We spent a few days in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in the area of the Mecklenburg Lake District. We explored this beautiful area in many different ways – by bike, by canoe, by steamer and we reached some places by car.
By bike to Mirow
The town of Mirow in the Mecklenburg Lake District is only about 2.5 kilometres away from our holiday resort. We went on a discovery tour by bicycle.
Our first port of call was the Johanniter Church in the village. To be honest, we didn’t really feel like visiting a church. But the sign “Erlebnisturmkirche geöffnet” (“Experience Tower Church Open”) magically attracted us. We wanted to know: What is an Erlebnisturmkirche?
In the entrance area of the church we were greeted very nicely and our question was answered with “it’s worth it, believe me”. Then we were able to discover something on a screen that is otherwise hidden from the visitor – a nest with several young birds of a kestrel. The sight was almost enough for me to declare it an adventure tower church. Watching birds that you otherwise don’t see, or only rarely see, in a big city like Berlin is quite an experience. But that was not all!
The church tower is 41 metres high and there is a viewing platform at 29 metres. So it was a case of climbing stairs!
Unlike many other church towers we have climbed recently, the 146 steps in this tower are very comfortable – wide and with a good handrail, 10 small landings to catch your breath. So we made our way to the top and now the term experience tower church became tangible.
On the first two floors of the tower there is a small museum with the theme “Johanniter zu Mirow”. Since 2006, exhibits on the history of the Order of St John in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have been displayed here.
On the third floor we stood in the church’s belfry. The largest bell has a diameter of 845 mm and bears the inscription “O land; land; hear the word of the Lord”. The smallest bell with the inscription “Dona Noblis Pacem” (Give us peace) has a diameter of 660 mm. The bells are rung daily at 12 and 6 pm. Fortunately it was after 12 o’clock and so we could stand here in peace and look at the enormous bells.
The path continued up to the fourth floor of the church tower. What awaited us here really amazed me. The entire room was full of books! For only 1€ per book, you could fill up your holiday reading and discover old books here. For a book fan like me, it was paradise! It was hard for me to part with them, but it was a good thing that the descent had to lead past these treasures again later.
The fifth and last floor is then the viewing platform. We were not promised too much – the view over a small part of the Mecklenburg Lake District is simply beautiful! We were able to look over Lake Mirow, see Mirow Castle from above, discover the old town and the market of Mirow and take a look at the Schlossinsel grounds. So the climb was really worth it!
Back in the church, we took a look at the princely crypt. Here are coffins of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz dynasty. Reigning dukes and their wives were buried here.
1.5 – 17.10.
daily from 10 – 18 h
18.10. – 31.04.
daily from 11 – 17 h
Easter Sunday from 11-17 h
Closed during church service.
Discounts are offered.
We walk through the English-style castle garden past the Mirow Castle. The castle was originally built in 1708, but partially burned down in 1742.
I think it looks rather plain from the outside for a castle. I also find the Kavaliershaus, which was built for the court, rather inconspicuous. The palace has been renovated over a long period of time and now shines with a radiant façade.
We did not go inside the castle. But you can visit the castle from the inside.
Love Island Mirow
A bridge leads to the Liebesinsel (island of love) in the palace park. Here is the tomb of the last reigning Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The tomb shows a broken column with a snake winding around it. The column is supposed to symbolise the aborted life of the duke, who chose suicide in 1918. The snake stands for temptation.
Love Island with its large trees and water lilies near the shore is a small retreat that is pleasantly cool due to the surrounding water, especially in summer when temperatures are higher.
Mirow fishing farm
To round off our little cycling trip to Mirow, we went out for fish sandwiches. Not far from the castle island is the Fischereihof Mirow. Here you can not only buy fresh fish, but also smoked fish and eat small fish dishes. We bought smoked sprats, smoked catfish and, of course, fish rolls. It was very disgraceful, especially the catfish was exactly our taste.
October – April
daily 9-18 h
May and September
daily 9-19 h
June – August
daily 9-20 h
Vipperow is a small village at the southern tip of the Müritz. Up to now, it has been a very tranquil place, but there are plans to develop a marina and thus attract tourists to the village.
We visited two places in Vipperow and were thrilled by both.
Ostrich farm Brandt
Right next to the through road we discovered an ostrich farm. There are plenty of parking spaces on the premises, which of course tempted us to stop.
The first thing I did was go on a discovery tour. Directly behind the small farm shop are the ostrich enclosures, which I was able to discover on my own after asking around.
One large enclosure was really lively. The young ostriches were running back and forth. As soon as you approached the fence, they came running and stuck their little heads up. What a curious bunch!
There were other very spacious enclosures to see, with adult ostriches. These also came right up to the fence – I preferred to keep a safe distance, who knows how quickly the animals can snap. It is impressive how long their necks are and how small their heads are compared to their bodies. An ostrich was lying comfortably in the sand. I could see the strong legs very clearly, the running muscles were very pronounced – I wonder if the animals can reach speeds of up to 70 km/h in captivity. In any case, they didn’t run away, they rather strutted around in full body size.
After visiting the animals, we went to the small farm shop. A wide variety of products are sold here. From ostrich meat to ostrich eggs, jams and honey from the region or feather dusters made from ostrich feathers. We picked up egg liqueur made from ostrich eggs and a liqueur called “ostrich blood”. The latter is not made of blood, of course, but is a fantastically delicious cherry liqueur that enveloped the whole room in a cherry scent as soon as we opened the bottle. The egg liqueur tastes much more intense than the standard supermarket offerings. It is thick and tastes very much like egg, less like alcohol. I love to put it over chocolate ice cream – just perfect in summer!
