The authentic and historic narrow gauge railway of the Rasender Roland (Racing Roland) is a must see for any steam enthusiast. While I am not a great fan of steam trains myself, the magic of the Rasunder Roland is hard to deny. As you are pulled along in acrid old coaches, you can watch out of the window as the steam hatches over the fields and floats away, or escapes through the dense trees of the forest like spirits startled by the noisy monster ploughing through the empty countryside.
More and more people connect the seaside resort with the best of all preserved bath architecture with the name Binz. Still today there isreflected the charm of the turn of the century (19./20 cent.). No seaside resort on the German Baltic Sea has a similarly completely preserved local core of this style.
A walk on the promenade and through the adjoining streets enchants and moves into another time. Today one discovers, wherever one goes the villas reconstructed in the meantime from the past with playful Jugendstil elements, carving and balconies of wood or metal.
Binz was a noble seaside resort at all times. The first time I stayed there was when I began my study. Already at that time something special. Long time ago. I was surprised in which beauty it presents itself today.
In the main season very strongly popular, recommendable the off-seasons. In spite of bad weather, a lot of people visit Binz, and there exist many event offers at this late-autumnal time.
Because you can have a look how that seaside resort is presenting "with nice weather" I didn´t shot "rainy" town pictures, only uploaded spirit pictures of November at the Sea.
The church of Altenkirchen is the second-oldest religious building of Rügen was built in 12th century.
In one aisle you see the Savantevit Stone from Jaromarsburg (my tip about Arkona), built in the church horizontally.
Remarkable the expositions of paintings about region or by regional painters in that church.
A great pleasure also the candles at benches.
Additionally recommandable are the cemetery stones outside that church, and some very old and fascinating trees.
In the middle of of lovely beech forests Wilhelm Maltas let built himself that hunting palace on the 107 ms high temple mountain. Was completed by Johann Gotthard Steinmeyer, and is an often visited sight.
A special attraction point is the 38 ms high tower, that was constructed 1844 after plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The outlook platform enables lovely views over the island, on the Baltic Sea and the Bodden sea.
Inside some exhibitions are to be seen, some over Schinkel itself, or interstingly about C.D. Friedrich, the famous painter. Remarkably the stairway in the middle tower (Schinkel). 154 steps, out of metal and with lovely ornaments.
Non recomandable for people with fear of heights!
Cape Arkona is the most northern point of Germany. The 46 ms high cliff line is very impressive. From the far you see the two lighthouses and a bearing tower (navy). One of the lighthoses is built 1826/1827 by Schinkel, one of the most famous architects of Germany. It is the oldest lighthouse of Baltic Sea.
The other one was built 1902, 35 ms high. It is the actual working lighthouse.
Also on Cape you find the last Slavonian temple, 12th century, conquered by Danes, because the Christianisation began in Germany. Please, see that tip.
Not reachable by cars. Transportation to and from Cape Arkona I specify in my transportation tips.
From there you can also have a nice walk belong the beach, and another nice walk will bring you to a really beautiful and unique village named Vitt. Please, about that village have a look to that tip, too.
The Jasmund National Park is the smallest National Park in Germany and famous for its chalk cliffs. The higest cliff with about 118m is called Königsstuhl, and there you also find the National Park Centre. There's an admissions to the centre & to walk on the Königsstuhl, but there are other view points with nice views on the chalk cliffs nearby.
It's not allowed to drive there by car, but there's a large car park next to Hagen (parking fee May 2010: 1,30 € per hour; 5,20 € for 4 to 8 hours; 8 € for 24 hours) and from there you can take the shuttle bus or walk (20-30 minutes). It's a nice walk on which you will pass a nice lake and a bog.
But if you have no problems with a longer walk, I would recommend to hike to the Königsstuhl from Sassnitz. There's a very nice hiking path above the chalk coast with several places that offer fantastic views on the chalk coast. It took us about 3,5 hours and it was lots of up and down with many steps, but it was absolutely worth the effort! For some more photos please see my Sassnitz Travelogues.
From Sassnitz (and at other places) you also can take boat trips along the chalk coast which must be nice as well, from the boat you probably have the best view on all the cliffs.
The chalk museum is a small but interesting museum at the place of an old chalk quarry. You can learn about all the different types of chalk, how they are produced, and for what it is used. The healing chalk for example is used to treat rheumatic troubles and osteoporosis, and other diseases. But the museum is not only about chalk, you also get some information about geology and there are exhibitions about different types of stones.
Outside you can have a look at the chalk quarry and some of the equipment that was used. There also is a path up to the highest cliff which they call "little Königsstuhl", after it's big brother in the Jasmund National Park.
Open daily from 10:00 to 17:00 Easter to October; open daily except Monday 10:00 to 16:00 November to Easter.
Admission: 3 € adults, 1,50 € children/ students.
On Rügen, you will find alleys everywhere, you just cannot miss them. Some of these alleys are part of the "Deutsche Alleenstraße" (German alley street) which is one of the many theme routes in Germany. This street goes from Rügen to the Bodensee (Lake Constance), starting in Kap Arkona and Sellin.
