No one is really sure how or why the city of Bernau bei Berlin was founded, but there is one popular legend. According to the tale, Albert I of Brandenburg was quite a fan of the local brew. And so he gave his blessing for a town to be founded around this beverage.
In fact, the citizens used the river in order to brew their beer. This detail made the Panke River one of the cleanest in Germany as any type of pollution was strictly prohibited.
The Bernauer black beer is their famous brand and no trip here is complete until you’ve sampled a glass. ;-)
These days, most people coming to Bernau bei Berlin are passing through on their way to the capital city of Germany, Berlin (who would’ve thought… ;-). It is located just ten km or six miles outside Berlin, or a thirty-five minute trip on the S-Bahn. But there are quite a few reasons to stop and stay a while in Bernau, apart from its famous brew.
You might not expect this from a town so close to a major European capital, but there’s lots of nature to enjoy here. The town is surrounded by thick, tall pine trees (covering almost 50,000 acres) and dotted with over seventy lakes. There’s even 450 km or 280 miles of trails, bike paths and nature walks.
The Liepnitzsee lake is one of the natural highlights. This pristine body of water is home to a variety of different fish and water birds. The island of the same name in the lake’s center can be reached by ferry.
The spring and summer months bring four separate art and craftsman markets, on the last Sundays of April, May, August and September. Beer is, of course, available as you shop for beautiful cloth, textile and other handmade crafts.
Be sure to make it to the Church of St Marien before you go. This Gothic building goes back to the fifteenth century and is the landmark of Bernau bei Berlin.