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Zehdenick is situated at an elevation of 50 m on the river Havel, about 60 km nort of Berlin. The municipality has a population of about 13,500 (2017).
Cedenic was first mentioned in 1216 in a document of the bishop of Brandenburg. Already in 1281 it was mented as a 'civitas'. The Cistercian nunnery was founded in 1250 and existed until 1541. Iron smeting was already mentioned in 1438, but became especially important when the first blast furnace was opened in 1664/66, mainly for the production of canon balls that previously had to be imported. The furnace remained in operation for about a hundred years. A large fire destroyed most of the town in 1801 and Zehdenick thereafter was rebuilt on a new, partly regular ground plan. During the construction of the railroad from Löwenberg to Templin large deposits of clay were discovered in 1887, which became the basis of operation for numerous brick manufactures. Around 1900, Zehdenick and surroundings were one of the largest producers of bricks in Europe. The bricks were transported to Berlin by more than 100 ships and thus Zehdenick also became a centre of inland water transportation. Since 1817 the town was part of the district Templin; in 1952 it was reassigned to the district Gransee (GDR region Potsdam). In 1992 the 'Amt Zehdenick und Gemeinden' was created (dissolved in 2003). The neighbouring communities of Bergsdorf, Ribbeck and Vogelsang were incorporated into Zehdenick in 2001; the communities of Badingen, Kappe, Klein-Mutz, Kurtschlag, Marienthal, Mildenberg, Wesendorf and Zabelsdorf followed in 2003. The additional title "Havelstadt" was adopted in 2013.
Zehdenick Abbey [top left picture] was founded as a Cistercian nunnery in 1250 or shortly after. At its beginning the community consisted of twelve nuns, who were in 1252 moved into the newly completed dormitory. Like many other Cistercian houses Zehdenick became wealthy and by the time of the Reformation possessed 16 villages, with interests in another two, forests, and fishery rights in 13 lakes and a river, presumably the Havel. In 1541, when the Reformation reached Mark Brandenburg, the abbey became a secular college for noblewomen (Adliges Frauenstift), which ladies entered without making any religious profession. The abbey's estates passed into the possession of the rulers of Brandenburg. A government agency decided who was allowed to enter the community and undertook its care and maintenance. All that now remain are the external walls of the dormitory, the north and west wings, parts of the cloister and of the so-called "abbey barn", which was originally the infirmary, the school and the pilgrims' lodging. The church was rebuilt in 1768, but burnt down in 1801 after being struck by lightning and subsequently reduced to the remains of the outside walls. Some seven ladies remained in residence nevertheless, for whom the north wing was converted. The Stift continued in existence until 1945. Today it is administered by the Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Schlesische Oberlausitz and is used for various religious and community purposes.
The former Immperial post office [top right] was built in 1897–1899. The façade was renovated in 1990.
The town chhurch [bottom picture] was founded around 1250. The lower
parts of the tower with its portal still remain from that edifice. Destroyed by fire several times, last in 1801,
it was rebuilt in its current form in 1805–1812.