We went to the small town of Oranienburg which is one of the northern most suburbs of Berlin. We reach the place on the S1 train line which takes a while on the slow train up north – I guess there is a faster regional train but we made it up the slow way.
The town has some nice green area located around some small rivers. We walk through some of the green area from the station towards one of the main attractions of the town. The large Schloss Oranienburg which is next to the small river next to a bridge leading into the main part of the modern town of Oranienburg. The castle is located right next to a large park which attracts a lot of locals who take advantage of the good sunny weather on the day of our visit.
The castle is the main building of the old town which is the natural entrance point to the old town of Oranienburg. The old town has some interesting small streets to wonder and a square with next to the main church of the town we found a small square with some restaurants and had dinner in a nice Italian restaurant which served decent food and had a small outdoor eating area facing the square and a bigger garden area behind the restaurant where you could sit and eat outside in quite with no noise from the city.
The other big attraction of the city is the former concentration camp Sachssenhausen which is located on the other side of the station compared to the old center of the city and the castle. So it was a bit of a walk of a couple of kilometers to get to the camp. There are some buses going – but they only drive once every hour or every second hour depending on the time of the day so waiting for the bus would probably take longer than just walking.
Towards the end of World War II Oranienburg became an important objective for both the Americans and the Soviets. The village had been the center for the German research into the construction of nuclear weapons. They never succeed but the Soviet had found out about the research and was very interesting in acquiring the knowledge – some historian claims the main reason Stalin order the offensive to conquer Berlin was to make sure the Soviet troops came to Oranienburg before the western allies so they could get whatever information were available. The presence of the nuclear research team was one of the main reasons the 8th American air fleet made a major attack on the village 15 March 1945 to try to destroy any nuclear materials and documents at the location so the Soviets wouldn’t get their hands on them. It is unknown if they succeed. Apparently the heavy bombardment has left a lot of unexploded ordnance which apparently has made the city of Oranienburg the most dangerous city in all of Germany.