Nature’s treasure trove
“It really is like the Mississippi”, wildlife filmmaker Andreas Kieling exclaimed enthusiastically when he visited the Elbetalaue, the Elbe Valley lowlands. Indeed, the Prignitz region, in north west Brandenburg, offers wide open spaces and adventure, too. Where once the border dividing the two German states ran along the banks of the Elbe river, there is now a green belt where wild horses graze, while storks, plovers, and grey geese wheel overhead. The Prignitz is one of nature’s treasure chests. Animal lovers on the “Storchenfeierabend-Tour” (after-work stork tour) can watch stork families at eye level from nearby balconies as parent storks feed their young in. In summer, there’s a medieval spectacle in the Plattenburg, Germany’s largest moated castle, and visitors are served castle-brewed beer. The larger towns like Perleberg or Wittstock have city centres that are dominated by buildings in the North German brick gothic style, and there are numerous museums that cover the region’s history and traditions. In Wittstock, in the ancient Bischofsburg, there is a Thirty Years’ War Museum that commemorates one of its bloodiest and most important battles. Visitors can turn to view the finer things of life in Schloss Meyenburg, the home of one of Europe’s largest private collections of twentieth century fashion.