The Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Tower

They call it the “Wahrzeichen der Stadt” – the town’s landmark, and photos of it can usually be found on many of the postcards from Bergen auf Rügen.  And yet, the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Tower is not really near to the centre of the town and, in tower terms, is not really that tall.  So what is all the fuss about?

To understand the tower, it is an advantage to know who exactly Ernst Moritz Arndt was and why it was built in the first place.

He was a poet and a thinker, born in 1769 on Rügen at a time when the island belonged to Sweden.  His works reflect the beauty that he saw in the island, but he known in particular for criticising Napoleon’s occupation of Germany and fleeing into exile as a result. [Read more…]

H.M.S. Otus – British naval history on the Baltic coast

If you travel to the Sassnitz on the Eastern coast of the island of Rügen, to visit the chalk cliffs (“Kaiserstuhl”) for example, then you may be surprised to find signs to “H.M.S. Otus”.

H.M.S.?  As in “Her Majesty’s Ship?”  Well, almost.  Actually it is an Oberon-class submarine that was launched in Scotland in 1962 and served with the Royal Navy until it was decommissioned in the 1991.

H.M.S. Otus in Sassnitz harbour

H.M.S. Otus in Sassnitz harbour

After decommissioning she was towed to Stralsund on the Baltic coast, before being moored in the harbour at Sassnitz, where she is now a floating museum. [Read more…]

How to get to Ralswiek by bus

Last year when I visited the Störtebeker Festspiele on Rügen for the second time, I considered going by train.  The reason for this was quite simple: it takes about 8 hours to drive there from Oberursel, and that’s without the breaks or any traffic jams!

So when I heard about a train (IC 2355) that went from Frankfurt am Main to Bergen auf Rügen without having to change en route it sounded like a good alternative allowing me to get some work done during journey or just relax and enjoy the scenery.

However what sounded easy at first, turned out to be considerably more complicated.  For a start I would probably need to find somewhere else to stay on the island, as I was not aware of any way to get to the guesthouse that I had stayed at the year before using the public transport network.

The station in Bergen auf Rügen

The station in Bergen auf Rügen

Instead, I considered staying in Bergen itself and travelling by shuttle bus to the Festspiele, or staying in Ralswiek itself where they take place. [Read more…]

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