It’s hard to think of Germany not cast in a flattering light and I’m not saying that you won’t like Friedland. Hardly, it’s just that Friedland’s location in Lower Saxony is close to the Thuringian and Hessian borders; therefore made it an extremely strategic location during the days of the GDR (German Democratic Republic) — otherwise known as East Germany.
Long before 20th century politics and warfare made Friedland what it was, it was fourteen separate villages each with their own story to tell. Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find in Friedland.
Friedland Proper once had its own castle, though the ruins of it have long been cleared away. Its Schloss, however, is now a nursing home. No harm in taking a few snapshots!
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Groß Schneen was found to have been settled since the Stone Age, although it was officially recognized until 1022. That’s just about the time an oak sapling was taking root; still standing today. Not too shabby for a town that was pretty much flattened after the 17th century Thirty Years’ War.
The village of Groß Schneen is Friedland’s cultural hub with a Kirmes (Church) Festival and is always holding concerts, literary readings, among other events.
Klein Schneen has half the population as its bigger sister and almost as much history. But, this is where you’ll find many of Friedland’s half timbered houses (oh, you know the ones — they look like something straight from a fairytale).
Lichtenhagen is the actual village that borders the three federal states and was on the GDR border. In addition to its stately village church, it has a great forest area to walk around. And with no worries about crossing any borders which might have caused an international incident before the opening in 1989. ;-)
As much as Lichtenhagen has a forest, its Reiffenhausen that everyone flocks to for the outdoorsy stuff. You’ll find lots of walking trails, an outdoor pool, a sauna, and lots of camp sites.
Despite just a minute number of years in Friedland’s long past, it IS possible to only see Friedland is a flattering way filled with all the hope and promise of the future — particularly since its name is so befitting… Friedland literally translates to Peace Land! :-)