The town of Ratzeburg sits on an island that once formed the center of an ancient Slavic settlement. When the Saxon colonists crossed the Elbe in the 12th century, Henry the Lion had a massive cathedral constructed on the site to symbolize the arrival of Christianity and the Germans. The surrounding landscape is one of marshes and waterways, which this hike highlights.
This hike is more of a guided walk through the forests and gardens of the summer hunting palace of Solitude. This palace was the retreat of the Dukes of Württemberg, though by the time it was built, Napoleon had started his march across Europe, and the estate was never fully developed. Today it is a glimpse into the courtly culture of the late 18th century.