Cigar Journalwriter Volker Schäffner went to North-East Germany to investigate cigar-friendly locations. He struck it rich: He found more than 50 smoking oases in Berlin, on the Baltic Sea coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and in Brandenburg, which he presents here. Berlin, with a population of almost 3.7 million, is the most densely populated city in the Federal Republic of Germany, and, with just under 900 square kilometers (approx. 350 square miles), the largest city in terms of area. Since 1990, it has regained its stature as the capital city. Its history is – like the city itself – exciting, multifaceted, and very lively. Berlin grew rapidly with industrialization. In the 19thcentury, it was still a city of over one million inhabitants, but by the beginning of the 20thcentury, it had already developed into a city of around two million. In the 1920s, it shot up to become a metropolis of four million. After almost half of Berlin was destroyed during World War II, the city was divided into four occupation zones in July 1945.
In August 1961, the division became visible through the Berlin Wall, which divided the city into East and West Berlin. The critical attitude towards this painful division was even reflected in quotes by famous politicians. “Ich bin ein Berliner,” confessed John F. Kennedy on June 26, 1963, in front of the Schöneberg City Hall. His fellow leader Ronald Reagan addressed the then USSR directly on June 12, 1987, with: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Just two years later, “Mr. Gorbachev” had become the icon of the newly emerging democracy movement, and Berlin was to again become the place of a legendary quote (the sense of which, however, was expressed in this way): “He who comes too late is punished by life.” This is what the then Soviet head of state threw at the GDR leadership; and shortly thereafter, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. It was not only Germany that became a united country again; Berlin as a city became a single entity once more. There was a spirit of optimism; Berlin would also become – not least due to the Love Parade –the techno capital. Through the alternative character of the cultural scene, the hipsters that had moved in, scene-goers and musicians, former national service resisters, politicians, and a start-up scene, many lounges and bars, in which even today passionados can indulge in their cigars, sprang up in the city. Berlin is the capital city that never rests, never sleeps. We from Cigar Journalrecommend going there, dancing, and/or smoking a cigar.
The most north-eastern state of Germany is enchanting with its many seaside resorts along the Baltic Sea coast, the beautifully situated lakes of the Mecklenburg Lake District and more than two thousand country estates, castles and palaces. You can choose to visit the historic and lively old towns of Stralsund and Wismar (UNESCO World Heritage sites) or drive through the quiet hinterland, which is characterized by avenues. Brandenburg lies between Mecklenburg-Western Pomeraniaand Berlin (and encircles Berlin). It is the state that has the most water resources and almost half of it consists of agricultural land. The region is a point of interest for tourists because of its diverse landscapes, its historic city centers, its nature parks rich in forests and water, and the attractions of its castles and palaces. There, as in Berlin, there is liberal legislation regarding the protection of non-smokers: smoking is permitted in “beverage-based, one-room restaurants,” which are explicitly designated as smoking establishments and are smaller than 75 square meters (approx. 805 square feet). However, no food may be offered, and access is not permitted to persons under 18 years of age. By the time this issue of Cigar Journalis published, it could be that the various bars and lounges that were closed at the time of going to press due to the coronavirus pandemic and could not be visited will be open again.