Wedel - A Cultural Jewel on the Banks of the Elbe River

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Wedel in northern Germany means “bank of water”, and with a prime location on the Elbe River is surrounded by natural beauty. The city has been mentioned in texts dating back to 1212, and thanks to its trading route originally flourished due to its thriving ox market. The town was under Danish rule for almost two centuries, until Prussian and Austrian troops reclaimed it for Germany in the 1860s. Nowadays, Wedel enjoys a vibrant cultural scene, as museums, educational institutions and theatres - including a theatre-ship - abound throughout the town. With Hamburg just 20 km away, it makes a wonderful place to stay yet benefit from the closeness to the big city.

Location: On the Elbe River

Situated in the far northern part of central Germany, Wedel is located on the right bank of the Elbe River. It is only 17 kilometres west of the famous German city of Hamburg. Dikes surround the city in order to protect it from elevated water levels, and the former marshland surrounding the town were turned into great hiking paths for residents and visitors. Wedel also boasts an important harbour, and its most well-known attraction is the Welcome Point, established in order to greet incoming ships.

Business: A harbor and university town

Wedel’s local economy relies mostly on its status as an important stop for ships on the Elbe River. The town also boasts several prestigious universities and vocational schools, including the University of Applied Sciences Wedel. One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca, is headquartered in Wedel.

Culture: The Welcome Point

To get a feel for life in the town, head for the famous Wedel “Welcome Point” and mingle with the locals. A tradition established in 1952, this is where the townsfolk greet ships docking by the city. Two important museums are open to travellers - the Ernst Barlach birth house and the local city museum. The latter gives visitors an idea of the area’s history and development over time, while the former is dedicated to the painter, sculptor, and writer, Ernst Barlach, a Wedel born icon who lived here in the late 19th Century. A quirky attraction most travellers will want to check out is the local theatre-ship, where art shows, plays, and concerts are held.

Activities: Land and water

Wedel has a lot to offer outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who have an affinity for the sea. Head to the local yachting club to test your boat skills, or alternatively explore the amazing hiking trails located on the outskirts of the city. Also, those interested in local history can check out the Roland statue in the town marketplace, built in 1558 to symbolize justice in the market.