Spree forest

Only an hour train journey outside of Berlin, you will find one of the most unique nature reservations, formed by the last ice age and further cultivated by farmers and fishermen since the 8th century.
This region is very popular in Germany and is being visited by nearly one million tourists every year.
Particularly attractive is the village Lehde.
It is first mentioned in 1315. There you can find a lot of old farmhouses, which have been partially rebuilt and are standing on tiny islands.
Lehde is the main attraction in this region and still today live about 140 residents here.

spree forest

The river Spree is divided into more than two hundred small streams and channels, creating a huge network of waterways. The only way of transport is the punt, a boat which covers a length of five to ten meters and a wide of nearly 2 meters.
transport transport of coals by a local

Still today plays the Spreewald punt an essential role in the daily life of the locals here. Almost everything has to be transportet with this by hand driven vehicle. It was invented by a carpenter around 1850 in Lehde and has finally given a boost to the by agriculuture dominated economy.
It is amazing that our anchestors have only used hollowed out tree trunks for every kind of transport until the mid of the 19th century.
Every few years is happend, that the temperatues fall down to minus 10 degree or even colder.
Then our channels are covered by a thin or thick ice layer but it’s not always secure to walk on it.
In that case our locals of the islands have to put their punts across on the channel like bridges in front of their houses to get away and to come back at home.

Especially ice skating is the favorite activity our children and adolescents in the cold season when it’s possible. Then is a busy life everywhere.

cold season

cold season

Dirk Kleemann