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3 Things To Do In The Port Of…Magdeburg

18th July 2017

The Elbe River runs predominantly through Germany, flowing into the North Sea at Hamburg and passing through major cities such as Dresden, Wittenberg and, you guessed it, Magdeburg. An Elbe River cruise is a great option for someone who has already sailed the Rhine and Danube, or who wants to see more of Europe away from the larger waterways.

Magdeburg is the capital of Saxony-Anhalt and an important industrial centre. Despite severe damage during WWII, it retains much of its medieval charm thanks to the rebuilding efforts that took place. Here are a few things to do when you stop here on your journey along the Elbe.

See The Tomb Of Otto The Great

Magdeburg Cathedral

Otto I was a German king and Holy Roman Emperor who established the archbishopric of Magdeburg. His, and his wife Edith’s, remains were laid to rest inside the city’s impressive cathedral, where the tomb can still be seen today. This gothic cathedral may not be as famous as the one in Cologne but it is older, holding the honour of being the first of its kind to be built on German soil.

However, this is not the cathedral that Otto himself created whilst he was alive. The ruler actually built a Benedictine monastery here in 937, which was later extended into a cathedral. Sadly, though, this was destroyed in a fire in 1207 and so Archbishop Albrecht II decided to build the structure you’ll see today in its place. The cathedral is open from 10am Monday – Saturday and from 11.30am on a Sunday. Entry is free but guided tours of the main building and its towers are available for €6.

Admire The Green Citadel Of Magdeburg

Green Citadel of Magdeburg

Ironically, the Green Citadel of Magdeburg is not green at all – it’s actually pink. This controversial building was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser in his last project before he passed away. It was met with disdain by many residents as it is so far removed from the architecture surrounding it, but this is exactly what Hundertwasser wanted. Since its completion, though, public opinion has mellowed and the building has become a popular landmark.

The name comes from the fact that there is grass grown on the roof and that many trees have been planted there too. These trees belong to various residents and they are responsible for looking after them. As well as being home to offices and flats, the Green Citadel features two public courtyards, some shops and a boutique hotel.

Relax (Or Not) In The Elbauenpark


This public park was actually named Germany’s second most attractive in 2005 and is the perfect place to relax before heading back to the ship. However, if you would rather explore what this green space has to offer, there is so much to do within its 222 acres. You can get active in the sports arena, get close to nature in the butterfly house or at the fallow deer enclosure, feel the wind in your hair on the toboggan run, or take a romantic walk through the many themed gardens.

However, perhaps the biggest highlight is the quirky-looking Millennium Tower. Shaped like a tee pee, this is the largest wooden structure of its kind in the world and holds over 6,000 years of history inside. On each level, you will learn about science and technology through the ages and then be greeted by a magnificent panorama when you reach the top.

The park is open from April to October and hosts a number of outdoor events during this time. The handy Elbauen-EXPRESS can take you anywhere you need to go within the Elbauenpark.

Magdeburg is just one of the many interesting places you will visit on your Elbe River cruise, but there is plenty to do whilst you’re there. To learn more about our itineraries or book your sailing, call us today.

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