The first thing I learned about Seelow is where it’s located — “in the extreme east” of Germany. Oh, that’s an interesting way to put it; but it’s true, as Seelow is only 20 km from the border of Poland, making it about 70 km east of Berlin.
Another thing I learned was that Seelow was the location of one of World War II’s last major battles, known as the Battle of Seelow Heights. On April 16, 1945 the Germans and the Red Army fought it out for three days with everything from tanks, mortars, artillery, aircraft, and rocket launchers on what would be one of the biggest battles fought on German soil.
A sad piece of German history, but if you want to learn more about this epic battle I’d suggest you come visit the museum, and memorial, Seelower Höhen.
It’s hard to imagine the chaos in today’s Seelow, as it’s quiet and serene. A good place for a reflective hike or bike ride, I’d say. One place to ride by is the Stolpersteine, a collection of 12 blocks dedicated to the lives lost during the Third Reich years.
Or, you can head out to the Friedenswald, where you’ll find a baker’s dozen (that’s 13, if you didn’t know) of sculptures in the forest.
One of Seelow’s other places to see art is the Schul- und Bethaus, a prayer house from the 1830s that’s now an exhibition center.
Seelow is that offers up other kind of cultural activities. Come December you’ve got a Christmas Market (with Christmas Stollen, no less), and on the first weekend of every September there’s the Seelow Festival.
I might not have heard about Seelow before, but I’ll make sure from now on that I tell everyone what a wonderful place it truly is.