Rathenow, a medieval fishing village, is now historically known as the birthplace of modern optical. Its proximity to Berlin makes it quite accessible and indeed, this city on the Havel will make you feel glad you came.
Rathenow refuses to be categorized, which only means that there’s something for everyone who visits this lovely town. It is packed with goodies that you simply can’t miss, whatever your errand might be here.
First and foremost, you’ll of course, want to check out the Optikpark, which is the raison d’être for this place. When you know that this industry is about 200 years old, you can begin to appreciate what it’s all about.
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The natural beauty of Rathenow is well complemented by the historic monuments that dot its skyline. For a first hand experience of the medieval, head straight for the old town area where you’ll find the St. Mary-St. Andrew’s Church dating back to the 13th century. A series of destructive events and renovation have lent the edifice a vibrant history that will surely enthrall you.
Rathenow has some stunning memorials that you simply have to visit for both the aesthetic as well as the historic qualities. One of this is the monument to he victims of fascism which you’ll find in the Freedom Square. Another is the memorial to resistance fighters to be found in the municipal cemetery. Yet another memorial with tragic overtones is to be found in the wooded area in the outskirts dedicated as the Foreigners Cemetery in honor of the forced laborers and their families.
The Elector Monument in Baroque Sandstone is an awesome piece of work with quite an interesting history attached. For more historic architecture, visit the splendid St. George’s Church built in the late 19th century.
Visit the Vineyard, a recreation park where you’ll find the Bismarck Tower — a 1914 construction that has been recently renovated. The Rathenower Brachymedial Telescope built in the mid 1950s, said to be the largest of its kind, is certainly not to be missed, too.
Rathenow has more to offer than can be listed, depending of course on your interests and requirements. Want more? Really? Okay…
Remember to include the Lock-Keeper’s Cottage, the Vineyard cemetery said to be the finest around, the Zieten barracks, and the Rathenower Kulturzentrum for some local culture.