On the Elbe River between Berlin and Magdeburg is the small history filled town of Genthin. Despite some of its darker history, Genthin is a spectacular town that’s just the place to be for art lovers and historians alike.
The best way to see Genthin is to get into the little villages (there are eleven) and see each one individually.
In Altenplathow, a neighborhood of about 3000 people, is the town’s landmark, the brick watertower built in 1934. Located right near the tower is the St. Marien Roman Catholic Church, built around the turn of the last century in an Art Nouveau style. It was originally built in a Romanesque style that was popular in Germany from the 11th through 13th centuries, and reason enough to be part of the Romanesque Route.
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There are more historic churches to be found here in Genthin, fitting since the region dates back over a thousand years.
The Village Church Parchen’s foundations date back some 800 years and rebuilt in the 19th century. Ringelsdorf’s Baroque Church was also rebuilt over a Romanesque original. There’s also a 19th century castle that’s worth a visit and appropriately named Schloss Ringelsdorf. You can’t leave out a visit to Paplitz’s 16th century church, too.
There are some somber sites to visit here in Gethin, like the memorial dedicated to the Jewish cemetery that was once here and completely destroyed by the National Socialist regime. There are 68 people buried in one of the local cemeteries, victims of a local concentration camp (a satellite branch of the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp was here).
There are also more memorials dedicated to lives that were lost in the region during death marches and forced labor by the National Socialists. There’s another memorial at the main train station, dedicated to the 292 people who died, or were injured, in December 1939 on one of the worst train disasters in German history.
But, Genthin should be remembered for so much more. After you’ve spent some time here, you will.