You know what’s pretty cool about Treuenbrietzen in Brandenburg? I think it’s because it’s not crowded. No, it’s because of its history. No, it’s because of its incredible nature reserve. Oh, I know, it’s its festivals.
I can’t stand it when I argue with myself. So, I’ll settle this once and for all. The answer is all of the above. There were four choices, so it’s not like I could have flipped a coin. ;-)
Why do I say Treuenbrietzen isn’t crowded? How’s this for an answer, because the entire town is more than 211 square kilometers with a population that doesn’t even reach 8,000 residents. It’s these kinds of things that many city dwellers look forward to when getting away.
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It seems like Treuenbrietzen has just about as many historical sites as it does square kilometers. The town is particularly proud of their many stone churches from the 12th and 13th centuries. I would really recommend seeing the one in Lobbese (one of Treuenbrietzen’s sixteen villages) and over in Marzahna.
I also wouldn’t leave out the Sankt Marien, a cross-shaped basilica that was also built in the 13th century. This was the church that Martin Luther was banned from preaching back in 1537.
He still held his sermon, just choosing to do it under a tree instead. The tree is known around here as the Lutherlinde.
The former Holy Spirit Chapel (built 1352) was totally destroyed in the Thirty Years’ War; and wasn’t used again until 1936. It’s now a local museum.
Keep walking around, you’ll find parts of the original defense wall (built 1296-1305) and the Pulverturm or Powder Tower. This former ammunition supply tower also is a stork nesting site.
It’ll also be hard to miss the Rathaus. Here’s the skinny on this — it was originally a late 13th century warehouse, but it was rebuilt in the 1600’s; so, it’s old — but not that old.
Throughout town you’ll probably notice many memorials. One is dedicated to the 127 POWs, who were killed by the SS; another to 1000 civilians killed by the Red Army; one is to the local men who lost their lives during the German-Prussian War (1870-71), and one in the Jewish Cemetery for the town’s deported Jewish family.
As if you’ll be up for walking or biking around the Nature Reserve Zarth by the time you’re done in town. OK, stay a night or two so you can get it all in.
Let me tell you this… in the Nature Reserve Zarth you must (must, must) stay on the hiking and biking paths. If you listen to the rules you’ll be rewarded with all sorts of plants (including orchids) and local wildlife.
Despite the strict rules on the nature reserve thing, Treuenbrietzen is a fun-loving town. There’s Carnival in February, a Sports Festival in mid-July, a Ball in October, and an Advent Market on the 1st weekend of Advent.
The biggest attraction is the Sabinchenfestspiele in mid-June. It’s a 10-day affair of concerts, markets, fireworks, and a parade.
Never mind, I take it all back. Treuenbrietzen’s festivals are the clear winner of the coolest part. Let me know if you agree. ;-)