Cities & Surroundings

Travel through the Altmark and discover historic towns...

The jewel of brick gothic on the banks of the Uchte was founded by Margrave Albrecht of Brandenburg in 1160. Many buildings are preserved from the economic heyday of the Hanseatic era. The marketplace and its townhall with the adjoining Marienchurch are especially worth watching. The townhall boardroom has the eldest German carved wall, which was crafted back in 1462. In front of the townhall stands the 7,80 m high, and therefore third highest Roland statue of Germany. A high altar from the 15.century, large-scale sculptures from the 13.century as well as a historic, astronomical watch can be venerated in the Marienchurch. Other interesting places of the city of Stendal are i.a. the Stendal cathedral, the Altmark Museum and the Winckelmann Museum.

Northern German brick gothic with imposing churches and half-timbered architecture characterize the townscape of this 750 years old city. City cafés, restaurants, and small stores invite to a visit of this lively but still placid town. To this day, the erstwhile wealth of the Salzwedel merchants at times of affiliation to the Hanseatic association is apparent in the historic town center. The real, flame baked Salzwedel “Treecake” (dt. Baumkuchen) has made the city famous beyond the German borders. Interesting places to see are the Saint Katharien Church, the parish curch Saint Marien and the castle garden with the castle ruins.

In the middle of the Altmark there is the Hanse City Gardelegen, located at the edge of the Colbitz-Letzlingen Heathland. Remarkable medieval buildings witness the erstwhile prosperity of the city, which it has reached through hop production, beer brewing and the affiliation to the Hanseatic association. The medieval town center is encircled by a rampart, on which one passes the zoological garden, the historic town moat and parts of the former city wall. One of the most beautiful houses of Salzwedel is the late Gothic townhall with its brick façade. Interesting places worth seeing are the City Museum and the gallery Saint George, that presents regularly changing exhibitions.

One of the most beautiful and historico-culturally relevant cities is Havelberg, which is located at the Southern edge of the Prignitz region. The city has two districts: the on a hill situated Domstadt (eng. Cathedral district) and the Inselstadt (eng. Isle district) on the bank of the river Havel. The Romanesque style Saint Marien – cathedral, which is a former diocesan seat, is the most important sight of the town. Is majestically rises on a hill and grants a beautiful view into the vast Havel landscape. The Prignitz Museum houses findings and collections from the king’s tomb of Seddin near the city of Perleberg. Other sights worth seeing are the town houses, the townhall and the small Saint Annen Chapel, as well as the waterside promenade around the harbor.

Bismark was first mentioned in a document under the name “biscopesmarke” in 1209. The city’s prominent landmark is the 27 meters high, shrouded in legend “Goldene Laus” (eng. Golden louse). It is the remnant of a pilgrimage church, at the location of which a golden cross is said to having fallen from the sky. The town church, which presumably stems from the 12.century, was originally built as a roman basilica. The Bismarck – Museum in Poritz, a village near the city of Bismark, has fully devoted itself to the famous Bismarck family. The arguably largest private collection is comprised of about 300 exhibits, most of which are originals from the times between 1890 and 1914, as well as more than 500 books about the “Iron Chancellor”, some of which are seldom first editions.


Arneburg is a small town on a the Elbe Valley bordering plateau. It owes its name to an imperial castle that was built in the 10.century. The market place with its half-timbered houses, the fishermen’s houses on the village green as well as the townhall with its art nouveau – ornaments together form the town center. The roman style city church St. Georg, whose construction began in 1200, is the most significant building of the town. Another interesting place to see is the castle hill with its park and its wall residues from the 13.century.

Framed by pinewoods, the 554 ha large, crystal clear Arendsee attracts visitors who enjoy activities like swimming, sailing, fishing, boating and diving. At a guided city tour, the sights of the more than 800 years old Altmark city can be visited. The old Post Mill shouldn’t be missed out. The monastery church at the lake shore is the Northern closure of the Romanesque street. There the Museum of local history is located. The idiosyncratic work of the “itinerant preacher and temple guard” Gustav Nagel is held in memory at his place of living at the bank of the Arendsee.

For 800 years, the western towers of the monastery church of Jerichow have jut out the Elbe Valley landscape. The town’s landmark reminds us of turbulent times. In the 12.century, the land east of the Elbe was wrested from the Slavic people and entered into German possession. Through the foundation of the Premonstratensian monestary, a Christian base of missionizing activities was supposed to be built. In 1164, King Konrad III. validated the establishment of such an undertaking. The building is one of the most considerable sacred monuments of Northern Germany. Inside the medieval monastery rooms, there is a museum dedicated to the building history of  the eldest northern German brick construction.


The Saxony – Anhalt capital Magdeburg is located at the eastern edge of the Magdeburg Börde. Its origin lies in the Carolingian fortress of Magdeburg, which until 1912 was one of the strongest Prussian castles. The famous St. Mauritius and St. Katharina cathedral, which is one of the first Gothically conceptualized cathedrals on German ground, houses the grave of emperator Otto I. Remnants of the city fortification and the oldest, from the 17.century stemming house of Magdeburg can also be visited on the cathedral square. Another great example of Gothic architecture is the monastery “Unser lieben Frauen” (eng. Of our dear women), which was built between 1064 and 1230. Among many more, interesting places to visit are the Johannes church, the Elbauenpark and the millennium tower.