Spremberg — The Heart Of The Old German Empire Still Beats

Spremberg has a heart of stone, but it still beats quite well. This heart is no ordinary bit of brick, but rather a marker indicating what was the exact geographical center of the German Reich from 1871 – 1918. The town now rests just 25 miles from the Polish border.

Visiting the stone monument is a good idea as it is highly photogenic and a good reminder that Germany is ever-changing. Spremberg has been a settled area for more than 700 years. Locals have operated under an ever-changing host of rulers and as multiple country-states.

The elaborate castles, mansions and churches in the old town attest to its shifting fortunes. The old town sits on an island in the middle of the Spree river. It’s attractive and used to be highly defensible. Tall towers testify to the power of their builders and also provided good lookout points for invaders!

The skyline is worth a photo, and you can get a good one from either bank. Backing off from the dense and cobbled old town will also bring you out into the landscape of the area. It’s very popular with cyclists, picnickers and hikers. Taking your own stroll through you will see why — be sure to hit the Spremberg dam on your journey as it has been cultivated as a water sports and recreation spot.

You will also want to hike up to the Bismark tower. There are several of these throughout Germany, built in tribute to Otto von Bismark, who created the first German Reich. Few towers have the view that this one does, as it was placed on a high hill and stands more than 20 meters high. It celebrated 100 years of existence in 2003 with a fantastic fireworks show preserved forever on local postcards.

Yet the town doesn’t live all its time in the past…

In March Spremberg hosts the Castle-Eastside-Jam, Germany’s largest hip-hop festival. March and September are pub festival months, with an invasion of new and local bands playing live music all over town. In July the Pearl Cup brings football fans out of the woodwork, and the three day town festival in August will prove to you that this town doesn’t just have a stone heart, but also a fiercely beating and lively one.

 

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