SPANDAU lies to the north-west of Berlin at the confluence of
the Havel and Spree rivers. Already a small town with its own
charter in the 12th century, it grew up round a fortress controlling
the river trade and it was incorporated into Berlin in 1920. Its
fortress, the Zitadelle, is moated and surrounded by defensive
bastions designed by an Italian architect in the Renaissance.
It houses a local history museum with 13th and 14th century gravestones
from Berlin's oldest Jewish cemetery, a restaurant and some arts
and craft shops.
Spandau is perhaps most famous for the incarceration of Rudolf
Hess, captured after he flew to Scotland in 1941 to attempt to
arrange peace with the British and form a pact against the Soviets.
He outlived his Nazi contemporaries, committing suicide in 1987.
The prison itself was subsequently pulled down to make way for
a supermarket. The old centre of Spandau is quite pleasant and
lies on both sides of Breite Strasse and Carl-Schurz-Strasse.
The Kolk, a restored medieval street is attractive, and the Nicolaikirche
and the Town Hall are both worth a visit. There is an enormous
Christmas market from late November.
In the nearby village of Gatow, the attractive 14th century stone
church is worth a visit, and travelling towards the centre of
Berlin you pass through Siemensstadt, a huge complex of model
industrial buildings from the last years of the 19th century.
Spandau is served by the U7 and U2.
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