Friedrich the Great and the Oder Marshlands
This excursion shall familiarize you with an important chapter of the Prussian history. The Mark Brandenburg region, which the Oder marshlands that are so beautifully described in Theodor Fontane's 'Walks through Mark Brandenburg' are part of, was once the heart of Prussia. You may follow the footsteps of the Prussian king Friedrich the Great, whose state politics initiated the drainage of the Oder marshlands that had been plagued by frequent flooding. The area was then populated and agriculture blossomed. Your first destination is the open air museums village for folk history, agricultural history and ecology in Altranft. Here, you will visit a mansion which is typical for the region. You will find rooms that are furnished with antiques from the 18th century, including a ladies' parlor from 1890, a dining-room from 1893, a hunt and bedroom which was furnished by the manufactory Schulz in Berlin in 1881 and a faithfully restored original kitchen from around 1870. In the museum, you will hear and see interesting facts of the Slav-Germanic history of this area and the transformation of the marshland into one of the most fertile cultural landscapes in Germany. The culture and ways of life of the fishermen and farmers is illustrated which itself is reflected in various ways in the set up and the organization of the villages of the area. You will recognize many of those illustrations in the subsequent tour through the low lands. On your way through the region, you will pass many local villages that bear Slav influences that are manifested in their shape and the central corridor houses. You can see an example in Altwriezen. You will also see the long shaped villages as they were founded during the colonization of the marshland through Friedrich the Great, such as Neulietzegoericke which also features typical half-timbered houses. In addition, you will also see single farms, the so called 'Loose'.
The Heath Land and Chorin Monastery
First, you visit the spectacular boat lifting tackle in Niederfinow. In 1927, the lift for ships was constructed using 8.000 tons of steel. It measures 36 meters in height and is used as a connector between the Oder River and the Oder-Havel-Channel. The tour then continues through the nature conservation area 'Choriner Endmoranenbogen'. For centuries, this region has been a popular destination for hunters and today it is a well-frequented recreational area. Vast forests, meadows, moors and marshes, lakes and creeks form an enchanting landscape. The heath region combines all elements of ice-age landscapes: lateral and terminal moraines, till and glacier bed. There, you will visit the Chorin cloister ruin, which is the most important example of Northern German brick Gothic architecture. After your scenic drive through the Schorfheide, you will stop for a short break at the hunting lodge 'Hubertusstock' (exterior visit), which was Erich Honecker's guest house during GDR times. Please note that the sequence of sights can change.