Brandenburg an der Havel is the earliest and most important urban centre of the Mark Brandenburg and also its eponym. The town centre is made up of three parts: the cathedal island (“Dominsel”), the Old Town (“Altstadt”), and the New Town (“Neustadt”), all of which were independent until the 18th century. The town of Brandenburg was never severely destroyed by fire and war, nor by excessive wealth, and has preserved a whole universe of medieval architecture. You can study all stages of the Mark Brandenburg Gothic style here, and you will also find examples for nearly every type of religious and secular architecture.
The largest medieval construction volume were the two town fortifications, which were built of brick almost simultaneously around 1300. You can still make out their full length of respectively 1.7 and 2.4 km of ditches and ramparts delimiting the medieval town. The four preserved gate towers will give you a good idea of the elegance and strength of these defences.
The two town centres also have an outstanding collection of historic town houses. These range from the Ordonnanzhaus at Altstädtischer Markt, a rich town house from around 1300, which was luxuriously rebuilt at the end of the 15th century, to the house at Bäckerstraße 14, a Gothic post-and-beam building from 1408, the oldest known half-timbered house of the region. Recently the Gothic House (“Gotisches Haus”) at Ritterstraße 86 has been restored. There is now a small house museum, which can be visited after prior arrangement.