Cottbus is located in the north-east of Germany, between the country’s capital, Berlin (100 km), and Dresden (120 km). With a population of approx. 100,000 citizens, Cottbus is the second largest city after Potsdam in the federal state of Brandenburg. The Polish border is only approx. 30 km away. The location of Cottbus offers a convenient starting point for trips into the picturesque region of Lower Lusatia. The landscape of Lower Lusatia is characterised by the Spreewald with its small canals and waterways as well as by the Slavonic minority called Sorbs or Wends. Their language, similar to Polish, is still used and spoken in Lower Lusatia. For this reason, many of the road signs and informational boards in Cottbus and the surrounding region are written in both Sorbian and German. Cottbus gained importance as a trade centre in the 12th century. Parts of the original city wall from the 14th century as well as the beautiful townhouses around the old market square are proof of the city’s early splendour. Additionally, the city is characterised by buildings from the "Wilhelminian" times of rapid industrial growth in Germany, which occurred towards the end of the 19th century. What originally began as a prominent cloth and linen weaving industry soon evolved into a growing industry of brown coal mining.
Senftenberg is the centre of the Lusatia Lake District. Former excavation and mining pits have been flooded in order to create the largest artificial lake system in Europe, with a total of 23 large lakes. The water sports area "Senftenberger See", with its water surface of 1,300 hectares, offers exceptional sailing and surfing opportunities, and it is suitable for all kinds of water sports. Senftenberg has thus become a tourist attraction within the region.