Rolling hills, crisp, clean air, trickling streams and languid lakes: the Märkische Schweiz has long been a popular middle-class getaway from Berlin’s hubbub. Predictably, Theodor Fontane heaped praise on the region – though he conceded that the Switzerland epithet was a hyperbole too far – and Bertolt Brecht and Helena Weigel, too, voted with their feet, spending several of their last summers together in a pleasant lakeside cottage in the delightful little spa town of Buckow.

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