Monday, 13 April 2009

Werder (Havel) on an Easter Monday

About 36 kilometers SW of Berlin as the cormorant flies, the small, picturesque town of Werder lies on the restful Havel river. Its old town is on a small island connected to the mainland by a bridge, and it is a honeypot for tourists. So, maybe a hot sunny Easter Monday was perhaps not the best day to visit it, particularly as the train station is a good half hour's walk from the island, and no buses were running on a bank holiday. But for all its popularity the crowds weren't too bad, compared, say, with Matlock Bath on the same day. It just meant a bit of a queue for ice cream (the walnut flavour was himmlisch lecker!).

Here's the mandatory tourist photo over to the island with the Heilig-Geist-Kirche (Church of the Holy Spirit), windmill, and some strange yacht which is apparently a work of art.


A walk around the island was most pleasent and didn't take long. I particularly liked the splendidly neo-gothic Heilig-Geist-Kirche:

In the church-yard is a cross of reconciliation made of nails from the old Coventry Cathedral, which was of course bombed and destroyed by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. 

Curiously there is also a monument to those people of Werder who died at the hands of the Staasi (the DDR State Secret Police, or Staatssicherheit). I have not seen one of these before:

The windmill at Werder is pretty, though it looks like a strong gust of wind would blow it down:

The streets are narrow and quaint, reminding me of a Devonshire fishing village (not surprisingly, as the main traditional industry here is fishing, followed curiously enough by viniculture and fruit growing):

It was a gorgeous day weatherwise, and the azure sky complimented the many whitewashed buildings perfectly:

All in all, most serene and peaceful - ruhig - and a place I would like to return to. Though not on a bank holiday next time, and maybe with my bike. I can taste that walnut ice cream already!

(Do I keep going on about the tourists? Like we're not ones ourselves? Well, judge for yourself. Here's the main market square on Werder Island; as you can see, absolutely heaving with people, like being at a Wembley football match, you could hardly move for folk!)*

* = irony verging on sarcasm.

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