One of the largest cities in Brandenburg, Cottbus lies on the banks of the River Spree near Germany’s border with Poland. It’s considered a cultural hub for the Sorbian people in Lower Lusatia, a historical region that spans both countries. Cottbus is famed for its landscaped parks and Baroque architecture, as well as its links to the nobleman Prince Pückler.
Things to do in Cottbus
A highlight of visiting Cottbus is strolling through Branitzer Park, an English-inspired parkland designed by the renowned landscape architect, Prince Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau. It encompasses the 18th-century Schloss Branitz, a Baroque-style palace with opulent salons and oriental rooms. Learn about the prince’s life as you wander through the palace and admire the paintings by locally-born Romantic landscape artist, Carl Blechen.
Occupying a Bauhaus-style power station east of Cottbus’s city centre is the Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk, which boasts an impressive contemporary art collection. It includes drawings, prints, poster art and sculptures dating from the years of Dresden Expressionism to the present day, as well as photographic works that reflect German trends. Several temporary exhibitions are showcased each year, highlighting the work of individual artists.
Travelling with kids? Don’t miss a visit to the Cottbus Zoo, which encompasses 25 hectares along the banks of the River Spree. It’s home to animals from across the globe, including tigers, elephants and yaks. The zoo plays an important role in breeding several species of waterfowl and the red-breasted goose has become its symbol.
Getting around Cottbus
Cottbus is around 1.5 hours’ drive from both Dresden and Berlin while Berlin Brandenburg Airport is just over an hour away. Trains connect from destinations across Germany to the Cottbus railway station. Trams and buses travel throughout the city centre.