Neubrandenburg is a city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It is located in the southeastern part of the state, on the shore of a lake called the Tollensesee
Tollensesee is a lake in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It belongs to the Mecklenburg Lake District. At an elevation of 14.8 m, its surface area is 17.4 km². Its maximum depth is about 33 m. The lake is 10.4 km long and between 1.5 and 2.5 km wide....

(18 km²).

The city is famous for its rich medieval heritage of Brick Gothic
Brick Gothic
Brick Gothic is a specific style of Gothic architecture common in Northern Europe, especially in Northern Germany and the regions around the Baltic Sea that do not have natural rock resources. The buildings are essentially built from bricks...

. It belongs to the famous European Route of Brick Gothic
European Route of Brick Gothic
The European Route of Brick Gothic is a tourist route connecting 31 cities with Brick Gothic architecture in seven countries along the Baltic Sea, from Sweden through Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia....

, a route which leads through seven countries along the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 coast. A former district-free town, it is the capital of the new district of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte
Mecklenburgische Seenplatte (district)
Mecklenburgische Seenplatte is a district in the southeast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is bounded by the districts Ludwigslust-Parchim, Rostock , Vorpommern-Rügen, Vorpommern-Greifswald, and the state Brandenburg to the south...

 since the September 2011 district reforms.

The city got a nickname because of the four medieval city gates - "Stadt der Vier Tore" ("City of Four Gates"). Neubrandenburg was the location of both of the world record throws in Discus
Discus, "disk" in Latin, may refer to:* Discus , a progressive rock band from Indonesia* Discus , a fictional character from the Marvel Comics Universe and enemy of Luke Cage* Discus , a freshwater fish popular with aquarium keepers...

, by Jürgen Schult
Jürgen Schult
Jürgen Schult is a former German track and field athlete and the current world record holder in the discus throw since 1986, currently the longest standing record in men's track and field...

 in 1986 and by Gabriele Reinsch
Gabriele Reinsch
Gabriele Reinsch is a German track and field athlete. She represented East Germany in the Olympic games in the discus throw....

 in 1988.


The first settlers at the place were Premonstratensian
The Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Premonstratensians, the Norbertines, or in Britain and Ireland as the White Canons , are a Catholic religious order of canons regular founded at Prémontré near Laon in 1120 by Saint Norbert, who later became Archbishop of Magdeburg...

 monks in Broda Abbey, a monastery at the shore (about 1240). The foundation of the town of Neubrandenburg took place in 1248, when the Margrave of Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

 decided to build a town in the northern part of his fief. In 1292 the town and the surrounding area became part of Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg is a historical region in northern Germany comprising the western and larger part of the federal-state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern...


The town flourished as a trade center until the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

 (1618–48), when this position was lost. During the dramatic advance of the Swedish
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 army of Gustavus Adolphus into Germany, the town was garrisoned by Swedes, but it was retaken by Imperial-Catholic League
Catholic League (German)
The German Catholic League was initially a loose confederation of Roman Catholic German states formed on July 10, 1609 to counteract the Protestant Union , whereby the participating states concluded an alliance "for the defence of the Catholic religion and peace within the Empire." Modeled...

 forces in 1631. During this operation it was widely reported that the Catholic forces killed many of the Swedish and Scottish soldiers while they were surrendering. Later, according to the Scottish soldier of fortune Robert Munro, 18th Baron of Foulis
Robert Munro, 18th Baron of Foulis
Colonel Robert Munro of Foulis , also known as the Black Baron, was traditionally the 18th Baron of Foulis in Scotland. He was a soldier of fortune, who served in Germany under the banners of Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden...

, when the Swedes themselves adopted a "no prisoners" policy, they would cut short any pleas for mercy with the cry of "New Brandenburg!". The town, therefore, played an unconscious role in the escalation of brutality of one of history's most brutal wars.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, a large prisoner-of-war camp
Prisoner-of-war camp
A prisoner-of-war camp is a site for the containment of combatants captured by their enemy in time of war, and is similar to an internment camp which is used for civilian populations. A prisoner of war is generally a soldier, sailor, or airman who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or...

 Stalag II-A
Stalag II-A
Camp Fünfeichen was a World War II German prisoner-of-war camp located in Fünfeichen, a former estate within the city limits of Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg, northern Germany. Built as Stalag II-A Neubrandenburg in 1939, it was extended by the officer camp Oflag II-E in 1940...

 was located close to the town. In 1945, few days before the end of World War II, 80% of the old town was burned down by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 in a great fire. In that course, about 600 people committed suicide. Since then, most buildings of historical relevance have been rebuilt.

Sights and monuments

Neubrandenburg has preserved its medieval city wall in its entirety. The wall, 7 m high and with a perimeter of 2.3 km has four Brick Gothic
Brick Gothic
Brick Gothic is a specific style of Gothic architecture common in Northern Europe, especially in Northern Germany and the regions around the Baltic Sea that do not have natural rock resources. The buildings are essentially built from bricks...

 town gates, dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Of these, one of the most impressive is the Stargarder Tor (pictured), with its characteristic gable-like shape and the filigree tracery
In architecture, Tracery is the stonework elements that support the glass in a Gothic window. The term probably derives from the 'tracing floors' on which the complex patterns of late Gothic windows were laid out.-Plate tracery:...

 and rosettes on the outer defense side.

Another place of interest is the Brick Gothic Marienkirche (Konzertkirche) (Church of the Virgin Mary or St. Marien Church), completed 1298. The church was nearly destroyed in 1945, but it has been restored since 1975 to house a concert hall (opened 2001).

The tallest highrise in the city is the 56m Haus der Kultur und Bildung (HKB, House of Culture & Education), opened in 1965. Its slender appearance has earned it the nickname Kulturfinger ("culture finger").

External links

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