Spreewald – Niemiecka Wenecja

Spreewald – German Venice in one day

The Spreewald (in Lusatian, Błota) is an extraordinary area located in Brandenburg. Thus, only a few dozen kilometers from the Polish border, the journey does not take much time.

When I told my friends that I was going to the Spreewald, not all of them knew what place I was talking about. Many people do not know this Lusatian gem, although they cannot complain about the lack of interest.

Where is the Spreewald located

The Spreewald (read the Spreewald), sometimes also called the German Venice, covers 3,127 km². It is located approximately 60 kilometers from the Polish border and 100 kilometers from Berlin. This area is inhabited by Lusatians (Slavs who also live in the vicinity of Nysa Łużycka).

It covers the jagged riverbed of the Spree river. In practice, this means that there are many river channels of different widths in this area, creating smaller or larger river islands. The main town of this region is Lubin (German Lübben). However, I only passed through this city and I was in Lübbenau.

Spreewald Most łączący dwie wyspy
A bridge connecting two islands

Noteworthy Spreewald towns

As I wrote above, the most important city in the region is Lubin. Apart from it, there are also:

  • Lübbenau (Lower Sorbian Lubnjow)
  • Straupitz
  • Leipe
  • Burg

There is something special to be found in each of these cities. All you need to have is time for sightseeing – and unfortunately one day is not enough for that.

Spreewald boat
Spreewald boat in port

The most important attractions

By canoe and traditional Spreewald boat

The greatest attraction of the Spreewald are the canals on the Spree River. You can move around these canals by boats or canoes. Such a cruise may take from several to several hours depending on what type of transport we choose. In the Spreewald there are companies that organize trips on boats resembling Venetian or mountain trips for a fee.

During such a trip, we are surrounded by beautiful nature. We can also admire the beauty of Lusatian architecture.

Spreewald houses
Spreewald houses

Some of the Spreewald islands have no connection to the mainland or only have picturesque wooden bridges. Some islands also have eateries where travelers can eat and drink something warm. One such island is Lehde, which was once a village.

The cost of the cruise I was on was 20 euros. It was a cruise for an organized group, so in addition to the boat ride, there was a tasting of local specialties during the cruise. That is, cucumbers and bread with lard.

bridge connecting two river islands
bridge connecting two river islands

Other groups from what I saw had slightly different food. I think, however, that it is a matter of the selected package or the company that organized the trip.

boats in the river port
boats in the river port

On foot or by bike

The Spreewald has not only river canals, but also a beautiful forest and many interesting islands. These areas are ideal for long nature walks. During the boat trip, I saw that many people do not mind that you have to cross bridges to get to some of the islands (most of them only have stairs).

picturesque cottages next to the canals of the river Spree
picturesque cottages next to the canals of the river Spree

Leprechauns from legends

As in every culture, there are various fairy tales in the Lusatian one. The figures of them in the form of metal figures can be found on the streets of Speewald towns. I was able to see e.g.

Gnomes, creatures fishing – in the vicinity of Schloßbezirk 9, Lübbenau

Fontanna Legend (Sagenhafter Brunnen)

It is located near the church in Lübbenau, which is practically in the very center. It was established in the years 2007 – 2008.

Fontanna Legend w Lübbenau
Legend Fountain in Lübbenau

St. Nicholas in Lübbenau (Ger. Stadtkirche St. Nikolai)

This Orthodox church is located in the very center of the city. It is decorated in a baroque style. It was built in 1738-1741 on the site of an older temple from the 15th century.

Kościół św. Mikołaja w Lübbenau
St. Nicholas in Lübbenau

Lübbenau Palace and Manor House

Although nowadays the place seems very peaceful and even relaxing, the history of this area is quite turbulent. The palace was built on the site of ramparts from the Slavic times (9th-10th centuries). The castle was built on this site by Rochus zu Lynar. It was built in the classical style. Until World War II, the Lynar family owned the nearby lands. After the fall of the GDR, the family regained the palace. Today it houses a hotel.

Rochus zu Lynar
Nestor of the Rochus zu Lynar family – the first owner of the manor
houses and shops
houses and shops

Other interesting attractions

Below I have included a list of other interesting places that you have heard about but haven’t seen.

  • Open-air museum in Lehde
  • Bismarck tower from 1914-17 in Burg
  • evangelical church in Burg
  • Monument to fallen soldiers during World War I

Local specialties

Among the local specialties, it is worth mentioning such products as:

  • cucumbers
  • linseed oil
  • honey
  • horseradish
Preserves sold in the Spreewald
Preserves sold in the Spreewald

Cucumbers (German: gurken) are probably the most important product of the region. They are available in various forms from canned food (e.g. pickled, in vinegar, in mustard, in honey) to even drinks. Cucumber beer is quite popular here. It has a color similar to a green cucumber and it also has a very similar taste. Additionally, there is no bitterness. Which personally suits me very well!

A treat of cucumbers and bread with lard
A treat of cucumbers and bread with lard

sources of additional information:


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