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Nordprignitz near Gramzow

The Prignitz (in older spelling also Priegnitz , formerly also called Vormark ) is a historical landscape in the northwest of the state of Brandenburg . Prignitz, old Polish pregynica , means something like "inaccessible forest area". Basically, the Prignitz extends over the district of Prignitz and parts of the district of Ostprignitz-Ruppin . Small parts of the historical region now also belong to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ( Ludwigslust-Parchim district ) and Saxony-Anhalt (near Havelberg ).


Rühstädt on the Elbe, one of the European stork villages

The region consists mainly of agricultural plains, forests and heathland. The most important cities are Wittenberge , Perleberg , Pritzwalk , Wittstock and Kyritz . In the villages still occasionally Low German spoken.

Knee pork cabbage is a culinary specialty of the region .


The Prignitz is a historical landscape between Mecklenburg in the north, the Ruppiner Land in the east, the Havelland in the south, the Altmark in the southwest and the Wendland in the west. In the Middle Ages, the borders in the north and east of the area designated Prignitz were subject to repeated changes with the change in political conditions, while the southwest border was fixed by the course of the Elbe.


As the largest river in the region, the Elbe marks the border between Wendland and Altmark in the west and Prignitz in the east. It drains the entire Prignitz. In the south the Havel flows into the Elbe near Havelberg.

The Prignitz is traversed by smaller rivers, which, following the slope of the landscape, mainly flow from northeast to southwest of the Elbe and Havel. These are above all the Alte Elde , the Löcknitz , the Stepenitz with their tributaries Dömnitz and Karthane , the Jäglitz and the Dosse . In the far east, the river system of the Rhins touches the Prignitz.


The Prignitz is essentially an old moraine landscape . As such, it is poor in larger lakes compared to other Brandenburg landscapes. The Rudower See and the Rambower Moor can be found near Lenzen, the Kyritz chain of lakes near Kyritz , and the area around the Dranser See and the Großer Baalsee near Wittstock . In the far east, the Prignitz touches the Mecklenburg Lake District .

The Preddöhler and Sadenbeck reservoirs should be mentioned as artificial lakes . The Dossespeicher Kyritz is a reservoir in which several natural lakes of the Kyritz chain of lakes open up.


The Prignitz is a rural region with six small towns . The most populous among them are Wittenberge and Wittstock / Dosse . Less than 13,000 people live in the former Hanseatic cities of Pritzwalk , Perleberg , Kyritz and Havelberg . Perleberg traditionally exercises an administrative function in Prignitz - today Perleberg is the district town of the Prignitz district .

The four rural towns of the Prignitz have fewer than 5000 inhabitants . Meyenburg and Putlitz are in the north of the Prignitz. Bad Wilsnack was one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Central Europe in the Middle Ages. Lenzen (Elbe) is one of the oldest places in Prignitz, mentioned in a document as a Slavic castle in 929.

The former town of Freyenstein is now part of the town of Wittstock / Dosse. In the past, the three places Flecken Zechlin in the east of Prignitz, now part of the Ruppin town of Rheinsberg , and in the Middle Ages the small towns of Nitzow , now part of Havelberg, and Dossow , today part of Wittstock / Dosse, also had partial urban rights in the past .


The Prignitz and the country Ruppin in 1659, Joan Blaeu : Geographia Blaviana

After the end of the Vistula glacial period , the climate warmed up, herds of animals found enough pasture space, and hunters and gatherers followed them . The oldest human traces came from the Mesolithic , from Hinzdorf an der Elbe and from Gülper See an der Havel . In the subsequent Neolithic Age , the large stone grave in Mellen (3500 to 2800 B.C.E. ) was created as a burial place for a settlement on nearby Rudower See . The Bronze Age left numerous archaeological finds. This proved an intensive settlement. The partly high quality of the pieces, e.g. B. in the royal tomb of Seddin (9th century B.C.E.), referred to contacts with other European cultural areas.

Publius Cornelius Tacitus reported that in the 1st / 2nd In the 18th century, Semnones and Lombards settled on the local Elbe section . The first ethnic groups named in writing belonged to the Elbe-Germanic tribe of the Suebi . In the 4th / 5th Most of them emigrated south in the 19th century. They were followed by Slavs in the 7th century . They preferred the lowlands of the Elbe, Havel, Dosse and Stepenitz . The Elbe and Loecknitz living Linonen were in 808 first documented occupied. Other tribes settled with the Dossanen in the northeast and the Neletizen in the south at the mouth of the Havel.

