Regional Overview

Hanseatic Colonies

The Altmark is one of three parts of the Kurmark, which formed the core of Electoral Brandenburg. My region, which also includes the region of Prignitz is focused on the Hanseatic cities of the Elbe that were established during the German colonization of the Slavic tribes. The region is an under-explored part of Germany full of ancient towns and idyllic cultural landscapes.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • The Brick Gothic of the Hanseatic League forms a symbolic continuity with the great cities on the Baltic Sea.
  • The half-timbered villages of the Altmark survived the centuries, in contrast with the Baroque and Historicist cityscapes of Mecklenburg and Brandenburg
  • The cultural landscapes of the Elbe, with its the ancient walled cities and agrarian idyll.





Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel

What is the Altmark?

The Altmark on this map represents the Altmark proper, and the region of Prignitz. Both regions are essentially ancient borderlands between the Saxon and Slavic Tribes. The word “Mark” translates to “March” or “Margraviate” and is a title granted to a border state, and is higher than a County but Lower than a Duchy. Hence the term “Altmark” means the “Old March” and conveys that this was simply the first region colonized by the Saxons.

Settled over the course of the 12th century, the region’s cities were part of the Hanseatic League, and the league helped drive their development. This is evident not only in the architecture but also in the cultural landscape, as there is a noticeable lack of significant castle towns or large palaces.

The region possesses some of the most splendid landscapes of the Elbe, especially at the confluence of the Havel. The grassy flood plains and patchwork of agricultural fields form some of the most stereotypical images of “old Europe” that you can find in Germany. A road trip along the Elbe in the Altmark offers an immersive cultural landscape.

Interactive Map

My Quantitative Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

Social Score

2.1 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Hype: 4.4
  • Growth: 3.4
  • Wealth: 0.3
  • Recognition: 1.5
Ease of Travel

2.8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 1.3
  • Transportation: 2.4
  • Ease of Planning: 8.3
  • Infrastructure: 1.1
  • Interactivity: 1.5
  • Airport: No
Historical Immersion

4.8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Historical Context: 10
  • Monuments: 1.0
  • Quality*: 8.0
  • Landscape: 2.0
  • Vineyards: 0

8.5 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Undiscovered: 9.9
  • Cultural Immersion: 8.4
  • Tradition*: 6.0



A story of rags to riches on an imperial scale

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