My Illlustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History and some Geology

  A Summer Day at the Edersee Reservoir

The Edersee is a large reservoir west of Kassel. It was constructed 1908-1914 by erecting a dam of rock and concrete across the Eder valley. For those of you liking numbers, the dam is 47 metres high and 270 metres long at the bottom, 400 on top. The width is 36 metres on bottom and 6 on top.

The Edersee is 27 kilometres long, winding through the former valley, and up to 42 metres deep. If the lake is full, it holds 199.5 million m³ water.

View over the lake from the balcony of our friends' house

It was full to the brim when we were there. Just the day before, the overflow gates in the dam had been opened to let surplus water out. Too bad those Niagara falls were gone after a day and we missed them this time. I have seen the spectacle several times in spring, but it's 50 years since it last happened in August.

The main purpose of the Edersee reservoir is the regulation of shipping levels for the Weser river, and the generation of hydropower. Thus, in dry summers water has to be let out and one can see the remains of the three submerged villages in the valley that had to be abandoned for the reservoir. There is still an old bridge crossing the Eder, remains of a church, and a cemetary. People go there and visit the graves of their ancestors in times the ground falls dry. I have experienced such summers as well.

Rocky shore on the Scheidt peninsula

The most tragic event in the history of the lake happened May 17, 1943, when planes of the British Royal Airforce bombarded the dam and ripped a 70 metres wide and 20 metres deep hole into it. Within short time some 160 million m³ water thundered into the Eder valley, destroying houses, bridges and arable land. I found three different numbers of people killed on different websites, but it must have been at least 50. The dam was repaired immediately and the gap could be closed in four months, in time for the autumnal rains.

A peaceful afternoon on the lake

Another important purpose for the Edersee today is to provide a recreational area. The water is clean, so swimming is fun. There is fishing, sailing and electrical boats, hiking paths in the hills around the lake, a bicycle way, and several camping sites. People from places like Kassel, Korbach and other towns who can afford it, buy summer houses dotting the hills in some places - fortunately mostly hidden by trees.

The water glittering in the sun

So, having friends with both a summer house and a boat is fun. :)

Mountains surrounding the lake

The picture below shows Schloss Waldeck (Waldeck Castle), a castle that first is mentioned in chartes in 1120 and was seat of the Counts of Waldeck until 1655, when they moved to the more modern palace in Arolsen. Afterwards, the castle served as garrison, then prison, and now houses a rather expensive hotel in its renovated walls.

Waldeck Castle

The mountain is less steep from the other side, so the castle can be reached by car. When the castle still was seat of the counts, the view did not include the lake, of course, but the even deeper Eder valley. And my German tribe of the Chatti lived around there as well, long before anyone put a castle up that mountain. :)
Gee, the numbers wouldn't be directed at us engineer types, would they? *g*
Looks like a nice place to visit and reflect.
Ah, your last photo caught how light may turn water to molten silver. Exquisite.
Drowned villages are a plot bunny - but you knew that.
Lovely pics. I want to go swimming now.
Yes, Constance, I had you in mind. :)

Bernita, indeed. Writers never need to go far to find the furry critters.

A bit warmer than Norvegian fjords, I suppose, Celede, but the water is cool this year compared to other summers. I like it that way.
Beautiful pictures. How I long for a view like that from my window.
Yeah, so do I. :)
A feast!

Pictures and numbers. : -)

I like the one of the sail boat.
Thanks Hank. It's one of my favourites, too.
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The Lost Fort is a travel journal and history blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, as well as some geology, illustrated with photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.
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Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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