The Uckermark

The Uckermark is today the most northeast district of Brandenburg, which is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the east it borders to Poland, in the north to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, another German state. In an area of approximately 3,000 square km (larger than the state Saarland) live approx. 149,000 people. The capital of the Uckermark is Prenzlau, other cities are Angermuende, Schwedt/Oder, Lychen and Templin. In the 6th /7th century slavic Ukranes settled the area.After them the country later was called "Terra Ukera", from which the designation "Uckermark" was derived. In its eventful history the Uckermark or parts of it belonged alternating to Pommerania, Mecklenburg and Brandenburg. Thus 1172 Pommeranian dukes acquired the Uckermark, however surrendered parts of it 1250 to the Askanian. After various disputes in 1479, the Uckermark finally became part of the Kurmark Brandenburg

The Uckermark is a forest and lake-rich landscape between the rivers Havel and lower Oder. It extends on both sides the Ucker-valley with the Ucker-lakes. The face of the Uckermark was shaped by large glaciers of the Vistula cold age (20.000-13.000 years ago).
Main branch of economy was always the agriculture, important cultures today are grain, oilseeds and sugar beets. In the area around Schwedt/Oder also tobacco is still cultivated. Since nowadays the agriculture no longer employs so many people as in earlier times, unemployment is very high, the young people move away and the villages desert. 
The Uckermark however had to fight with population decrease already more frequently. In the 30 year war it was marching-up area of the battling parties and got looted and devastated by all sides. Settlers were called into the country and first colonies of Dutchmen and Swiss were based. With the edict of Potsdam 1685 Friedrich William “the Great Elector” invited the Huguenots into his country, they formed the French colonies, among others, in Bergholz, Schwedt/Oder, Angermuende and Prenzlau. Some settlers of the second generation went on to Denmark and East Prussia around 1720. In the 7 year war against Austria the Uckermark was again one of the battle-fields. In the19th century many families emigrated to America or Australia. In the first decades of the 20th century Polish harvest workers moved in with their families and strengthened the catholic parishes, after 2nd World War many refugees from East- an      d West-Prussia, Pommerania and Silesia found here a new homeland.
After the reunification of the two German states in the 90's it came to a re-organization of the States of the Federal Republic and their districts. The former district town Strasburg/Uckermark belongs since 1994 to the district Uecker/Randow and to the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Its affiliation to the landscape Uckermark is still shown by the name additive.

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Pictures from the Uckermark