Rheinsberg – At the heart of the German Lake District
Location: Surrounded by lakes and waterways
In the north-east of Germany and surrounded by the scenic lakes that attracts so many visitors, it is just 75 kilometres north-west of Berlin and its international airport. The town is also home to East Germany's first nuclear power reactor, which was decommissioned in 1990. Tours are available to the site, which is still being dismantled, with a view to creating either a 'green area' or small industrial complex on the site.
Culture: 17th Century palaces, castles, and monuments
No visit to the area should miss the famous Rheinsberg Palace that was restored into its current state in the 1700's. With stunning architecture and a scenic backdrop of the lakes and forests, it is one of the most photographed buildings in Germany. The palace features a museum and a theatre, which welcomes over 20,000 visitors each year to the annual opera festival in the summer months. The building was renovated by Prince Frederick (later Frederick the Great) from 1736 to 1740. He added an upper floor and extended the east wing to meet his requirements, but, on the wedding of his younger brother Heinrich, it was handed over as a gift, and the younger couple moved there in 1752. The pyramid-styled monument is Heinrich's tomb that looks out across his beloved gardens.
Activities: A nature lover’s paradise
With lakes, forests, and fields on every side, there are walks for you to lose yourself in the natural world, whichever way you may turn. Guided tours will show you the protected and threatened species that thrive in the area, but perhaps the most surprisingly interesting tour takes you through the history of the decommissioned nuclear reactor at Stechlinsee, just a few kilometres away.