Nature paradise in the East
Brandenburg is the largest Land (federal state) in eastern Germany. Around 2.5 million people live here. The capital is Potsdam, a city rich in history, while Germany’s capital Berlin is located in the middle of Brandenburg as a separate Land and the “largest city in the Märkischer Kreis”. When the great German poet Theodor Fontane embarked on his “Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg” (Walks through the March of Brandenburg) in the middle of the 19th century, he encountered a fascinating landscape. It unvaryingly remains the same to this day. With descriptions of the landscapes and its people, Fontane took readers with him to the palaces, gardens and stately homes of the March of Brandenburg and brought the region and its treasures world fame. Magnificent parks such as the Branitz created by Prince Pückler, stately buildings designed by architects such as Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the world-famous Potsdam Sanssouci Palace are as much a part of Brandenburg as the colonist villages in the Oderbruch and the numerous palaces and village churches.
A protected paradise
From the Prignitz and Uckermark in the north to the Elbe-Elster lowlands in the south, from the Oder at the German-Polish border in the east to the North German Lowlands in the west: water and forests dominate the region and make it a natural paradise with 30,000 kilometres of rivers and thousands of lakes from the wide River Havel to the network of canals in the Spreewald. The area is home to many rare animals and plants. In order to preserve biodiversity, a third of Brandenburg is under conservation. Sustainable tourism and organic farming play a major role in the 15 large protected areas – national parks, UNESCO biosphere reserves and nature parks. The protected areas are regarded as the “crown jewels of German unity”.
Metropolitan region and industrial location
The Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region boasts of well-trained specialists, a dense network of transport links and a particularly large number of research institutions: more than 50 public and private universities and colleges as well as about 100 non-university research institutions are located in this region.
Steelworks, brickworks furnaces and large open-cast mining areas bear witness to Brandenburg’s industrial history. In addition to agriculture and forestry, future-oriented industries such as the media, metal, plastics and chemicals, energy, optics, transport and tourism also play a major role in the region’s economy. Almost 1200 companies generate around 25.9 billion euro a year. Among them are well-known companies such as Rolls Royce Deutschland, MTU Aero Engines, Mercedes-Benz and BASF. More recently, Amazon and Zalando have established bases here. In the meantime, US car wizard Tesla is building a “European gigafactory” for its electric vehicles in Grünheide, east of Berlin.
What a refreshing mix
Brandenburg’s culture is a refreshing mix that blends historical heritage with a modern scene. Many of the palaces, monasteries and manor houses invite you to enjoy music, theatre or literature festivals in spring and summer; there are events at night in palaces, open-air concerts and open-air theatre performances. One of the oldest and largest film studios in Europe is located in Potsdam: Babelsberg. Michael Ende’s “Die unendliche Geschichte” (The Neverending Story) was filmed here, as were international blockbusters such as “Monuments Men” with George Clooney. The language, culture and history of the Sorbs, one of four national minorities recognised in Germany, is also an integral part of Brandenburg’s history and culture.
Brandenburg is also a state of sporting enthusiasts. Not only was boxing world champion Henry Maske born here, but Brandenburg’s canoeists and rowers, cyclists and bobbers have won numerous gold medals at Olympic Games or world championship titles. Sports fans in Brandenburg can use the 230-kilometre inline skating tracks in the Fläming region, for example, or jump into the cool water of one of the many lakes.
To the state's official website: