Cities & Culture

Built by the water: Brandenburg an der Havel

Brandenburg an der Havel: The stone gate tower near the water ©Getty Images (ebenart)

Water sports enthusiasts will be in their element when they visit the most water-rich federal state in Germany. They can enjoy wonderful trips along the many unspoilt stretches of river, while the 7,000 kilometres of paved cycle paths are calling out for trips through towns, cities and the countryside on two wheels.

The federal state of Brandenburg is situated in the 'blue' north of Germany, with 3,000 lakes and 6,700 kilometres of waterways within reach. Water sports fans can go canoeing, motor boating, sailing, water skiing and fishing, take romantic boat trips on the Potsdam and Brandenburg Havel Lakes, chug past meadows in a houseboat, sunbathe in secluded coves or simply hang out and watch the world go by.

Brandenburg an der Havel, a town known for its religious buildings, is perched on the edge of one of central Europe's largest wetlands located away from the coast – the Lower Havel basin, where rare animals such as beavers and otters can be observed in the wild.

The town is best explored by bike. The cycle route through the town centre takes in all the main sights, such as the New Town, Cathedral Island and Old Town. The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul is an impressive testimony to the town's importance as a major religious centre and is the mother church for the state of Brandenburg. If you'd like to devote a little more time to the town, it is well worth setting down your bike and paying a visit to two exceptional museums: the National Archaeological Museum and the Local History Museum in Frey-Haus, a former town house. Or enjoy the diverse local cuisine and and sample the locally sourced fish – a dish loved by locals.

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