The earliest evidence of the Prignitz landscape designation can be found in a certificate from the false Woldemar from 1349. The areas were divided between the Mark Brandenburg and the Havelberg monastery , the principality of the Havelberg bishop .

From the end of the 14th to the 16th century, the Berlin – Wilsnack pilgrimage led through the Prignitz. The goal was the Holy Blood of Wilsnack in Wilsnack , in which a priest in 1383 by stained robber baron three with blood after the pillage of the place hosts found. This miraculous event attracted thousands of pilgrims.

The Stift zum Heiligengrabe monastery is the most important monastery complex in Prignitz not far from the episcopal town of Wittstock. After the abolition of the monasteries, Heiligengrabe became a noble women's monastery and had a special position in Brandenburg-Prussia.


The Prignitz is one of the most sparsely populated areas in Germany. The population density of the Prignitz district was only 36 inhabitants per square kilometer at the end of 2016, while the average for the state of Brandenburg is 84 and the national average is 230.

Transport links

Trunk roads

The federal motorway 24 runs through Prignitz from Berlin to Hamburg . The A 19 to Rostock also branches off at the Wittstock / Dosse motorway junction . According to plans, the A 14 will in future cross the Prignitz in a north-south direction and cross the Elbe at Wittenberge; the section between Karstädt and Wittenberge is classified in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 as an "urgent need".

Several federal highways run through the Prignitz:

Railway lines

The first railway line through Prignitz, the Berlin-Hamburg Railway , went into operation in 1846. Thanks to its central location between the two large cities, the railway repair shop was built in Wittenberge in 1875 . The Berlin-Hamburg railway is the most frequented route through the Prignitz. It is electrified throughout and designed for speeds of over 200 km / h. Wittenberge is also connected to the Altmark and Magdeburg via the Magdeburg – Stendal – Wittenberge railway line. The Prignitzer part of the former Wittenberge – Lüneburg – Buchholz railway line , however, was dismantled as a reparation payment as a result of the Second World War.

In the Prignitz Express project , parts of the Wittenberge – Strasburg and Kremmen – Meyenburg railway lines were expanded in the 1990s and 2000s. The Prignitz-Express now connects the four most populous Prignitz cities Wittenberge, Perleberg, Pritzwalk and Wittstock / Dosse via Neuruppin with Berlin. In addition, passenger traffic on the Neustadt – Meyenburg line is guaranteed by the Hanseatic Railway (HANS).


Wunderblutkirche in Bad Wilsnack

Tourism is shaped by nature, the vast cultural landscape and the historic city centers of the small towns. In line with this character, forms of gentle tourism predominate in Prignitz .

Cycling is of particular importance for the region . In addition to the Elberadweg , Germany's most popular long-distance cycle route, and the state-wide Brandenburg tour, there are several regional routes such as the goose tour and the bishop tour . 2012, one was node network with 50 nodes built that supports an individual tour.

Contact points for nature lovers in the Elbe River Landscape Biosphere Reserve include the NABU Visitor Center in the European Stork Village of Rühstädt and the BUND Visitor Center in Lenzen Castle.

The pilgrimage route Berlin – Wilsnack leads from Berlin to the Wunderblutkirche in Bad Wilsnack. In the Middle Ages, Wilsnack was a place of pilgrimage for pilgrims from all over Europe, and thus an early economic factor for tourism in the region. However, Wilsnack lost its importance after the Reformation . With the research of pilgrimages, the pilgrimage route gained new popularity.

