- Many of the city's most important buildings and historical sights are situated on the banks of the River Spree. Examples include the 13th century Nikolaiviertel, Schloss Charlottenburg, Palast der Republik and Schloss Bellevue. Several new government buildings including the Chancellery, including the Kanzleramt where German Chancellors have their office, are boarding the river in a new quarter called the Spreebogen. Broad paths along the Spree make it ideal for a peaceful stroll, best of all through parks like the Tiergarten, Treptower Park or Schloss Charlottenburg's Royal Park. A boat trip is also a great way of doing a bit of sightseeing (boats depart regularly from Museum Island or from Schlosspark Charlottenburg). However, the river is at its most attractive in the Spreewald, a beautiful biosphere reserve 50 miles south-east of Berlin. It is here that the river splits into hundreds of canals and streams, surrounded by rainforest. An extremely popular day-trip destination, the Spreewald is also home to Germany's minority Sorbian community, well-known for their colourful costumes and lively festivals.
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