Neubrandenburg ("New Brandenburg", [nɔʏˈbʁandənbʊʁk]) is a city in the southeast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is located on the shore of a lake called Tollensesee and forms the urban centre of the Mecklenburg Lakeland.
The city is famous for its rich medieval heritage of Brick Gothic, especially the world's best preserved defensive wall of this style, and the Concert Church (Saint Mary), home venue of the Neubrandenburg Philharmony. Neubrandenburg is nicknamed for its four medieval city gates - "Stadt der Vier Tore" ("City of Four Gates"). It is part of the European Route of Brick Gothic, a route which leads through seven countries along the Baltic Sea coast.
Since 2011, Neubrandenburg is the capital of the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district. It is the third-largest city and one of the main urban centres of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The city is an economical power node of northeastern Germany, featuring one of the highest national ranks in employment density and GDP per capita. The closest greater urban areas are the regiopolis of Rostock and the metropolises of Szczecin, Berlin and Hamburg. Since 1991, Neubrandenburg hosts a University of Applied Sciences that also offers international exchanges, guest programs and studies.
The first settlers at the place were Premonstratensian monks in Broda Abbey, a monastery at the shore (about 1240). The foundation of the city of Neubrandenburg took place in 1248, when the Margrave of Brandenburg decided to build a settlement in the northern part of his fief. In 1292 the city and the surrounding area became part of Mecklenburg.
The city flourished as a trade centre until the Thirty Years' War (1618–48), when this position was lost. During the dramatic advance of the Swedish army of Gustavus Adolphus into Germany, the city was garrisoned by Swedes, but it was retaken by Imperial Catholic League 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, when the Swedes themselves adopted a "no prisoners" policy, they would cut short any pleas for mercy with the cry of "New Brandenburg!". The city, therefore, played an unconscious role in the escalation of brutality of one of history's most brutal wars.
During the Second World War, a large prisoner-of-war camp, Stalag II-A, was located close to the city. In 1945, few days before the end of the Second World War, 80% of the old town was burned down by the Red Army in a great fire. In that course, about 600 people committed suicide. Since then, most buildings of historical relevance have been rebuilt. Neubrandenburg was a bezirk centre between 1952 and 1990.
See also: Media related to Cultural heritage monuments in Neubrandenburg at Wikimedia Commons
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 city 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 and rosettes on the outer defence side.
Another place of interest is the Brick Gothic Marienkirche (Konzertkirche) (Church of the Virgin Mary or St. Mary's 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").
Other attractions include Neubrandenburg Regional Museum.Hochschule Neubrandenburg (University of Applied Sciences)
Three large secondary schools
Neubrandenburg is known as city of sports (Sportstadt). The city is famous for being home to various Olympic medal winners and talents in sports, especially in canoeing (Andreas Dittmer, Martin Hollstein), discus throwing and shotputting (Astrid Kumbernuss, Ralf Bartels, Franka Dietzsch) and running (Katrin Krabbe). Neubrandenburg was the location of both of the world record throws in Discus, by Jürgen Schult in 1986 and by Gabriele Reinsch in 1988. The Jahnstadion, the Jahnsportforum stadium, the Stadthalle and adjacent sport parks offer vast options for large sport and culture events. The city is also home to a dedicated sports elite school, the Sportgymnasium Neubrandenburg.Collegno, Italy – since 1965
Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany – since 1987
Gladsaxe, Denmark – since 1990
Koszalin (German Köslin), Poland – since 1974
Nazareth, Israel – since 1998
Nevers, France – since 1973
Petrozavodsk, Russia – since 1983
Villejuif, France – since 1966
Yangzhou, China – since 1999