See also


  • Anton Friedrich Büsching : New description of the earth. Part ninth. which from the German Empire contains the Upper Saxon district (= New Earth Description ). Schaffhausen 1771, B. Die Prignitz, pp. 1887-1892 ( digitized version ).
  • Paul Eichholz, Friedrich Solger , Willy Spatz : The prehistoric and early historical monuments of the Ostprignitz district (= The art monuments of the province of Brandenburg . Volume 1; Part 2). Self-published by the Provincial Association, Berlin 1907.
  • Alfred Götze : The prehistoric and early historical monuments of the district Westprignitz (= The art monuments of the province of Brandenburg . Volume 1; Part 1). Voss, Berlin 1912.
  • Local history study group in the teachers' association Wittenberge (Hrsg.): Pictures from the history of Prignitz . Böcker, Wittenberge 1925, DNB 572401906 .
  • Walter Matthes : Prehistory of the Ostprignitz district . Ed .: District Committee of the Ostprignitz District. Curt Kabitzsch, Leipzig 1929, DNB 579484629 .
  • Waldtraut Bohm : The prehistory of the Westprignitz district . Curt Kabitzsch, Leipzig 1937, DNB 579 228 169 .
  • Johannes Schultze : The Prignitz. From the history of a Brandenburg landscape (= Central German research . Volume 8). Böhlau, Cologne 1956, DNB 454512341 .
  • Horst Keiling : On prehistoric and early historical research and ground monument maintenance in the western Prignitz area . In: Information from the District Committee of Schwerin . No. 18. Schwerin 1978, pp. 5-15.
  • Lieselott Enders (adaptation): Historical local dictionary for Brandenburg. Prignitz. Map of the Prignitz at the end of the volume (= Friedrich Beck , Klaus Neitmann [Hrsg.]: Historisches Ortslexikon für Brandenburg . Part I; Publications of the Brandenburg State Main Archives . Volume 3). 2nd, revised and significantly expanded edition, Verlag Hermann Böhlaus Nachhaben, Weimar 1997, ISBN 978-3-7400-1016-4 .
  • Thomas Jaeger: The Prignitz in the late Roman Empire. Settlement history studies including the bordering Mecklenburg areas . In: Ethnographic-Archaeological Journal (EAZ). Volume 40 . Waxmann Verlag, Münster 1999, pp. 513-553.
  • Lieselott Enders: The Prignitz. History of a Kurmark landscape from the 12th to the 18th century . In memory of Johannes Schultze (= Klaus Neitmann [Hrsg.]: Publications of the Brandenburg State Main Archives . Volume 38). 1st edition, Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam 2000, ISBN 978-3-935035-00-2 .
  • Uwe Czubatynski (ed.): Communications from the Association for the History of Prignitz , Perleberg 2001 ff.
  • Hans Joachim Bodenbach: The archaeologist Walter Matthes as explorer of the Ostprignitz . In: Uwe Czubatynski (Hrsg.): Messages from the Association for the History of Prignitz. Volume 15 . Perleberg 2015, pp. 71–85.
  • Wolf-Dietrich Meyer Rath: The churches and chapels of the Prignitz. Paths into a Brandenburg cultural landscape . 1st edition, Lukas Verlag für Kunst- und Geistesgeschichte, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-86732-253-9 .

Web links

Commons : Prignitz  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Prignitz  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Prignitz  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon, fifth edition, volume 2. Leipzig 1911, p. 935. [1]
  2. ^ A b Antje Reichel: Social and cultural history of the Prignitz . In: Wolf-Dietrich Meyer-Rath: The churches and chapels of the Prignitz . 1st edition, Lukas Verlag, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-86732-253-9 , pp. 8-12.
  3. ^ Prignitz district, the district administrator (ed.): Statistisches Jahrbuch 2009. Perleberg, December 2010. P. 7. ( PDF )
  4. ^ Office for Statistics Berlin Brandenburg - regional data. Retrieved June 11, 2018 .
  5. Area and population | Retrieved June 11, 2018 .
  6. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg are sticking to the construction of the A 14. Press release 143/2008. Brandenburg Ministry of Infrastructure and Agriculture, July 24, 2008, accessed May 18, 2012 .
  7. bmvi: Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030. Accessed on June 11, 2018 (English).
  8. Elbe cycle path - between the Elbe sandstone and the Wadden Sea. General German Bicycle Club e. V., accessed on September 9, 2017 : "In surveys by the ADFC, the Elberadweg was voted the most popular long-distance cycle route a dozen times in a row."
  9. ↑ Bike tours between the Elbe and Müritz. Tourism Association Prignitz e. V., accessed on May 19, 2012 .
  10. Nature experience in the Prignitz. Tourism Association Prignitz e. V., accessed on May 19, 2012 .
  11. ^ August Höpfner: Perleberg and Wilsnack. (Around 1390). In: Perleberger Reimchronik. Retrieved May 19, 2012 .
  12. Pilgrimage routes in the Prignitz. Tourism Association Prignitz e. V., accessed on May 19, 2012 .

Coordinates: 53 ° 0 ′ 0 ″  N , 12 ° 0 ′ 0 ″  E