun and October festivals.
The small riding track lake, located a bit north of the center, is one of the most popular water sports arenas in the city. Fans of water skiing and wakeboarding (unlike surfing, the board is pulled by a motorboat or winch) are fully in their element there; with their daring jumps, the sports are right on trend. A lap at the lift of the water ski cableway Neubrandenburg has a length of 845 meters, ten skiers can ride at the same time and the speed can be varied between 30 and 58 km/h. The water ski cableway Neubrandenburg is a very popular sport. There are also up to twelve versatile obstacles on the course, obstacles with names like StraightBox, WaveKicker or Pipe, which are used for daring jumps - there are hardly any limits to the fun.
Who wakeboarding or water skiing not yet mastered, can learn it here. There is also beach volleyball and a restaurant with a sun terrace on the beach and a magnificent view over the Reitbahnsee. In addition to coffee and cake, the restaurant also offers barbecue evenings with hearty grilled dishes, and you can enjoy the sunset to romantic sounds - a little time out for connoisseurs very close to the city.
Green forests, beautiful beaches and white passenger ships gliding across the blue water - the 10-kilometer-long and up to 2.5-kilometer-wide Tollensesee in the south of the city is one of Neubrandenburg's highlights. With its depth of up to 33 meters, it is one of the cleanest bodies of water in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania; in recent measurements by European Union agencies, its water quality received the rating "excellent." The guarded bathing beaches Broda (northwest shore) and Augustabad (northeast shore, including barrier-free bathing jetty) are very popular in summer, and there are also specially designated areas for nudists.
A well-developed, about 35 kilometers long bike path leads to many sights once around the Tollensesee. You can also explore the waters from aboard a ship. The passenger ships "Mudder Schulten" and "Rethra" start from the pier in the Kulturpark and elsewhere for round trips, coffee, cake and snacks are served on the way. Through a canal about 800 meters long, the tour also leads at times to the Lieps, another lake in the middle of the landscape conservation area. On the western shore of the Tollensesee is also the beautiful Gatsch Eck campsite in the middle of a forest area - in addition to those seeking peace and quiet, bathers, sailors, surfers, divers and anglers are also well catered for here.
Cover photo: Evening atmosphere at the Tollensesee © Katharina Bernhardt
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