Amt Neuhaus — Coming Back To Where It Belongs

It can be difficult to write about a place without writing about some (a lot) of its history. You see, the modern town of Amt Neuhaus has seen some serious changes over the years — especially the mid- to late 20th century.

The town you see before you today wasn’t always so idyllic… so peaceful. As World War II came to an end, and Germany was divided, the towns of Amt Neuhaus ceased to belong to Lower Saxony; hidden behind the Iron Curtain in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the Soviet Zone, with a 5km exclusion zone and a barrier that stretched for 500-meters.

Many of Amt Neuhaus’ residents were forced from their homes, as they were awfully close to the Inner German Border. After Germany’s reunification, Amt Neuhaus returned to Lower Saxony — and now everyone can enjoy the Biosphere Reserve Lower Saxony Elbe Valley.

Sure, sounds good as a whole, what does that mean? Oh look, another tree? No, of course not. It means you’ll enjoy the view of the Sumter See, a peaceful lake in the middle of a forest.

Not being one to live by dunes and trees alone, Amt Neuhaus does have a number of old buildings to visit. In my not so humble opinion, the Lutheran Church in the village of Tripkau is the best. Its half-timbered construction came along almost 300 years ago, replacing the original early-17th century one.

An old castle would’ve been nice, and had you been here three centuries ago — you’d have gotten one. Too bad the poor, old Duke’s castle had to be demolished, but the materials went to live on as a Jagdschloss, although the original castle wall still stands.

For the one-millionth time, it’s best to always come by a Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum) if you’re wanting to learn more about things. The Pforthaus is Amt Neuhaus’ museum — and has exhibits on how people were forced from their homes as the grip of Soviet controlled zone tightened. The village of Vockfey has their own “memorial” to those under the GDR occupation — the Denkpyramide, along with a Dokumentationsst├Ątte, or Documentation site.

As if all this historical goodness isn’t enough, Amt Neuhaus is great for so many other activities like canoeing, as well as stork watching, special guided tours, and even motorized rafting and horse back riding.

Amt Neuhaus really is remarkable, no wonder Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania wanted it, but it truly is grand that it returned to Lower Saxony — right where it belongs.

 

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