While these alleys look really nice, they are also the cause of many accidents. As there's a quick change of light and dark you can quickly overlook other people or see them too late. It's therefore recommended to always drive with light on the island. Also the alleys are often small and winding, so you always should be careful!
Putbus is a small town in the south of Rügen with two large squares. One is the "Circus", a large round square with trees and meadow and a 19m high obelisk in its centre. All around this square are nice classicist houses. Interestingly the circus of Bath in England, where we've been last year, has been the example for this circus. There's another square in Putbus, the market square, which is sourrounded again by lovely classicist houses. Next to this square you find the castle theatre which is one of the oldest theatres of Europe.
In Putbus there's also a castle park with a lake and deer park - but without castle as it unfortunately was removed in 1962. You only see some remainders at the lake. There's also a church in that park which was built in the early 19th century as saloon and was converted to a church about 80 years later.
Vitt is a very small village about 1 km from Kap Arkona. There are just a few houses and you only see them when you are almost there as the village is located in a kind of gorge near the sea. The village even has a little restaurant.
Outside the village is a nice chapel with a reed roof, like the houses in the village. It was built in 1806. Earlier the mess took place outside and had to be interrupted too often because of bad weather, so that the priest Ludwig Gotthard Kosegarten decided to have this chapel built.
As cars are only allowed in this area with special permissions you either have to walk/ cycle there or take the "train" from Putgarten.
Kap Arkona is a cape in the north of Rügen. There's quite a lot to see: two old lighthouses close together that are museums today, another tower that served as radio tower and can be visited as well, a bunker where you can take a guided tour , a rescue station and a temple fortress where you only can see the earth wall today. You can either get the so-called "Kapkarte" (10 € adults, 8 € children) which gives you free entry to all the sights, or you pay as you go (new lighthouse 3 €, Schinkelturm 2 €, bunker 5 €, fort 1 €, ...).
You can walk a bit to the north and enjoy the view on the coast or even climb down to the sea. If you take the wide path to the south you will reach the village of Vitt after about 15 minutes.
All the area is car-free, there's a large car park (3 €) in Putgarten from where you can walk or take the "train" that goes frequently. There are trains to the cape and to Vitt, so we took a two-trips-ticket (3,50 €) and took the train to the cape and then back from Vitt.
Another nice town at the sea is Sellin. It lies above the sea and you have to take a long stair with 99 steps to go down to the sand beach. There's also an elevator, but it was out of order when we were there and a few years ago my brother got stuck in it.... Down there is a sea bridge similar like in Sassnitz and Binz, but which makes it special is that there's a building on it. Looks very nice!
The town again has some lovely buildings typical for such seaside ressorts. When you walk along the the street Wilhelmsstrasse towards the sea bridge you will see many of these old buildings. It's a very nice street and you also find some restaurants there.
As mentioned in my Binz travel tip we did walk from Sellin to Binz which was nice. You just need to follow the white/black signs that start above the sea bridge and at the Waldhalle then take the small path down. We had parked our car next to the tourist information/ Kurverwaltung (0,50 € per hour; 5 € per day) and took the bus back to Sellin which went about every 15 minutes.
Binz is another seaside resort not far from Sassnitz with again some nice houses. It has a large sandy beach and probably is the most visited place of Rügen - and therefore pretty busy. There are many shops, cafés and restaurants and if you want some more calmness you can go to the lake "Schmachter See" where we found much less people than at the beach and the shopping streets although it's just a few steps away.
Near Binz is a castle, the Jagdschloss Granitz, which can be visited. We have not been there but the view from the tower must be great, you only shouldn't be afraid of heights as you have to climb up a selfsupporting spiral staircase - nothing for me!
Between Binz and Sellin is a nice hiking path through a beech forest. We started in Sellin and walked to Binz in about two hours. Depending on the weather you may have good views on Sassnitz at the other side of the bay and the chalk cliffs.
Sassnitz is a seaside resort at the border of the Jasmund National Park. From the promenade you are quickly at the chalk coast with its white cliffs. From the coast you can climb up one of the stairs to the hiking path that goes from Sassnitz to the Königsstuhl - with great views on the chalk cliffs!
Sassnitz has a nice old town with houses typical for this region and there are some interesting museums like the submarine museum, the harbour museum or the butterfly house. We've spent one week in Sassnitz and found it a nice & relaxing place - see my Sassnitz VT page.
From Sassnitz, or rather from its ferry harbour nearby, boats go to several other countries at the Baltic Sea, like Sweden, Lithuania or Russia. But there's also a nice harbour in Sassnitz itselfs, from where you can take boat trips to Binz or along the chalk coast.
Arkona is the northernmost point of Rügen, Germany's biggest island. Don't miss to visit the landmark of Cape Arkona, the two lighthouses. The fine square brick tower was designed by the Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The round tower was commissioned in 1902. There is a superb sea view from the sea wall.