One of the sixteen Länder
(federal states) of Germany; also the name of a city within that Land
State of Brandenburg:
Area: 29,000 sq. km.
Capital: Potsdam, pop. 130,000
Political division: Four cities, fourteen Kreise (districts)
Located in the east of the country on the border with Poland, Brandenburg was the heartland of the old Prussian empire and the seat of the Hohenzollern family. It is a largely rural province, consisting mainly of farmland and forests.
For the tourist the main attractions are likely to be the Spree Forest, and the historic towns of Potsdam, once a royal residence, Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, and Brandenburg. The city of Berlin is encircled by the territory of Brandenburg but is a Land in its own right.
City of Brandenburg:
Founded by the Slavs in the sixth century, on three islands of the river Havel, Brandenburg's recent past has been less illustrious than the city is used to. The Nazis chose it as the location for the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, and ensured it was heavily bombed by making it a centre of military industry. After the
Soviets took control of East Germany its medieval architecture was overshadowed by smoking chimneys, and suffered badly from the resulting air pollution.
It is however now a site chosen for restoration, so its future may be brighter than its recent past.
Gordon McLachlan, Germany - The Rough Guide, 1998