The Very Corner of the Wendland


Schnackenburg is situated on the Elbe and lies on the easternmost projection of Lower Saxony. The Polabian name of chnackenburg is Godegord (probably from god - ‘snake’ - and gord - ‘fortress’ or ‘town’). The German name Schnackenburg appears to be derived from Low Saxon Snaak or Snack - ‘snake’ - and Borg - ‘fortress’, ‘town’.

Schnackenburg was first mentioned in 1218 and originated at a castle at the mouth of the Aland into the Elbe. It became a town in 1373 and had significance as a place at which the mariners were to pay a toll to travel the Elbe.

The town is bordered on all sides except the west by the former East Germany. From 1945 -1990, Schnackenburg served as the West German inner German border crossing for inland navigation on the Elbe. The crossing was open for freight vessels navigating between the East German Democratic Republic and the West German Federal Republic of Germany.

Schackenburg circa 1950