History and golf in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Southeast of Hamburg, it is only a short jaunt to Lauenburg on the Elbe. Here the great river forms the natural boundary between Schleswig-Holstein in the north and Lower Saxony (we’ll come back to this later) in the west. To the east, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania connects to the Elbe where one already recognised after the re-unification that the future fate of the region would be tied to tourism, history and golf.
It took two years before the first golf course of the “New German States” was opened in Hohen Wieschendorf upon a peninsula which stretches out into the Baltic and bordered on the Wismar Bay to the west – an 18-hole course with a links character which is easier to play without wind, but difficult to play with wind. A beautiful golf resort with a hotel and apartments then developed which became popular.
A few kilometres away from Hohen Wieschendorf lies Wismar, the old Hanseatic city and present-day UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site which can not only boast of wondrously beautiful old brick Gothic and a large shipyard, but its oldest house is also called “Old Swede”. Each year in August, in remembrance of the 30 Years’ War which was followed by an almost 200-year occupation, the Swedish Festival is celebrated in Wismar. Why shouldn’t one combine this occasion with a round of golf in Hohen Wieschendorf? – As before, the connections to Sweden are quite prominent – in no German state as strongly as in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Newest golf attraction in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Almost exactly 10 years after the opening of the first golf course in the new German states, the at that time newest offspring of the still new golfing history of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was christened just south of the old Hanseatic city, Wismar, not far from the state capital city of Schwerin and almost in view of the famous Schwerin Castle near Vorbeck. WINSTON Golf is the name of the 18-hole championship course about which the experts are raving. The 18 holes were designed by the architect Holger Rengstorf in a hilly end moraine landscape with much forest. Things really took shape fast: The clubhouse was also completed with the course, from the gastronomy of which one may expect a lot.
Rostock, the Swedes and Tessin
From the state capital city of Schwerin, the route leads us directly to the great harbour city of Rostock, once the gate to the world and the shipbuilding metropolis of the GDR, a city whose history has a lot to do with the Hanseatic League and Sweden, but also in the present has done a lot for the future with the new Leisure Time and Trading Centre in the harbour which is called the Hanseatic Scandinavia. Rostock’s harbour connects directly to Sweden.
The first university in northern Europe was founded in Rostock. The Virgin Mary Church rises resplendently as a large Gothic cultural monument on the new market. It also boasts a technical monument, the astronomical clock from 1472, which the apostles march by every midday.
During the 30 Years’ War, Rostock was occupied from 1628 to 1631 by Walleinstein’s Imperial troops before it was freed by Sweden. Warnemünde, the mouth of the Warnow, has become a tourist magnet. Beginning in 2008, one can also pursue one’s sporting hobby on the 27 holes of the Warnemünde Golf Course above all if one combines it with a major event in sailing, the annual Hanse Sail.
Not far from Warnemünde and Rostock, there lies the small city of Tessin. The Swedish Tessin family comes from here. This family was of great importance for Swedish architecture owing to Nicodemus Tessin in the 16th Century.
Topclass golf in Teschow and Fleesensee
Before we travel further along the coast, we must visit the Mecklenburg interior. Notwithstanding the fact that, with the Müritz water landscape, there exists a natural lakeland area which is unique in all of Europe, there are quite varied and incomparable historical manors and castles.
From Rostock, we then take the Autobahn to the south to the Güstrow area. Before we turn east, one should nevertheless drive by the Krakow Lake in Krakow which is somewhat further south of Güstrow. The Serrahn Golf and Tennis Club with 18 holes was christened there and a wondrous resort with it.
Then we travel across to Teterow and along the Teschow Lake to the Mecklenburgian Switzerland Golf Club. A small old castle here developed into an enchanting wellness & golf resort. One plays here in a landscape which was created for golf – gently hilly terrain, difficult rough, a lot of water – but fair for every person who can then refresh himself in the kitchen and wine cellar as one can only dream. All the way to marriage because there is a little marriage chapel in the old castle. In the winter, the first indoor golf hall is available for those ambitious persons.
All previous standards were surpassed as the perhaps largest golf and leisure time course in northern Europe, the “Fleesensee Country Club” opened its gates. Upon the premises and with the centrepiece of the old Blücher Castle, not only were the Radisson Castle Hotel, a TUI Dorfotel, a Robinson Club and a fit-for-fun thermal spring built, but also the Fleesensee Golf Course with veritable 72 holes. A holiday paradise for everyone, a land of milk and honey for golfers was born, a site for hospitality and socialising which is always worth a visit.
