Culture and history, modern and unspoilt
With its old quarter and citadel, Berlin-Spandau offers remarkable architectural monuments surrounded by a variety of biotopes in the Havel basin. In addition to urban flair, it has a wealth of idyllic countryside featuring water, meadows, forest and fields – with farms, stables, inviting restaurants and marinas, a golf course and marked trails. It has developed from an old-established industrial centre into a modern centre for the service industry with new shopping centres, hotels and restaurants.
Gothic House + Museum of the city's history
Known for its citadel, Berlin-Spandau is a veritable treasure trove of history: the Gothic House, now at Breite Strasse 37, was built as a dwelling in the second half of the 15th century, making it the oldest remaining secular building in Berlin. Since 1993, it has housed the museum of the city's history on its upper floor, along with art exhibitions and the tourist information office on its ground floor. The house is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm.
Spandau Citadel is considered the best preserved Renaissance fortification in northern Europe. There has been a fort on this site since the 11th century. Completed in 1230, the Julius tower is one of the oldest surviving structures in Berlin. The citadel's current exterior was created at the end of the 16th century by Italian architects. Today, it is open to the public. Many historical buildings have been restored and are now used for cultural events or as a museum where visitors can see finds from excavations dating back to the Middle Ages. Attractions in the old quarter include the Protestant Church of St. Nicholas, the birthplace of the Reformation in Berlin and Brandenburg. The font dating from 1398 and the baroque pulpit are well worth a visit, as is the tower which affords awe-inspiring views. Other one-of-a-kind attractions in the district include the Airforce Museum of the German Federal Armed Forces in Gatow and Fort Hahneberg, once situated in a strip of no man's land right by the Berlin Wall.
Going out, cultural scene
With its Citadel Music Festival, Spandau offers open-air concerts featuring world-class international artists. The nearby open-air stage at the citadel hosts the Spandau Summer of Culture, which attracts visitors with its theatre and musical theatre productions, concerts by new bands and national classical ensembles. During "Classics in Spandau" young award-winning orchestras perform at various venues around the district.
Thanks to Siemensstadt sports club, Spandau not only has the third-largest sports association in Berlin, but also a multifunctional sports centre with a national reputation. The Südpark leisure centre with its adjoining swimming pool complex is very popular with locals and visitors alike, as are the many water sports facilities (rowing, canoeing and sailing) in Gatow and Kladow.
The largest pedestrian area in Berlin with 160 shops and three department stores, Spandau's old quarter is one of the most traditional areas for shopping in the German capital. A farmers market is held four times a week from March to November. The nearby Spandau Arcades shopping mall and the "Ellipse" centre with its cafés, restaurants and other service facilities are also great places to spend some time.
Spandau Havel Festival
Friday to Sunday on the 2nd weekend in June;
Location: Lindenufer, from the lock to Dischinger Bridge;
Programme on four stages, more than 150 stallholders and caterers;
Spectacular fireworks show on Saturday;
Open day at Spandau lock
Spandau Old Town festival & Summer of Wine
Thursday to Sunday, beg. of September
Location: Market, Carl-Schurz-Str., town hall square;
Concerts, acrobatics, wine tastings, three stages
Spandau Christmas market
Held every year from the last Sunday in November before Advent to 23 Dec.;
Location: throughout Spandau's old quarter;
largest Christmas market in Berlin, and one of the largest in Europe, with 250 stalls during the week and 400 at the weekend;
daily stage events, major concerts every Friday;
nearby: Spandau Christmas Dream (showmen in front of the town hall) and Florida Winter Wonderland ("American Christmas")
The Gothic House
The gothic house (Gotisches Haus) was built in the latter half of the 15. Century and served its purpose as a residence. Today it is considered to be the oldest obtained secular building in Berlin. Many exhibitions and the Tourist-Information characterize its image since 1993. The Spandau City Museum is situated in the upper floor.
Air Force Museum of the German military in the Gatow airport
This could possibly be the biggest (considering the surface) “secret spot” of the capital. The museum is yet an insider tipp for two reasons: firstly it is situated in the periphery of the city and secondly it has free entrance! Hangars, tower and the biggest part of the former Runways are components of the air force museum. The over 100 air force planes and helicopters of the museum are located in the open air area. It was here at Gatow airport where Otto Lilienthal conducted his first flight attempt.
It was built from 1882 till 1888 as the last artillery fort in Germany, yet due to the rapid development of technology it became obsolete and therefore military pointless before it was even completed. Since 1952 the fort was situated on the borders to the DDR and was not accessible. This led to the whole ground lying waste. Today the fort is representing itself as an architectural, military and nature-monument.
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