Brandenburg an der Havel
Brandenburg an der Havel is the third-largest town in the German state of Brandenburg.
From the 12th to 18th century, Brandenburg actually consisted of two cities, separated by the River Havel and each protected by its own walls: one centred around the castle, serving as the capital of the secular Margraviate of Brandenburg; and one containing the cathedral, being the residence of the religious Prince-Bishopric of Brandenburg. After the Reformation, the Bishopric was annexed by the Margraviate. The Hohenzollern dynasty moved the capital of the Margraviate to Berlin after 1415, nevertheless Brandenburg an der Havel long claimed to be the higher-ranking city due to its old age. During the Thirty Years War, Brandenburg was severely damaged, lost most of its population and importance.
The town experienced a second boom during industrialisation. The Brennabor works were a famous producer of bicycles, prams, cars and motorcycles; and the town's population doubled within a few decades. Under East Germany's communist rule, Brandenburg again was a site of heavy industries, having major steelworks and mills. After reunification, it was deindustrialised, many people lost their jobs and moved away. Instead, the town of some 70,000 inhabitants now focuses on culture, gardens and tourism, having hosted the federal horticultural show in 2015.
Berlin's most famous landmark, the Brandenburg Gate, is named after Brandenburg an der Havel.
The closest airport is Berlin-Tegel (TXL), 70 km east of Brandenburg. It takes a little more than an hour to go from the airport to Brandenburg by public transport (Bus 109 to Berlin-Charlottenburg, then train to Brandenburg).
Brandenburg is on the B 1 highway, 70 km from Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and 40 km west of Potsdam. From the Autobahn A 2 (Berlin–Hanover) you may take the exits Brandenburg or Wollin.
The Verkehrsbetriebe Brandenburg an der Havel (VBBr) operate three tramways, eight urban buses and five night bus lines. The price for a single ticket is €1.70; for a day ticket €3.60.
St Peter and Paul's CathedralA first cathedral was erected in the mid-10th century, but it was lost during the Great Slav Rising. The present building was started in 1165, built from bricks and designed in a late-Romanesque to early-Gothic style. It is considered the "cradle" of Brandenburg and "mother" of all churches in the state. The cathedral is situated on an island (Dominsel) in the River Havel which also contains the cathedral's enclosure, the former knight academy, curiae, cathedral canon's houses and the Gothic St Peter's Chapel.
St Catherine's ChurchThe city's biggest church (bigger than the cathedral), main parish church of the "New Town"; three-aisled, late-Gothic hall church with beautifully decorated ceiling. The organ has a lavishly decorated Baroque façade.
St Gotthard's ChurchMain church of the "Old Town"; served as the bishop's church before the completion of the cathedral. The westwork's base is Romanesque, while the church's main parts are Gothic.
St John's ChurchFormer Franciscan monastery; late-Gothic, two-aisled hall church built from bricks. It was severely damaged during the Second World War; the ruin was repaired after 2013, and is used partly as a church, partly as an event location.
Town hall of the Old TownImposing brick Gothic town hall with ornated gates, Roland statue. On the Old Town's marketsquare is the Ordonnanzhaus (an early 14th-century brick building, one of the oldest secular buildings in Brandenburg), the Renaissance Sekretariats- und Syndikatshaus and the Baroque Inspektorhaus.
- Remains of the medieval city fortifications of the Old Town and New Town:
phone: +49 3381 584501address: SteinstraßeMightiest of the New Town's gate towers; hosts a museum of local history.
Neustädtischer MühlentorturmLate-Gothic gate tower, built from bricks.
Rathenower TorturmOldest extant gate towers of the Old Town
Millenial bridgeBridge over the River Havel, connecting the Old with the New Town. It was completed in 1929, celebrating the millennial anniversary of the city.
phone: +49 3381 511-121address: Cultur Congress Centrum, Grabenstr. 14Drama, musical and dance theatre, youth and amateur theatre, concerts, readings, puppet theatre and cabaret.
phone: +49 3381 511-131address: Cultur Congress Centrum, Grabenstr. 14Symphony orchestra, regularly performing at the Cultur Congress Centrum, but also visiting other places in and outside the state of Brandenburg
phone: +1 3381 325652address: Große Gartenstraße 2