Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology

  A Lake of Darkness and Mystery

I finally got some pics from one of my favourite places in the Harz, the Oderteich reservoir. It is the oldest in Germany (built 1715-1722 for the needs of mining) and until the end of the 19th century it was the largest as well, but today its 1,700,000 cubic metres pale in comparison with reservoirs like the Edersee.

Oderteich on a September evening

The Oderteich is no longer used for mining water supply and has become a recreational area. It is part of the National Park and not touristically developed. There are no places selling ice cream, no walkways easing the way into the water, and the parking lot is a mile off.

Dark water and gathering clouds

Moreover, the Oderteich lies in the higher mountains of the Harz range, and the water remains cold even in summer (it's about 14°C now). It comes from the surrounding moors and has a brownish colour that makes the lake look dark and forbidding.

A glimpse of sunshine

Therefore, it's a quiet place with few people hanging around even on sunny days. When I'm not bathing or sitting at the beach reading, I often walk in the woods and moors around it, playing with plots in my mind and breathing the clean, fragrant air.

A tree fallen into the lake

This year, after a rainy summer and a stormy September, the lake holds more water than ever before. The Oderteich reservoir has no floodgates, so if it gets much higher, they'll have to close the road across the dam. Already now, some trees have fallen into the water, their roots been washed out.
Hi, uh I wonder if you can help me...I was looking for a picture of Kalkriese hill on google, and your blog came up. I haven't been able to find a pic of the hill itself, but since you've been there, can you tell me what it is shaped like? Is it round and gentle, or kind of jagged and rocky?
The photos are beautiful, Gabriele. It looks like a great place to walk.
That is a beautiful place to work - makes me think of part of a Robert Frost poem - "...the woods are lovely, dark and deep."
What an excellent setting.
I hope mist comes down at certain moments.
Lovely spot to think in. :)

Thanks for the tree pics, at times I almost forget what they look like...
Hi loops o'fury, welcome to my blog.
The Wiehengebirge, the mountains along the path that led the Romans into the trap between the mountains and the moor, are of the gentler sort. Even before the landscape changed by agriculture and the bogs were drained, the slope can't have been much steeper as it is today; you could bring a horse down it, let alone men. Maybe that's one of the reasons Arminius had additional wall and wicker work shelters built, because except for the trees, it was not an impossible fighting ground for the Romans, though they won't have been able to display in proper formation.

Thank you, everyone.
It is a lovely place, and for the imagination of a writer, mysterious as well. :)
I LOVE the tree in the lake picture. There's something so magical about it that I can't explain.
No wonder, Megumi. The Harz is rich in tales about giants, dwarves and other fairy tale creatures, and not all nice. ;)
Great photos. Doesn't it look like it could be the model fro Grendel's Mere?
Well, I use to swim in that dark water, and so far nothing has tried to eat me. But maybe I scare even Grendel. :)
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Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States.

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 writer of Historical Fiction living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.