How much history can one little town of about 8,600 residents pack all into one place? Quite a bit if you’re talking about Mittenwalde in Brandenburg.
Located just about half an hour south of Berlin, Mittenwalde started out humble enough. Then through the years has inspired devout writers and master builders.
For the master building part of Mittenwalde you’d look no further than the 25m high Pulverturm and the Berliner Tor gate. Both were part of the town’s medieval defense wall called a Stadtmauer. Then there’s the 13th/14th century St. Moritz Church with a Gothic Hall.
Another engineering marvel is the Schloss Schenkendorf. This castle is not from the Middle Ages, only built in 1896 and looks more like a “villa.”
It was used for various purposes throughout its history, including the Nazis in the 1930′ & ’40’s and the Soviet Army during its East Germany days. Inside the castle’s complex is nature park; and the Orangery is rented out for meeting space.
Also in town is a memorial to Erich Steinfurth (at Burgstraße 11) who was murdered by the Nazis at the Sonnenburg Concentration Camp in 1934.
Steinfurth’s memorial isn’t the only one in Mittenwalde. There’s one dedicated to hymn writer Paul Gerhardt who lived here from 1651-1657. And over at Yorckstraße 45, there’s a house that once belonged to Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg, who lived here for seven years (1799-1806).
Because Mittlenwalde is actually eight districts, you’re lucky enough to get two local history museums. The one in Ragow, and housed in an old school, is open on the third Wednesday of the month (excluding July & September).
The other, in Mittenwalde itself, is into more of the cultural side of the town’s history including a garden, an old fashioned “scullery,” 19th & 20th century dolls, and wine making.
You might prefer just to skip the museums & stuff and head right on over to conquer all the hiking trails, or just sit lakeside for a day of sun tanning.