Sunday – Tuesday: 08 – 17 h
Wednesday: 08 – 12 h
Müritzfischer Fischerhof Vipperow (Mecklenburg Lake District)
If you come from Mirow and drive through Vipperow, there is a small sandy path between two houses (dead end) just behind the entrance to the village. If you want to eat regional fish, you should not be deterred and turn off here. At the end of the cul-de-sac is the Fischerhof Vipperow.
There are not only holiday flats and boat moorings here. You can also buy fishing permits or, as we did, simply enjoy locally caught fish.
A small shop sells freshly caught fish, smoked fish and the most delicious fish sandwiches I have ever eaten. After ordering your meal, it’s best to find a spot right by the lake. While the waves splashed gently against the reeds, we enjoyed the sun.
After only a few minutes, the fish sandwiches were freshly prepared and ready. We chose eel and catfish and were not disappointed. The crispy roll was filled with lots of fish, and the price-performance ratio was more than justified. For us, it was already no longer a snack, for us it was a full meal in terms of quantity.
I enjoyed our visit there very much. Not only the good food, but also the location on the lake with the beautiful view were pure relaxation!
Mirower Straße 11
April, November, December
Friday 10 – 16 h
May – October
daily 10 – 16 h
The Mecklenburg Lake District offers a lot of small and large excursion destinations. We went to Röbel on the western shore of the Müritz and were curious to see what we would discover there.
The state-recognised resort was first mentioned in a document in 1227 and if you look closely, you will discover many little treasures in the town. We wandered around the town a bit and I don’t want to withhold my two highlights from you.
Gallery Windmill in the Mecklenburg Lake District
Our way leads us first to the windmill, which stands on the former castle hill. The castle of the Prince of Werle stood here until about 1466. The gallery windmill was built between 1802 and 1825. It was not the only mill in the town. At times, 6 mills worked here, and until 1926 there were still 4 operational mills.
After the commissioning of this mill, first the Dominican monastery and then several millers operated the “Windmühle an der Alten Stadt”. In 1880, after a modernisation, the mill received a bonnet slewing ring and a control rotor. The last grain was finally milled here in 1926.
After the mill was rebuilt, it served as a youth hostel from 1930 to 1990. After that, it stood unused in Röbel for a long time until it could be reopened in 2006 after 8 months of construction.
Today, the mill shines above the city with an outer skin of Canadian red cedar and 23-metre-long metal wings.
When we visited Röbel, the mill was open and we could visit it free of charge. From May to October, exhibitions are held in the building and you can also find numerous works of art on the outside grounds.
I not only found the exhibition very interesting, I was especially attracted by the mill construction. A short tour on the gallery shows a beautiful view over the city.
Thursday – Tuesday: 11-17 h
St. Mary’s Church
You get an even more impressive view of the Mecklenburg Lake District region when you climb up the tower of St. Mary’s Church. The Gothic church is located in the historic town centre of Röbel and you can’t miss it.
For one euro, you can climb the 150 steps to the top of the tower. The stone steps at the beginning are narrow and well trodden. Oncoming traffic is rather bad, it is almost impossible to avoid it. Later, you climb further up via wooden stairs.
At the top of the tower, there are four doors, all leading to a narrow balustrade. Not many people can fit onto the small viewing area, so be patient and wait a little while before stepping out. We opened all four doors to enjoy the view in all four directions. I’m not giving too much away when I say it’s simply gorgeous and well worth the walk to the top!
Straße der Deutschen Einheit
daily 11-16.30 h
per person 1,-€
The Müritz Bear Forest is located near Stuer. It is the new home for 17 rescued bears, all of which come from conditions that are unworthy of animals.
We had a great guided tour there. You can read more about it in the article “A dream for bears – Müritz Bear Forest”.
Waren (Müritz / Mecklenburg Lake District)
Waren an der Müritz is one of the better-known towns in the Mecklenburg Lake District. Here you will definitely find more tourists strolling through the shopping street and conquering the small shops.
We also took a little stroll through town after our visit to the Müritzeum and discovered two shops that are not to be missed.
The smell of chocolate almost magically drew us into the shop. Here, fine chocolate is produced from the finest ingredients and sold.
Through a glass pane in the shop, you can take a look into the production room and follow exactly how the chocolate is made here when work is in progress.
Of course, the prices for the chocolate bars should not be compared to the prices of chocolate from the discounter. But you also get a high-quality chocolate with some interesting flavours.
Lange Str. 51
17192 Waren (Müritz)
Müritz Coffee Roastery
After the smell of chocolate, we were magically drawn to the smell of freshly roasted coffee. In addition to tea and cakes, you can enjoy freshly roasted coffee in the coffee roastery.
We decided to take home a bag of coffee beans. The blend was not as strong as we had hoped. Instead, the whole flat smelled of the chocolaty coffee beans when we opened the bag.
Kietzstraße 17 – 21
17192 Waren (Müritz)
Walk along the shore of the Müritz
A walk along the banks of the Müritz in the Mecklenburg Lake District is not to be missed when you are out and about in Waren.
The lakeside promenade shows the walker a beautiful view over the lake. Boats depart from here, offering different tours and revealing the beauties of the lake district to visitors.
But just sitting on a bench and gazing at the water – for us, pure relaxation!