© Ulf Maurer

The last giant of the imperial era

Visitor center, boat dock, restaurants and the aqua park make the Edersee barrier wall and its forecourt a lively starting point.

Eder Dam & Aqua Park

Anyone traveling to the Edersee in Hesse cannot miss this gigantic structure. The 400 m long Edertalsperre was built between 1908 and 1914. After the bombing in 1943, the destroyed barrier wall was rebuilt in the same year. To this day, it ensures the water supply of the Weser and the Mittelland Canal in the summer months, serves as flood protection and generates electricity. With a storage volume of 200 million m³, the Edersee is the third largest reservoir in Germany.

The barrier wall continues to hold the world record as the “longest structure permanently illuminated with color changing.” In 2014, for the 100th anniversary, 39 LED headlights were installed in the upper outlets. Every evening, after dark, you can marvel at the wonderful play of colors.

The aqua park corresponds to the Edersee on a 1:200 scale and is intended as a playground for children. There is a suspension bridge, a water wheel, a water curtain and a hanging rope for playing and letting off steam. The aqua park is open every year from Easter to October and can be used free of charge.

 

One of the most impressive and largest buildings in Germany!

Stephan Daude from Edertal has been the dam keeper for 30 years. The 48 m high wall on its north side, where the overflows are, is particularly impressive. He goes down the approximately 200 steps several times a day. Heavy steel doors lead to the interior inspection corridor, which is reminiscent of a mining tunnel. The walls are rugged and angular. It's a constant 9°C, the ground is damp and it's dripping a little. It's normal for a little water to get through a stone wall, says Stephan. “There is no such thing as absolutely waterproof mortar. But that's nothing that should worry you, there is a drainage system and pumps, but they don't do much." The passage is about 40 meters below the water surface, i.e. in the middle of the lake. This is a gravity wall that can withstand the water pressure through its weight alone. It is not important how long the lake is, but rather how deep the water column in front of the wall is.

"40 meters below the water surface, the wall is 36 meters thick. Behind it there are 200 million cubic meters of water."

by Stephan Daude, dam keeper

Public dam tour

During the leisurely tour over the 400 m long dam, our tour guides will provide you with exciting and useful background information about the construction of the dam, the creation of the Edersee, the bombing in World War II and the national park with a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Participation is free for owners of the MeineCard Edersee+ guest card, prior registration by telephone is mandatory.

When: June to September every Wednesday and Saturday

Time: Wednesdays 16:00 p.m. / Saturdays 11:30 a.m
Duration: 15 minutes.
Treffpunkt: In front of the Edersee visitor center
Cost: 3,50 € per person

Tip: Combination ticket - "Dam wall tour + Edersee myth in the new Edersee visitor center"
Duration: approx. 60 minutes + approx. 30 minutes Mythos Edersee
Combined ticket: €8,50 per person adult / €7,00 per person child

Please note:
Unfortunately, a guide within the dam not possible.
Prior online booking is mandatory.

fact series

As "Longest building permanently illuminated with color changes« the barrier wall in Hesse on the Edersee currently holds the record. In 2014, for the 100th anniversary, 39 LED headlights were installed in the upper outlets. Every evening, after dark, you can marvel at the wonderful play of colors.

48 Meter

the dam wall is high

270 Meter

Sole length

36 Meter

sole width

400 Meter

Crown length

42 Meter

the Edersee is at its deepest point

27 km

the Edersee is long

6 Meter

Crown width

200 M.

Cubic meters of storage space

About the cover photo:

Ulf Maurer

is an ambitious hobby photographer. On his Instagram page @dxuli he shows with beautiful pictures how colorful and happy our region and the entire world can be.

“Coming to the Edersee in the morning is indescribable, the fog clears over the water and the sun is reflected in the water. A great light. These are the moments you love as a photographer!”

by Ulf Maurer

A journey back in time.

From the construction to the bombing in the Second World War to the world record - the Eder Dam has an impressive history.

Edersee Atlantis
Stollmühle and houses around it.

Before construction

The mill owner Cornelius sold the Stollmühle to the Prussian state for around 70.000 Reichsmarks. This was the first building to sink into the lake after it was burned down.

Construction of the dam© Mr. Hachenberger
Construction of the dam

Setting up the construction site

The construction site is ready and around 900 workers have started work. First, work began on the abutments.

Construction of the dam© Mr. Hachenberger
Construction of the dam

In the middle of construction work

The dam is growing at a rapid pace. 200 bricklayers and 100 helpers complete around 700 m³ of masonry per day. In total, 1912 m³ of the 300.000 m³ of masonry required had already been manufactured in 125.000.

At the end of the construction work

The sandstone parapet is being built and at the same time the damming of the lake has begun. In February 1914 the traffic jam had already reached the Stollmühle.

Completion

On August 28, 1914, the dam was to be inaugurated and presented to Kaiser Wilhelm II. However, the celebration had to be postponed due to the start of the First World War.

Bombing in World War II

On May 17.05.1943, 617, a bomb from a Lancaster of the 01th Squadron hit the barrier wall at Edersee at 51:70 a.m. This attack triggered a catastrophic flooding of the Eder Valley, in which countless people lost their lives. The bomb blew a 22 meter long and 8 meter deep hole in the barrier wall through which around 96 million m³ of water leaked out in the first XNUMX hours after the bombing alone. It wasn't until the third day after the bombing that water stopped flowing through the breach.

Edersee reconstruction© Mr. Hachenberger
Edersee reconstruction in black and white.

reconstruction

The reconstruction took around 9 months and was carried out by prisoners of war and forced laborers. By September 1943, the gap in the wall was completely closed again.

dam© State Office for Monument Preservation Hesse
Boat in front of the dam in black and white.

renovation

New static findings had shown that the stability of the dam wall was no longer guaranteed in the event of extreme flooding. Therefore, 108 anchors were attached to the rocky subsoil. In addition, safety measures were carried out on the base drain pipes, the central drains were made functional again and the stilling basin was expanded to allow extreme floods to drain away.

Illuminated dam wall© Thomas Andree
Illuminated dam wall, rainbow colors.

world Record

The barrier wall continues to hold the world record as the “longest structure permanently illuminated with color changing.” In 2014, for the 100th anniversary, 39 LED headlights were installed in the upper outlets. Every evening, after dark, you can marvel at the wonderful play of colors.

dam© Markus Balkow
Dam overflow.

Overflow

This year the dam overflowed twice due to the heavy rains and extreme amounts of snow in winter, which is so rare that it was a huge spectacle.

Looking for an experience?

This is how the Edersee becomes a "lake for life" for you too:

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