I have so many ways of searching for my next destination. Very often, I favor those places within short distance from Berlin, as such trips suit my actual schedule. Sometimes, I am interested by the offer of a good hike, and some interesting histories waiting for me. I will also travel for a good slice of good cake and the unique taste of a cup of coffee too.
Luckenwalde didn't necessarily tick too many such boxes, besides being 30 minutes away from home and close to Jüterbog, a place that was a very pleasant discovery the time I went there. I made quite fast my mind and the next weekend I was on my way to discover this place.
Half an hour after leaving the Südkreuz S-Bahn station in Berlin, I arrived, with a one day-ticket of 8.40 EUR, using my B25 Deutsche Bahn Card. Especially if you travel a lot by train - as I do - this card helps to get a lot of good discount and collect point to be used later, including for inviting a friend on a trip. Hopefully, will feature soon more about my achievements by using this card (not part as a sponsored post, but of those useful posts regarding how to make your life in Germany more eventful travel-wise).
The first seconds after arriving didn't give me an idea about what exactly to expect. I knew from my previous online readings about this 800-year old place had noticeable technical contributions, so maybe the industrial vibe was defining it.
My first stop was at the Therme, which put Luckenwalde on the map of spa and treatment places in the region. The way to the location took me on narrow streets surrounded by huge trees and a forest feel, accompanied by the happy chirping of birds.
Back to the train station, the library displays a well-balanced combination between classical architecture and some bold irregular geometrical shapes.
The idea of a library part of the train station is unique, but it sounds very practical. On the way home after commuting from work, take a break, you can find a book to keep you company at home. Unfortunately, when I visited it was week-end, therefore I couldn't check the offer of books, but looking at the size of the building, for sure it was pretty generous.
In the front of the library, there is a small monument in honor of the local members of the Resistance during WWII.
Opposite the train station, the 3-storey small blocks of houses are shining colourful with huge-size wall paintings.
If you followed my trips to Schwedt or Teltow Stadt, you know already how much I appreciate such visual encounters, for the special ambiance they create to the outside world.
But there is more to Luckenwalde than the millenial vibe. For instance, the elegant Art Nouveau details of the buildings on Kathe Kollwitz street.
Or the quiet narrow streets bordered by colourful houses quietly enjoying the days of rest.
And even more Art Nouveau details on Breitestraße, unfortunatelly not so easily accessible because some ongoing construction works.
Discovering decorative details change little by little my impression about the place and encourages me more to explore it extensively. Although it is hard in only one trip to fully understand the life and challenges of people living here, having a glimpse into their history and environment can make you more knowledgeable and open to their stories.
If it is weekend, it is time for the open market on Breitestraße, which is about to close around noon. From fresh veggies from the area to cheap clothes and used books, there is a bit of something for everyone, especially for the little kids who are taking the chance of climbing on the statues and small walls around.
In the industrial and technological history of the region, Luckenwalde has a specific place. Here was created the first paper plate in 1867 and a hats factory/Hutfabrik - whose building was designed by the architect Erich Mendelsohn who autorshiped among other works in Germany also the Einstein Tower in Potsdam - offered outstanding head covering all over the country.
In the middle of the urban busy pace, there are also some small islands of quietness where the spring nature offers the perfect ambiance for some relaxing moments.
And there is always the bloom of flowers that are embelishing even the most humble facade with their simple and natural beauty.
Those looking for some call to action and adventure, can find in Luckenwalde a way to join the huge skatting route going to Jüterbog, either by roller skating or just biking. The entire area is biking friendly, so you can use the weekend there for some healthy entertainment too.
On Parkstraße, the memories of the intensive workshop life are left as visual signs of various job performed by the residents of the street.
Their middle-class wellbeing is readable on the choices to embelish their houses, freshly re-painted recently.
If you travel to Luckenwalde with little children such details may be terribly boring for them. Instead, the Tierpark with the huge playground at the entrance is a much more tempting attraction. Especially as, in addition to the 3 EURO entrance ticket, you can also buy some food to feed the animals.
On the way to the central area, I keep an eye for the details of the times long gone, as it may bring a little glimpse into the old stories of Luckenwalde.
On Trebbinerstraße, at the Gewerbehof, with the help of EU funding, the former distilery founded at the beginning of the 18th century, was turned into an industrial park opening its doors to local companies and business incubators.
Not so far from there, a feast for the eyes is offered by another interesting mural which definitely challenge the inattractive yet functional surrounding architecture.
In less than 5 minutes, we are entering a completely different architectural and historical era, with classical outlooks surrounding the old stone city tower.
Empty from the shopping stalls, the Breitestraße is left to the afternoon residents looking for some sun, while their children run around freely.
It is my time for the afternoon yogurt cherry cake and cappuccino at the Eiscafe. The offer is more than affordable, the taste is fresh and energetic, and the treats well deserve the long waiting time on such a busy weekend day.
A last tour, after getting the full energy to continue the trip, at the former brewery, whose buildings were turned into specialty locations, such as a music store. Obvisiouly, there are so many sides of Luckenwalde that cannot be seized in just one trip.
With the beautiful weather here to stay, it is hard to resist the temptation to come back here any time soon. There is so much left to discover and I can't wait to be back in the next months.