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A town built close to water: Brandenburg an der Havel

Brandenburg lies in the north of Germany at the heart of the federal state with the greatest abundance of water and near to 3,500 lakes and 6,700 kilometres of waterways. It's hardly surprising that water sports enthusiasts feel at home here. You can enjoy wonderful trips through stunning scenery on the many unspoilt stretches of river, and the landscape is perfect for cycling tours and bike rides.

Canoeing, motor boating, sailing, water skiing and fishing, chugging along in a houseboat, taking romantic trips on the Havel lakes around Potsdam and Brandenburg, sunbathing in secluded coves, or simply whiling away the hours – in Brandenburg everything is possible. Set amid wonderful, verdant countryside, the lakes and rivers around Brandenburg an der Havel offer fantastic opportunities for all kinds of water-based activities, from sporting challenges to more leisurely pursuits. Boating schools make a great starting point for newcomers to the region and offer courses especially for holidaymakers. Learn the theory and then put it into practice, for example on a chartered motor boat or sailing dinghy.

Discover the town the best way – by bike

Brandenburg an der Havel is situated at the edge of the Lower Havel basin, one of central Europe's largest wetlands located away from the coast. Here, rare animals such as beavers and otters can be observed in the wild. Brandenburg an der Havel is a great place to visit and is best explored by bike: the cycle route through the town takes in all the main sights, such as the old town, new town and 'cathedral island'. 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. Otto the Great founded the bishopric of Brandenburg in 948, an exceptionally courageous move in view of the Slavic settlements that were being established all around it.

A heroic knight and historical ships

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 Regional Museum of Archaeology and the Local History Museum in the palatial Frey-Haus. Another legacy of the town's Golden Age is the Roland statue in front the Old Town Hall. This representation of a knight symbolises Brandenburg's independence in the Middle Ages, when it was a town of civic liberty shaped by mercantile wealth. The Slavic village documents even earlier times. It illustrates the life, culture and history of the Slavs who settled in the Havel region more than 1,000 years ago. Two boats built in the Slavic style, the Dragomira and the Triglav, are available for chartered trips and scenic tours on the rivers and lakes.