Although it surrounds bustling Berlin, the Brandenburg state of mind is as far from the German capital as Shangri-La. It’s a quiet, gentle state with vast expanses of unspoilt scenery, much of it in protected nature reserves. Its landscape is quilted in myriad shades, from emerald beech forest to golden fields of rapeseed and sunflowers. It’s also rather flat, windswept and perhaps even a bit melancholic.
As the germ cell of Prussia, and thus modern Germany, Brandenburg is a land of great culture. Nowhere is this more apparent than in off-the-charts Potsdam, the so-called German Versailles, with its wealth of parks, museums and stately palaces, plus a resurrected film studio. Elsewhere, fine architecture awaits in the Rheinsberg palace and the Chorin monastery, while the Niederfinow ship's lift ranks as one of the great engineering feats of the early 20th century.