RATHENOW, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Brandenburg, on the Havel, 45 m. N.W. of Berlin on the main railway to Hanover. Pop. (1905) 23,095, including the garrison. The Protestant church of St Mary and St Andrew, originally a basilica, and transformed to the Gothic style in 1517-1589, and the Roman Catholic church of St George, are noteworthy. Rathenow is known for its " Rathenow stones, " bricks made of the clay of the Havel, and for its spectacles and optical instruments, which are exported.
Rathenow received its incorporation as a town in 1295. In 1394 it was taken and partly destroyed by the archbishop of Magdeburg. It suffered much from the ravages of the Thirty Years' War, being occupied in turn by the Saxons and the Swedes, from whom in 1675 it was taken by the Brandenburgers, when most of the garrison were put to the sword.
See Wagener, Denkwilrdigkeiten der Stadt Rathenow (Berlin, 1903).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)