Bergen auf Rügen

When I arrived on Rügen, one of the first places that I went to was the island’s capital, Bergen.

Bergen auf Rügen somehow felt familiar, even though I had never been there before.  It reminded me of other places that I had visited on the North Sea coast, even though it is actually located some way inland.  I think this was a mixture of the architecture and the layout of the town, of maybe it is something that many towns along the coast have in common.

The market square and a car park is located at the centre of the town, although – perhaps confusingly – the signs to the free car park called “Zentrum” actually take you in a different direction.  From that car park it is a 10 minute walk to market square along a tree-covered road.

The market square in Bergen auf Rügen

The market square

Once there, the most noticeable building is the Benedix House, named after the family that used to live there, it is considered to be the oldest residential house on the island of Rügen and was apparently built in 1538.  It currently houses the tourist information office.

The Benedix-Haus and Tourist Information Centre in Bergen auf Rügen

The Benedix-Haus and Tourist Information Centre

And it was that office that I headed to in order to pick up some leaflets about things to see and do during my stay.  There are also local bus and train timetables available, and the staff can help visitors find and book accommodation.

Just around the corner from the tourist information office is the Marienkirche (Church) which has a peculiar clock face – with 61 minutes on it!

The Marienkirche Clockface with 61 minutes in Bergen auf Rügen

The Marienkirche Clockface with 61 minutes

The other main attraction in Bergen is the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Tower, which at a height of 91m above sea level, offers spectactular views across the island.  It was built in the 1870s on a hill called the Rugard, on the north-eastern corner of the town and co-incidentally also on the way back to the car park.

A leafy avenue from the car park to the market square in Bergen auf Rügen

A leafy avenue from the car park to the market square

Bergen auf Rügen is situated just off the main island road, the B96, but also has a mainline railway station.  I was amazed to find out that it is possible to get there from Frankfurt am Main by train without changing trains, even though the journey takes almost 9 hours.  There is even an overnight connection with Basel in Switzerland!

Maybe on my next visit I’ll give that train journey a go…

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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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