IN PICTURES: Germany embraces cold snap amid warnings over icy waterways

People across Germany have been making the most of the winter weather - but emergency services have warned against walking on frozen waterways. Now the big thaw is set to come.

IN PICTURES: Germany embraces cold snap amid warnings over icy waterways
Ice skaters are on the ice on Lake Schliersee in Bavaria on Sunday. Photo: DPA

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At the weekend lots of people got out in the blazing sunshine and bitterly cold temperatures.

In lots of areas, rivers, canals  and ponds were completely frozen over. Families, skaters and dog walkers took to the waterways – however, police have warned against people doing this as the ice can crack and cause people to fall through.

In Berlin police said the strong sun combined with water currents can cause solid ice to become brittle and unstable.

Several people collapsed through the ice at the city's Schlachtensee on Saturday, according to the fire and rescue service. They were not injured.

There were also several accidents on the river Rhine in Düsseldorf, with rescue services having to be called out.

Temperatures are set to increase above freezing on Monday and Tuesday in Germany so authorities are continuing to warn people not to walk on waterways in case they crack.

This selection of tweets, and pictures by DPA photographers across Germany, gives a snapshot of how the country looks in extreme cold winter weather.

READ ALSO: Snow and bitterly cold temperatures hit Germany

Skaters hold hands while on the Landwehrkanal in Berlin on Sunday. People also walked on the frozen river Spree in the capital. Police regularly told people to get off the ice, particularly in some parts where it was not very strong.

Numerous people on frozen water in front of Moritzburg Castle in Saxony.

A police tells a couple to get off the ice at the Alsterpark in Hamburg.

Bracing the cold snowy weather in Dresden.

Several people on frozen water at Benrath Castle in Düsseldorf.

Adults and kids out and about on Steinhude lake in the Lower Saxony sunshine.

Police used a helicopter to tell people to get off the ice at Müggelsee in Berlin as this tweet shows.

An ice hockey game in front of the Monument to the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig.

Families out and about on the frozen Rhine river in Düsseldorf.

Little Elise wearing a bear hat while sledging at the Deister hill in Lower Saxony.

A police offer skating while checking the surfaces at Steinhude lake in Lower Saxony.

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Living in Germany: Making the most of culture and lake life

In this week's roundup, we delve into Germany's lakes and look at how to make the most of Germany's cultural offerings.

Living in Germany: Making the most of culture and lake life

Get out and enjoy the culture 

One of the hardest things about living in Germany (and elsewhere in northern Europe) is the relentless winter – it sure goes on for a long time. But with summer on the horizon and the pandemic thankfully over, it’s now time to get out of the house and really make the most of Germany’s cultural offering.

From folk festivals to music line-ups, there’s no shortage of events out there. One initiative that launches next month in Germany taps into just how important the arts scene is. The KulturPass or culture pass, is a birthday present for people turning 18 in 2023. Young people will get a €200 voucher to buy tickets for various cultural events. It’s aimed at encouraging young people’s interest in the arts after the pandemic meant they didn’t get a chance to enjoy much of public life. Meanwhile, venues were closed during various shutdowns in Germany which massively hit the industry. 

But even if you’re not 18 this year, it’s still worth getting out and exploring German culture, from opera and ballet to local gigs and shows. Check out our story on unmissable events this June for a taste of what’s going on, from Bachfest to Kiel Week. But go local too and ask around your community to see what’s on –  it’s a fun way to get more integrated into German life. 

Tweet of the week

This is certainly a phrase we hear a lot in Germany. See also: Heute, leider nicht.

Where is this?

Photo: DPA/Sven Hoppe

Those familiar with the Bavarian capital of Munich will know this scene well. Lots of people flock to the Isar river banks on sunny days to relax next to it (and even swim in it at some points). With the weather heating up in Germany recently, more people are heading to lakes and rivers. 

Did you know?

Speaking of lakes, perhaps we can wow you with a few facts as bathing season gets underway. Did you know that the biggest See in Germany is Bodensee or Lake Constance? The lake in Baden-Württemberg has a total area of 536 square kilometres and a depth of 254 metres. However, only part of the lake belongs to Germany. Switzerland and Austria each own an equal part. The largest lake that is fully located in Germany is the Müritz in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania with an area of 117 square kilometres.

According to the Federal Environment Agency, there are more than 12,000 lakes in Germany. Most lakes are in northern Germany and in the foothills of the Alps. The site says that Brandenburg – with 2,857 is the state with the most lakes in Germany, followed by Baden-Württemberg (2,797) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (2,044).

And what about the smallest See in Germany? Lake Titisee in the southern Black Forest is one of the smallest known bathing lakes in Germany, with an area of 1.3 square kilometres.