Konigs Wusterhausen

Konigs Wusterhausen: Southeast of Berlin, directly where the Dahme and the Notte canals flow together, is Konigs Wusterhausen – or “KW,” as Berliners call this recreational town. From where S-Bahn line No. 46 ends (Westkreuz/Konigs Wusterhausen) an extensive system of bus lines and passenger trains offers connections to the near and more distant surroundings of KW, the so-called Dahmeland, with extensive forests and lakes all the way to the Spreewald.

The Autobahn will also take you to the town, but if you’re going by car, the country roads through the posh suburbs of Grunau, Schmockwitz, Eichwalde and Zeuthen might be worth your while. Wildau, an industrial park, was built according to an exceptional architectural plan. In 1898 the Wildau locomotive factory and the workers’ housing project were both integrated architecturally into the ensemble.

Konigs Wusterhausen itself is a fairly small town. The consumer attractions offered along the pedestrian zone in its center are modest. For the last 40 years most residents of this satellite city have worked and done their shopping in Berlin. Konigs Wusterhausen was important and well-known not only as a Prussian garrison town, but also for its coal harbor and the radio broadcasting facilities on the Funkerberg (Broadcaster’s Mountain). In 1913 the army erected its wireless transmitter on the hill, and the first radio broadcast in Germany was aired from here on December 22, 1920. Interestingly, the broadcasting towers also figure in the town’s coat-of-arms.

The story of KW’s founding is quickly told. In 1690 the two-year-old son of the King of Prussia was made owner of “palace and people.” Then, after he was enthroned as Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1713, he ordered the hunting palace built as we know it today. For 20 years the “Soldier King” regularly used the palace as his lodge during the autumn hunting season. He made Wusterhausen into Konigs Wusterhausen. A particular attraction is the weekly market held each Saturday. KW has been trying to rid itself of the suburban image and achieve greater independence as a local capital. In this way it will become a center of business where new industrial and commercial zones will be set up.

Numerous campsites, most with facilities for trailers, provide accommodation for visitors to the lakes and hiking trails of the region.

The Schlosshotel in the littler town (pop. 2000) of Teupitz makes a good vacation home for those preferring more comfort. Located on a peninsula extending into the Teupitzsee (accessible from the marketplace), the medieval watersurrounded castle of the Schenken von Landsberg dynasty was converted into a hotel with a good restaurant. Its private beach provides a magnificent panoramic view of the lake. Parts of Teupitz still vaguely recall its past as a fishing village.

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