Greetings from the Altes Land
Sent by Renee, a postcrosser from Stade, Germany.
Altes Land is an area of reclaimed marshland straddling parts of Lower Saxony and Hamburg. The region is situated downstream from Hamburg on the southwestern riverside of the Elbe around the towns of Stade, Buxtehude, Jork and the Samtgemeinde of Lühe. In Hamburg it includes the quarters of Neuenfelde, Cranz, Francop and Finkenwerder.
The region – the biggest contiguous fruit-producing region in Central Europe – extends over 143 km2 (55 sq mi). 76.8% of the trees areapples, 12.7% are cherries. The areas closest to the Elbe are those with the highest population. They include the most fertile marshlands; towards the Geest the area connects to fens.
The fertile land led to the development of a culture dominated by farming. The villages are known as Marschhufendörfer, a special kind of village where the farmyards are set along a street with the land directly behind them. A characteristic feature is the richly-decorated half-timbered farmhouses with their elaborate gateways. (read further)