The Spreewald Biosphere Reserve | The Venice of Brandenburg

 

Discover…boating on the gently flowing streams of the Spreewald region, the enchanting hidden corners of the region's natural landscape, and the secret life of its rare fauna and flora. We want to promote the beauty of a landscape worth preserving, a landscape still largely unspoilt. We will be approaching the region from a completely new angle – it is the star but also the cause we are fighting for – in the hope of providing all nature lovers with a true picture of the area, motivated by a passion for our environment and also for life itself. Welcome to the Spreewald region's most beautiful spots! Although some people refer to this unique landscape, a last relic from the Ice Age, as "the Venice of Brandenburg",a look through the camera lens proves that this amazingly beautiful region – despite the main feature it shares with Venice, waterways – has largely been shaped by nature, rather than mankind: around 10,000 years ago, after the ice had started to melt, it was the trees – primary species such as birch, willow and pine – that defiantly withstood the aggradation left by the countless arms of the river that was later to become the Spree. In the beginning, it constantly changed course and formed new creeks everywhere, until the trees forced the bodies of flowing water into more solid main channels. Alder woods grew in these frequently flooded lowlands, followed by oak and beech trees as soon as nature had adjusted to the conditions. It was not until much later, during the Bronze Age, that prolonged dry periods allowed humankind to interfere with nature here. Trees were cleared and the land was cultivated for several centuries. Maybe the conditions subsequently changed due to a change in climate; we don't actually know why the early farmers abandoned their efforts at some point. The trees soon reclaimed the land, re-greening the once deforested areas until renewed colonisation in the 11th century brought humankind and its activities back to the riparian forest soon to be called the Spreewald. Today, the region looks as if it were the realm of fairies and elves; picturesque little cottages and villages line its waterways, looking for all the world as if they had been painted there by a great artist. It has the aura of an unspoilt yet beautifully landscaped park, its secrets often revealed only to nature lovers who invest time and patience in careful observation, secrets now captured in a series of unique photographs that show the enchanting effects created by light, shade and the various colours at different times of the day and year. © Text are copyrighted – Frank Langhanke

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