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Photo: Finow canal in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin
Finow canal in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin © TMB/Wolfgang Korall

Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin

The Beauty from the Ice Age

At the size of 90,000 football fields, the Schorfheide is one of the largest closed forest areas in Germany. Hundreds of square kilometres of forests - some of which are even a UNESCO World Heritage Site – are a great place for hiking and relaxing.

The Schorfheide is north-east of Berlin. Deep forests and vast open landscapes, deep valleys and distinctive mountain ranges alternate here. Its present face is due to this quiet, sparsely populated land of the recent Ice Age, which ended 15,000 years ago and drew huge ice masses across the country.

However, the landscape is also influenced by centuries of human's use and cultivation. A wealth of animal and plant species live here.

Nature, Culture, UNESCO

The Buchenwald Grumsin has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2011 because of its numerous moors and waters and the harmonious forests. In the GDR, it was a state hunting area and therefore only used by a few people. In the Grumsin there are even unknown mosquito species being discovered to this day.

The Buchenwald World Heritage Site app invites interested nature lovers all over the world to explore the old beech forests of Germany on exciting paths in German and English.

Chorin Monastery

The fascinating architecture of the monastery complex and the beauty of the landscape make the former Cistercian monastery Chorin, in the middle of the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin, one of the most popular excursion destinations in Brandenburg.

Karl Friedrich Schinkel and romantic currents contributed decisively to the preservation of the medieval brick ensemble in the 19th century. The monastery attracted Berlin and Potsdamer painters and other artists, and by the beginning of the 20th century a lively tourism industry had developed.

Today, visitors to the Chorin monastery can learn about the building material brick, the architecture, and the history of the monuments as well as the life and work of the monks.

Sport and Recreation

The Werbellin Lake is in the middle of the Biosphere Reserve. It is about 10km long and its lowest point is almost 60m deep. Good visibility and numerous shipwrecks make the lake very popular with divers. The "coffee boats" that sunk in the middle of the 19th century are especially interesting. They were designed to supply the rapidly growing metropolis of Berlin with building materials. Often they were overloaded and sank during lively winds when the crew failed to throw cargo overboard. Another fascinating diving site in the Werbellin Lake is an Ice Age wall which drops steeply 15m below water.

More tips for the area

"Alte Klosterschänke Chorin” - the oldest restaurant in Chorin, restored in a monumental building

Ökodorf Brodowin

Gut Sarnow

Biorama in Joachimsthal

Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow

Eberswalde family garden

Binnenschifffahrts-Museum Oderberg

Luftfahrtmuseum Finowfurt

Forstbotanischer Garten Eberswalde

If you still have the strength and desire, you can go directly to the Naturpark Barnim (Barnim nature park) in the south of the Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve, which in some cases even extends to Berlin's urban area.