Uetersen’s famous Rosarium was born in 1929, as the town was rebuilding following a devastating tornado that had ripped the local landscape to shreds.
It might have stayed a small affair, but the locals kept adding to it. It now has more than 35,000 plants and 1020 varieties, 3 varieties named for local places, and its own annual festival.
As a result, its Rosarium is the largest rose garden in Germany. It’s also a sign of the tenaciousness of this town, as the locals tend to dig in their heels and never give anything up. Perhaps that’s why the roots of the name of the town mean “The Ultimate End.”
Uetersen natives will insist the name is geographically based, not a reflection of their personalities. The town is at the end of the Seestermühe marsh, where the flat, damp lands rise up into the hills of Geest. The dark colors of the landscape have prompted many interesting legends.
For example, when visiting the historic Cisternian Abby, don’t forget to ask after the Silent Lady. She dresses all in black and never speaks… because she’s been dead for centuries! What keeps her coming back?
Maybe the answer lies outside of town, in the so-called Witches Forest or Hexenwald. There are a number of excellent hiking trails through the trees, but only for the brave, right? The stories behind the name are quite colorful.
Some of the hiking and bicycle paths run along the Ox Road, an ancient livestock trail. Markers will let you know when you are there. They will also point out the 117 preserved trees, protected for their rarity of breed or their age.
After all the walking about, you will want to hike into town for one of Uetersen’s hidden blossoms. The Taps beer hall outlasted three imitators and serves more than just good food and beer. It also is the epicenter for the independent performing arts community, and showcases both known and unknown acts at very reasonable prices.
Live music, a comfortable bar scene, and good food will make you glad you ventured out here to the “Ultimate End.” ;-)