Founded in the Middle Ages, Stade has been a town of conquests. The most troubled times were in the 1600's, when Sweden and Denmark traded possession multiple times. 1659 was an especially bad year, when two-thirds of the town was reduced to rubble and smouldering ashes by a great fire. The streets were rebuilt following the original plans, and that is the old centre you see today. Even with the expansion due to industry and population growth, it still retains a historic charm and feel. It is also lucky to have kept much of the surrounding green areas in use for parks and nature reserves.
Location: On the Geest headland in northern Germany
Only one hour west of Hamburg via the S-Bahn rail links, Stade is near the mouth of the Schwinge River as it enters the Elbe. Historically an important trading point of the North Sea coast, it is now an attractive tourist destination of inviting old buildings that house quaint shops and welcoming pubs and restaurants.
Business: A small town with big ideas
There are many business facilities; the largest is the Stadeum Culture and Conference Centre, which has space for up to 1,100 people. Hotels in the area offer business users more options with small venues that cater from 40 to 300 people within. Stade has an impressive business support programme to assist in organising your event.
Culture: Investigate the Stade Art Gallery
The Art Gallery is located in a fine example of a half-timbered warehouse with a façade that was rebuilt in 1667. On the harbour front in the centre of the town, it still has the warehouse openings and heavy beams of the crane supports visible on the upper floors. The gallery displays temporary exhibitions of some of the highest regarded artists, including recently Pablo Picasso and August Macke.
Activities: Have a day on the river
Surrounded by rivers and canals means there are plenty of opportunities to get out and have fun on the water. There are numerous places that offer small boat hire or guided tours along the Schwinge, and if you fancy using muscle power to push your way through the water, there are kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats for you to hire. If you prefer to be in the water rather than on it, the outdoor swimming pool in Bützfleth has a variety of activities to help you cool off on a hot summer's day.