There's a Ludwig Leichhardt Museum in this little village, on the opposite bank of the Spree to Leichhardt's birthplace in Sabrodt, which simply has to be seen to be believed!
About half-way down the western shore of the Schwielochsee, these little municipalities flank the quiet river as it continues its sinuous, lazy way northwest towards Berlin. Trebatsch and Sabrodt nestle at the head of the 50km (30 mile) 'trail' which Leichhardt is known to have walked through the region to reach Cottbus. Around an hour's drive southeast of Berlin, once you leave the autobahn and travel on decreasingly wide country roads and lanes, it is almost as if you are leaving the 21st century behind ~ pockets of wald (forest) interspersed with patchwork fields feel largely unchanged since Leichhardt's time.
In the village of Trebatsch, volunteer museum director Mr André Parade and his team have compiled an amazing collection of artefacts and memorabilia, both German and Australian, about 'their' son of the district. During 2013, the equally-inspired locals have also been busily creating artworks and sculptures around the village as well.
A pleasant sunny day could be spent wandering through the streets of Trebatsch and Sabrodt, seeing these pieces, and finding many more significant locations from Leichhardt's early years. Maps in the museum ~ which also includes an amazing array of items from the working life of the village over the centuries ~ identify these key places of interest. Language differences notwithstanding, we're sure visitors will have no trouble finding locals keen to assist with directions, such is the powerful pride and personal connection they feel.
Among the museum exhibits is one of only two large bronze busts of the famous explorer in existence. The other is in Canberra, a gift from the government of the former East Germany in 1988, as part of Australia's own Bicentenary celebrations. Australia's Ambassador to Germany added to the museum's collection, presenting a framed map of early Australia on behalf of Senator Sue Boyce.
Trebatsch is mentioned on the Tauche municipal website ~ find the link here (in German) ~ and a snapshot of info, including location and contact details for the museum, can be found here. (Please note: visitors should confirm their own arrangements, as opening hours can vary.) For now, we'll let some pictures do the talking.
|Above: Ambassador Peter Tesch is presented
with a framed painting by local art student Franka Haase, the tree growing from Leichhardt's head depicting his resting place as now - literally - a
part of Australia. (Foto: MT)
|Above: a similar theme is evident in this stunning wall mural, executed by a group of local artists, which depicts Leichhardt's journey from the Spreewald through the Dreaming to his absorption into the landscape. (Foto: MT)|
|Above: the striking bronze bust, commissioned
by the former GDR government, is a great centrepiece of the museum's extensive displays and collection of artefacts. (Foto: MT)
|Above: local historian and woodcarver Steffen Böttger describes some of the features of this magnificent carving, in a garden on
Leichhardtplatz, to the Ambassador. (Foto: MT)
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