3. Gardelegen Town Wall
What was once the ramparts of Gardelegen nowadays run like a green ring around the medieval town of Gardelegen. An 2.5 km long avenue of linden trees going back 120 years passes green spaces, the rose garden, and the parts of the city walls that have been preserved, such as the Salzwedel Gate.
The Gardelegen walls are the best preserved in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. The small farming village of Gardelegen, later a member of the Hanseatic League, was already fortified by the year 1300. In the 16th century, the town which had become rich through its brewing and export of Garley beer began to strengthen its walls. They added massive gates, the Salzwedel, Magdeburg, and Stendal Gates, created ramparts and moats, and a lock system to regulate the water levels in the moat. The locks would be closed if the town came under attack and create a 300 m wide floodplain around the walls.
The current park that encircles the town was built in the 19th century on the ruins of the former city fortifications. They initially used the space for orchards and vegetable gardens and also moved the cemeteries of the St Nicholas Church and St Mary Church to the new park. A few old gravestones remain to this day.
At the end of the 19th century, a double row of linden trees were planted along the former fortifications as part of the town's expansion beyond its medieval limits and the closure of the cemeteries.
This new promenade provided inspiring views of the city's historic buildings and what was left of the moat that once surrounded the town. Also worth seeing are what remains of the old walls and Salzwedel Gate, the only one of the three gates to survive.
Interesting attractions in the region include the Zichtau Estate with its gardens first laid out in 1820 and now partially restored, Letzlingen Hunting Lodge, the monastery in Neuendorf, and the water mill and village church in Wiepke.