The municipality, with an area of 215.9 square kilometres (83.4 sq mi) one of largest in Germany, is located in the northeastern part of Brandenburg, close to the border with the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The rural community is part of the Uckermark historic region, it is surrounded by extended forests and the Uckermark Lakes Nature Park. In the south, it borders the towns of Templin and Lychen.
After World War II, the Arnim family was disseized and the castle was used as recreation home of the East German National People's Army. Today it houses a hotel. The present-day municipality was established by the merger of ten villages in 1992.
Development of Population since 1875 within the Current Boundaries (Blue Line: Population; Dotted Line: Comparison to Population Development of Brandenburg state; Grey Background: Time of Nazi rule; Red Background: Time of Communist rule)
Recent Population Development (Blue Line) and Forecasts
Population development within the current boundaries (2013)