A very important part of Doetlingen is the wonderful and incredibly beautiful nature and countryside which is influenced by the river Hunte. The "Thousand year old Oak Tree" of Doetlingen has been admired by many throughout the centuries. One can be assured that the tree is certainly older than 1.000 years, as reports made by the residents of Doetlingen referred to it by this name were already made in the year 1930. The oak tree has had different functions during its long lifetime. First of all it was used for a place of justice before and during the middle ages. Later on, during the 18th and 19th century, the tree served as a meeting point for the unemployed young people of the growingbefore they started the long walk to the Netherlands. The so called "Hollandgänger" went looking for work in the grow cities of the Netherlands. In the last century the residents of Doetlingen celebrated different village events around the the tree such as First of May and Thanksgiving Day.
The people, animals and countryside of Doetlingen have inspired painters and illustrators since 1900, and through their artistic creativity, some have achieved international fame. Hence Doetlingen became an integral part of North Germanys artistic communities, due in part to its wonderful scenery.They loved the remoteness of the village and the wildness of the river in contrast to the hustle and bustle of urban life and industrialization problems. Artists such as Georg Bernhard Mueller vom Siel, August Kaufhold, Karl Dehmann and Marie Stumpe all captured in their pictures the longing of man to unite with nature and the promises of a more peaceful life.
The artist's Lotte and Karl Dieckmann created photographic portraits and watercolors of old farmhouses, sheep barns and baking ovens which is a reminder of times that would otherwise have fallen into obscurity. The painter, printmaker and sculptor Otto Pankok showed in his expressionist work the harshness of peasant life and the grueling challenge of daily existence for these people.
Many artists and craftsmen maintain the old tradition of a typical artist's village, drawing inspiration from various sources, testing and creating new techniques on canvas, paper and cloth. Old and new crafts and techniques using wood, clay and stone as well as various types of textile art are still practiced in many workshops today. In addition to the actual studios and workshops the Doetlingen Galleries offer many opportunities to meet the artists and see their creative works.
For next generations to understand the past, as an important part of the present, and also a significant factor for the future, dedicated residents established the “Doetlingen Foundation in 1999. Their concern is not only the preserving the existing cultural projects but also supporting new, exciting and extraordinary projects with a high artistic standard — all in the spirit of Gustav Mahler.