Explore the Hanseatic city Osterburg
Osterburg Bibliothek

Osterburg – a city with the charm of the Altmark

Osterburg, located on the river Biese, is a small town with about 11000 inhabitants in the Altmark, a region in the north of our federal state Saxony – Anhalt.

Osterburg means “castle in the east” referring to its former ro

Osterburg – a city with the charm of the Altmark

Osterburg, located on the river Biese, is a small town with about 11000 inhabitants in the Altmark, a region in the north of our federal state Saxony – Anhalt.

Osterburg means “castle in the east” referring to its former role as an old German border castle. The foundation of the city has taken place between 1151 and 1170 and has been mentioned first in the “Stendaler Markt- und Stadtgründungsprivileg” (market- and city foundation privilege of Stendal).

Already 1157 a count, Werner IV of Osterburg, was mentioned. The oldest traditional city seal is from 1344.

The oldest buildings, which still standing in its full splendour are the chapel of St. Martin of the 9th century (today’s cemetery chapel) and the church of St. Nicolai erected in the 12th century.

The small marketplace in the historic city centre with its beautiful half-timbered houses, the St. Nicolai church, the lovingly “city- and county library”,

the Markgraf-Albrecht-Gymnasium (grammar school, formerly teacher’s seminar) and the „Kreismuseum“  (county’s homeland museum) invites you to stay for a visit.

Osterburg as a member of the Hanseatic League

The city, situated on a medieval route for commerce from Magdeburg to the cities in the North- and Baltic Sea area, has developed rapidly to an important trade place in former times.

1363 Osterburg had its rights and liberties confirmed by Emperor Karl Karl IV. In addition Osterburg has participated in several protection alliances of the Altmark cities.

In the surrounding area soil has been purchased.

While the next years the council of Osterburg has got the fishing law and the city jurisdiction. There is a documentary evidence that Osterburg has been a member of the Hanseatic League between 1436 and 1483 like Stendal, Salzwedel, Seehausen, Gardelegen, Werben and Tagermünde.

Before gaining the status of a member of the Hanseatic League many economic activities had taken place which has speeded up the city’s economic rise.

Even in the years after the decline of the Hanseatic League Osterburg has enjoyed lots of privileges for instance duty-free trade in the Mark Brandenburg and the right to impose own taxes.

Excursion advices

Approximately 2 kilometres from Osterburg away is the Park of Krumke, one of the most beautiful and impressive parks of the Altmark.

There you can find the oldest box tree hedge of Europe with an age of over 400 years.

2002 the park has been incorporated in the project “Gartenträume” (garden dreams) which will be the 3rd tourist pillar in Saxony – Anhalt besides the “Blauen Band” (blue ribbon) and the “Straße der Romanik” (street of Romanesque).

The reconstruction of the park as an English landscape garden with its rigid monument protection requirements has nearly completed.

Amidst a protected river landscape the “Biesebad”, one of Europe’s last river swimming pools, is located. Various leisure amenities, camping opportunities and (moonshine) trips with a pedal boat make the Biesebad to a relaxation place for the whole family.

Osterburg – city of sports

Osterburg and surrounding area invite for sports and relaxation, such as hiking, biking, water sports and horse riding.

Next to the Park of Krumke a modern equestrian sports centre with a 2625qm large hall and heat able stand seats has arisen in since 1995.

The “Reit-, Fahr-, und Tourismusverein Krumke e. V.“ offers equestrian sports, vaulting and coach rides.

Biking fans will be delighted using the Altmark’s cycle path which goes directly through Osterburg and invites for long biking tours. The Landesportschule (federal state sports school), equipped with modern sports facilities and a swimming pool, is famous even outside the borders of the Altmark. They offer a diversified program which contains training opportunities, sports and study courses, workshops and holiday and wellness offers.

Osterburg – city of asparagus

Since the foundation of the first asparagus highbred association by August Huchel in 1929 asparagus is connected with Osterburg.

Numerous restaurants will delight the visitor’s senses with culinary asparagus highlights and with specialities of the Altmark also out of the annual asparagus festival and the asparagus week within the Altmark farmer’s week.

Since 1995 Osterburg crowns yearly an asparagus queen.

Osterburg – For love of reading

Book lovers, authors and a culture-friendly administration have given Osterburg a respectful additional name: literature capital of the Altmark.

Osterburg has its own literature days. “You have to try the impossible to achieve the possible”, Hermann Hesse wrote. Osterburgs inhabitants with artistic sense took that literally when the made their small town a Mecca for reading and writing people for one week in 1999. Since then each year in autumn OLITA takes place, the Osterburg literature days, a combination of readings, concerts and writing workshops.

The organisation centre is the public library in a half-timbered house at the Big Market protected as a historic monument. There the visitor can feel each day how the heart beats for literature in this town. The institution with plenty of timber, alcoves and reading tables exudes warmness as if you just came home. Children go on a journey of imagination in the reading ship, while their parents delve among the shelves in a relaxed atmosphere, sit down in the reading room or can surf the internet. The poet apartment in the attic is the monthly meeting place of the Club of Altmark Authors founded in 1987, a mainstay of the literature days. And opposite to the library, in the Markgraf-Albrecht- Grammar School, one tries to educate young literary talents in the writing circle “pen foxes”.

Pictures of the Hanseatic City of Osterburg


Hansestadt Osterburg (Altmark)
Großer Markt 10
39606 Hansestadt Osterburg (Altmark)