I’m fully aware that I’m a Math/English person. Science, not much.
I can figure out that the 72% forest and 13% lake area of the Müritz National Park doesn’t equal 100% of its 318 square kilometers. Only comes to 85%, right? So, what’s up with the other 15%?
Well, it’s a whole mixture of meadows, marshes, bogs, and grasslands — rising to an elevation of only 100 meters above sea level in southern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Again, science — not paying too much attention. I’m sure my Environmental Science professor in college is having a fit if she reads this. ;-)
Of course I’m joking around, and I wouldn’t dream of not taking the Müritz National Park serious.
Listen, someone had to ’cause otherwise how did someone figure out there were 54 species of mammal living here including deer, reindeer, and wolves.
Wait, it gets better… Almost 600 varieties of fungi are found in the Müritz National Park; over 60 kinds of spiders; over two dozen reptiles and fish respectively; and almost 700 kinds of butterflies.
All that’s nothing compared to the 859 kinds of beetles. I can’t figure out what’s worse — that someone counted all those species, or that there are that many species.
I’ll take comfort in the 900+ species of plants, and look for all 214 kinds of birds (warblers, black storks, eagles, osprey, etc.) instead.
Where do all of these critters live? At the eastern shore of Lake Müritz, which lies between Berlin and Rostock.
Despite the predominant nature, there are a few towns and villages within the Müritz National Park, and I think you’ll really enjoy them.
Dead center within the National Park is Kratzeburg. Camping is a big activity here, but you won’t appreciate it fully unless you see the Bronze Age Burgwall, or the half-timbered church with an altar from 1450, and the beautiful brownish church in the village of Granzin.
Working outwards to the north is Waren (Müritz), located on a former trade route. One side of the town sits along Lake Müritz, and in the middle of the city is the Herrensee.
All that water, and there’s still more — since Waren has a salt brine spa and beach resorts. After refreshing yourself, it’s on to the 14th century Gothic Church of St. Georgen.
How do you like the land so far? Created 15,000 years ago, the landscape has been fine tuned for everyone to enjoy.
The Havel River makes its start here in the park in the village of Ankershagen. A bunch of megalithic tombs are found here, as is the Heinrich Schliemann Museum.
Who’s that? Herr Schliemann was the man who discovered the city of Troy (a.k.a. Troja). Yeah, the ancient story with the Trojan Horse, Troy.
While there might not be any ancient stories in Neustrelitz, there is the Zierker See (one of the hundred lakes), a port, a Soviet War cemetery, a Jewish cemetery, and a Castle Garden Festival.
There isn’t a castle, however. The Royal Palace was utterly destroyed by bombing in World War II.
Camping in Userin is a good idea, and there are plenty of places to do it along the town’s forest, lakes, and river. Pay a visit to its half-timbered church (1778) too.
Too bad our time in the Müritz National Park is at an end, but I got one more village for you. Roggentin (Neustrelitz) might be small in population (less than 700 people), but it’s got a big heart, two lakes (Jäthensee & Zotzensee), and four cute Village Churches.
Hate to rush off, and I can’t get the 859 kinds of beetles out of my mind…