The white city on the sea – Heiligendamm
Not very far from Tessin, Teschow and Fleesensee lies Heiligendamm, the White City on the Sea – a jewel of bathing tourism in the past and upon the way to again becoming a shining tourist pearl on the Baltic West of Rostock. It was restored like there was no tomorrow. Manors and castles were transformed into hotels – the Heiligendamm Resort was built and experienced a new historical event when the American President George Bush visited in July 2006. A large golf resort was created directly next to the princely Heiligendamm residential and leisure time facilities. One must also visit the nine holes of the Wittenbeck Golf Club which will shortly (2007), however, be expanded to 18 and 9. From here, one can enjoy the broad panorama across the landscape to the Baltic. The White City on the Sea will thus ultimately develop into a veritable green resort and thus a still more attractive travel destination.
Stralsund – the swedish origins
Like an island, there sits Stralsund’s Old City (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site) – in the summer of 2006, the main travel destination of the U.S. President – in front of the island of Rügen in the water, surrounded by the remnants of a city wall with gates on land and water, once built for protection against the rival Lübeck. It also reminds of the Lübeck owing to the magnificent display facade of the Town Hall which appears to have merged with the immense Nicolaikirche. One can still feel the one-time beauty of the Hanseatic city in many places, but only slowly is intensive restoration bringing back the old glory. Every July, the Wallenstein’s Festival is celebrated as a historic folk festival in Stralsund over three days.
South of Stralsund, a golf course called the Strelasund Golf Park was established near Katschow. It has nine holes right now, but will have 18 holes beginning in 2007.
Rügen – golf and chalk cliffs
We now travel to Rügen, to the largest German island in the Baltic which came into Swedish possession in 1648 and still today, via Saßnitz, represents the most important ferry connection between Sweden and the continent (Kungsladen). The old entrenchment on the south side of the island and the Swedish entrenchment were there to protect Stralsund. Two Swedish castles, Ralswiek and Spycker, are of significance. Spycker was the summer residence of the governour-general. The small Swedish church is located near Ralswiek.
For those with impeccable taste: In the Four Seasons Hotel, there is one of the very few museums for art forgery (of Gunter Preussker) and then – naturally, the magnificent opportunities of the Rügen Karnitz Castle Golf Club which, with 27 holes, particularly always holds its doors wide open to Swedish guests.
Greifswald and usedom
We now leave Rügen going in a southerly direction and visit other historical sites which are – almost – always connected with golf. Like Stralsund, the historical city of Greifswald was in Swedish possession for over 150 years. Here was where the motto was created “One lives well under three crowns”. Then on we go to Anklam where the famous aviator Otto Lilienthal was born. Quite near the small district town, one comes upon the oldest Viking boat landing place. Stones are placed in such a way that they look like a Viking boat.
Golfing jewel on the Achterwasser
From Anklam, one travels via the Peenestrom to the island which represents a genuine small gem of nature and culture. The Swedish connections extend far back. King Gustav II Adolf attacked with 14,000 men in 1630 during the 30 Years’ War. A monument was unveiled in 1930 in Peenemünde which, from a German perspective, is the birthplace of jet fighters and guided missiles. One can also be fascinated by the best pieces in a museum.
In 1648, Usedom became Swedish for a long time. In the southeastern part of the island which was the birthplace of German bathing tourism in the 19th Century in the cities of Heringsdorf and Bansin, there still today stands the Renaissance Castle in the small city of Mellenthin which had been the home of the Swedish King Field Marshall Axel Oxenstierna.
Not far from this castle and from Mellenthin, there has been a golf resort since 1998 along the Achterwasser, the Balmer See Golf Park where one can not only live well, but rather also play great golf. 27 magnificent fairways and greens are available as well as magnificent practice facilities. Two apartment complexes, an Asian meditation centre and a marina complete the location which is certainly among the most beautiful and hospital in Germany.
Through old alleys to art and culture
From the Mecklenburgian-West Pomeranian North, visitors travel along the most beautiful old tree-lined streets to the south – we are now upon the Deutschen Alleenstraße, the routes of which run centrally into Berlin and then again spread out to the south in a star-shaped manner. Here, there are in part still trees which have survived for centuries, and could thus be considered to be witnesses to history.
From Rostock, we go to Wittstock. One can also reach the city from Stralsund where once Johan Baner, one of the great Swedish military leaders who fought the Battle of Scharffenberg during the 30 Years’ War and, with his victory, ensured Swedish dominance in Northern Germany for centuries.
Beautiful promenades also lead through deep forests and across wide fields from Usedom, the “Bathtub of Berlin”. From Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, we are soon in Brandenburg – and then it is no longer far to the incomparable metropolis of Berlin.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Golf Packages (4)
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