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Der Spreewald – The Spree Forest Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 in Culture, Geography, People

When people have had a stressful workweek they are usually yearning for a calm and restful weekend to relax and recharge their batteries. Of course, you can stay at home, lie on the sofa, watch TV, listen to music or read a book but this doesn’t sound like a good recovery, does it? What about diving into nature and enjoying the great outdoors? The Spreewald offers such a welcome change.

The Spreewald is located in the southeast of Brandenburg and belongs to one of the most fascinating regions of Europe. The landscape is, of course, dominated by the Spree, which is a tributary stream of the Havel River. Thus, the Spree invites you to activities like fishing, boat trips and canoeing. Very often you can see older people and families in punts sailing on the Spree. Punts are similar to Venetian gondolas. There’s always a steersman on it moving the boat with a long wooden pole. Younger people prefer canoeing on the Spree.

The Spreewald also offers outdoors activities onshore like cycling, hiking, and horse-riding. I find it quite difficult to describe the natural surroundings of the Spreewald as trees and bushes do not sound exciting. Therefore, you can find some videos below to get an idea of this impressive and powerful region.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi4bg_4SZuE

 

 

The landscape took shape in the glacial period as well as the whole state of Brandenburg. In order to protect the landscape it was announced a biosphere reserve in 1990.

The Spreewald is not only know for its nature but also for its gherkins and inhabitants. The fertile soil and the climate foster the growth of the cucumbers, which are later pickled and seasoned with different spices. Spreewald gherkins are available with different flavors. They are sour, sour-sweet, hot, salty or seasoned with garlic. There is even a so called Gurkenradweg (cucumber cycle track), which leads trough the whole Speewald region.

Last but not least, the Spreewald is known for its inhabitants: the Wends and Sorbs. The Wends immigrated to the Spreewald around 500. The were West Slavic peasants from an areas which is is now Belarus. The Sorbs immigrated to the Spreewald around 1400 from the south. Most people mix these two cultural groups. The Sorbs inhabited the Oberlausitz (Upper Lusatia) and the Wends inhabitated the Niederlausitz (Lower Lusatia). Both the Wends and Sorbs are very well know for their garb, which is nowadays a festive costume. It probably developed from a working dress, which older woman in some parts of the Spreewald still wear. Especially the bonnet of this garb is very eye-catching. Actually it is a headscarf that consists of several embroidered cloths.

 

 

 

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About the Author:Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


Comments:

  1. Socrates:

    The Spreewald is not only know for its nature but also for its gherkins and inhabitants.

    That is the best sentence I have read (in any language) this week 🙂