Glienicker Brücke

The start of this historical tour is the Glienicker Bridge in Potsdam, which was a major site of the Cold War. This is where the famous agent and prisoner exchanges took place. Fortunately, the wall that once sealed off West Berlin until 1989 no longer stands, allowing you to cycle leisurely along the Wannsee.

In Berlin, European cultural history is of course omnipresent, whether along the Straße des 17. Juni, at the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate and Alexanderplatz or at the East Side Gallery, an open-air gallery on the longest remaining piece of the Berlin Wall. Just as the former border between West and East Berlin is invisible, the transition from the big city to rural Brandenburg is smooth. Here, too, you will cycle through a varied landscape without borders and with plenty of water, where Berlin celebrities sought refuge in past centuries. For example, in the alpine-like Buckow located in the middle of the Märkische Schweiz Nature Park, where Berthold Brecht spent his summers together with Helene Weigel on the turquoise-blue Schermützelsee. Today, artists find home in the Oderbruch, which was "colonized" according to plan by the Prussian king: the vacant farms - also called loose - offer enough space to work and room for exhibitions. As was once the case in the 18th century, when elaborate land improvement measures gave rise to many new villages, which were settled by colonists from all over Europe with the prospect of their own land without taxes and compulsory military service, and freedom of religious practice. The final point was the German-Polish twin town of Küstrin-Kietz/Kostrzyn nad Odrą, which was completely destroyed in 1945. While the old town of Küstrin, known as "Küstrin Pompeii", now only has only park-like character, life thrives in the Polish town of Kostrzyn.

Highlights of cultural history

Do not miss!

Hauptmann von Köpenick

The Captain of Köpenick

Who doesn't know him, the Captain of Köpenick, who needed nothing more than a secon-hand uniform and a convincing personality to play an ingenious trick on the Wilhelmine military state? As a cobbler from East Prussia, already convicted multiple times for minor offenses, Wilhelm Voigt took command of a group of gullible soldiers on October 16, 1906. He occupied the town hall of Köpenick, arrested the mayor, and looted the city treasury. Originally sentenced to four years in prison, Voigt, whose stroke of genius made headlines around the world, was pardoned by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1908. After his release, he impersonated the false Captain of Köpenick several more times before relocating to Luxembourg in 1910, where he died in poverty in 1922. In addition to a monument at the town hall of Köpenick, there is a permanent exhibition in the local museum with numerous exhibited items and informative panels about the Köpenick affair, which has been artistically depicted multiple times, such as in Carl Zuckmayer's play "The Captain of Köpenick".

Kolonistendorf im Oderbruch

Cultural Heritage Sites in the Oderbruch

After being drained from the 18th century onwards, the Oderbruch region developed into one of the most fascinating small landscapes in Europe. In 2022, the Oderbruch became the first cultural landscape to receive the European Heritage Seal, as it uniquely symbolizes the ideals and history of the European Union. Some of the 40 cultural heritage sites are located directly along the R1 European Cycle Route or can be reached with a short detour. These include the Neuhardenberg Village school, the Letschin Local History Museum, the Wilhelmsaue Post Mill, the Wollup Local History Museum and the Buschdorf basketry Museum.

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Regional products along the cultural history

Bierkultur genießen

Berliner Bierkultur

Vor 100 Jahren war Berlin einmal Bierhauptstadt, als über 100 Brauereien in der Stadt ansässig waren – mehr als in jeder anderen Metropole der Welt. Das wohl bekannteste Bier ist die Berliner Weiße, ein obergäriges Bier, das seinen Ursprung im 16. Jahrhundert hatte. Es galt als Grundnahrungsmittel, war es doch sauberer als Wasser. Übrig blieb eine Großbrauerei mit lediglich einem Berliner Kindl Weißbier. Doch mit dem Craft Beer Trend aus den Vereinigten Staaten wurde auch die Berliner Weiße wiederentdeckt.

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Fangfrischer Fisch auf dem Teller

Fresh fish on the plate

Regional culinary delight is highly valued in the Oder-Spree lake district. In a cozy atmosphere, regional dishes made with the finest seasonal ingredients can be enjoyed - best with a view of the lake! The versatile fish dishes made with freshly caught fish from the more than 300 lakes and rivers are particularly recommended.

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The highlights along the cultural history

Arrival information

The starting point is accessible by train to Potsdam Hbf, and the destination, Küstrin-Kietz, has a regional train service to Berlin. To bring a bicycle on the train, It is advisale to avoid rush hour and weekend travel.

Contact information

Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH
Am Karlsbad 11
10785 Berlin
Tel. ++49 (0)30 25002333

Seenland Oder-Spree e.V.
Ulmenstraße 15
15526 Bad Saarow
Tel. ++49(0)33631 868100

Our daily stage recommendation

Etappe Potsdam - Berlin-Köpenick

Über die Glienicker Brücke, die als „bridge of spies“ mit dem Austausch von Spionen im Kalten Krieg Berühmtheit erlangte, wird Berlin erreicht. Entlang von Wannsee und Havel ist zunächst nichts vom pulsierenden Großstadt-Leben zu spüren. Dieses wartet dann entlang der Heerstraße. Über diese...

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Etappe Berlin - Buckow

Der Berliner Osten hat mit der historischen Mitte Berlins, dem Nikolaiviertel, dem Alexanderplatz und der East Side Gallery einige der spannendsten Orte der Hauptstadt zu bieten.

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