Schönebeck (Elbe) is one of those places that may not be first on your list of places to see, but which offers a taste of old Germany in the midst of modern commerce.
A hint of this can be seen on the banks of the Elbe where stands a modern statue crafted by Danish artist Anders Nyborg and called “Flower of Salt.” The salt refers to the old salt mines that built the town, a history of which you can see in the local museum.
If you are a student of architectural styles there is plenty to see in Schönebeck. There is an early Gothic church with two Baroque towers, and numerous Baroque houses.
In the Bad Salzelmen district is a late Gothic hall/church which is open to the public and quite a few half-timbered homes that were built for Schönebeck burghers.
The Bad Salzelmen district is also well-known for its gardens and spas. The very first brine spa in Germany was opened here in 1802 as a result of an edict issued on behalf of King Friedrich Wilhelm.
The salt springs in the area, however, have been used for therapeutic treatments since at least the early Middle Ages. The 200 year old spa building is 300 meters long, and still in operation today (fortunately!).
Cycling enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the Schönebeck area, thanks to the Elberadweg cycling tour which has been in operation for many years. The tour is more than 500 miles long, and winds its way along the Elbe. Along the way you will go through Schönebeck and Magdeburg.
You even take in the Flusslandschaft Elbe nature reserve, where you can see the unique wetland flora and fauna. The reserve is particularly well known for its beavers and cranes, but you will see much more if you have the patience to sit and wait for the wildlife to be comfortable with your presence.
Schönebeck may not be as well known as Magdeburg, for example, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth seeing, does it? :-)