The view from Waldeck Castle of the Edersee, which began to function as a reservoir in 1914, taking up much of the former valley, the Edertal.
The Edersee is 27 kilometres in length, whereas the water peg level reaches 39 metres. With flat beaches for bathing, spacious sunbathing lawns and schools that teach windsurfing, sailing and waterskiing, the Edersee represents one of Germany’s most popular recreational destinations and a real water sports Eldorado. The high quality of the water and its abundance of fish continue to delight both anglers and divers.
Some 200 metres above the Edersee, the defiant old fortress of Waldeck, the former ancestral seat of the Counts of Waldeck who remained in residence up until the 17th century, enthrones and symbolizes the region as its most famous landmark. There is a legend handed down to us that hints at its origins. A knight, accompanied by his attendants, came by looking for a suitable location to build a castle for the Edertal. A local well-informed shepherd, whom they met along the way, referred to a forested mountain and said, “Right up there at the corner of the forest”. And thus did the castle and the region gain their name.
Today, the castle is home to various restaurants and a museum. From the panoramic terrace, visitors are afforded a breathtaking view of the Edersee and the richly forested mountains that belong to the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park.
Stretching for miles upon miles, the water meanders its way throughout solitary Wattertal. Signposted footpaths and hiking trails weave their way through a plethora of nature in all its splendour and to the surrounding villages.
The hiking trails
For even the most casual hiker, the indigenous wildlife represents ever-present companionship. Well-developed hiking and bicycle trails allow you to discover for yourself the sheer beauty of the Waldeck region and its countryside.
Landau Hydraulic Miracle
Strategically favoured by their location on a mountaintop, the inhabitants of mediaeval Landau were nonetheless compelled to fetch up their water from the ‘Guotte’ at the foot of the mountain, and this they did with the help of trusses and buckets. With a growing population, the question of water acquisition became increasingly more pressing, resolved only in 1534 when the blacksmith Bartholomäus Pfeiffer committed himself to the development of a system “which will bring to the marketplace and its carry bowls the continuous and permanent supply of water by means of piping”.
By late autumn in 1535, that much-desired water gushed from a tap in Landau’s marketplace. Even today, Landau farmers take water on-tap for their cattle, pumped via the same water supply system developed 470 years ago.
Bad Arolsen – The Stately Residence
A mansion right out of the pages of a fairytale book stands in princely splendour in Bad Arolsen. Both the stately residence and the town of Bad Arolsen owe their existence to the planning of Count Friedrich Anton Ulrich of Waldeck (1676-1728), who became a Prince of the Realm in 1712. Beginning in 1710, the old nunnery, which was built in 1131, was gradually torn down and, as from 1713, the construction of the new Baroque structure, including a moat and gardens, began to take shape under the auspices of the architect, Julius Ludwig Rothweil. The stately mansion is today still occupied by the descendants of the princely family and is home to some magnificent art treasures.
The TwisteseeFree of all types of sewage and wastewater, the Twistesee is one of the cleanest lakes in Germany, providing for excellent water quality. All around the lake, within its densely forested surroundings, marvellous jogging routes and hiking trails have been made accessible to the public. The various tracks available to the nature-seeking runner are far removed from those found in tourist metropolises. A sunbathing beach comprised of sand from the North Sea coast, cost-free play activities for children and a 7-kilometre long vehicle-free pathway that encircles the lake make of the Twistesee an unforgettable experience for the whole family.
First documented in 1253, Freienhagen celebrated the 750th anniversary of its chartered municipality from the 28th of May to the 2nd of June 2003.
The building of the late Roman-Gothic fortified church, St. Peter und Paul, is thought to have begun in the first half of the 13th century. Even today it remains the tallest building in Freienhagen and its impressive, slate-covered tower with its integrated, turning onion-dome can be seen wherever you go in the area.
The Korbach GoldmineIn the Eisenberg mountain near Korbach are gold deposits, which were exploited by means of mining between the 11th century and around 1617. During this 500-year operating period, a 900-metre long, 12-metre wide and 9-metre deep open-cast strip mine took course. Today, the mountain still shows plenty of evidence related to such past activities. From the early period of the mining industry, relicts of the open-cast goldmine are still found, many of which are spread throughout the Goldhausen district. The 100-metre long underground valley tunnel was built in the 15th and the 16th centuries and serves as a museum-piece mine for visitors.
Ever since the expansion of the gold inlet near Frankenberg-Röddenau, the Eder has been an auriferous river. The Eder carries a large part of the gold through the river Itter by Eisenberg (near Korbach, Central Europe’s largest gold deposit site). The historical main extraction sites are located downriver below the Edertal dam, between the village Affoldern and the cathedral city of Fritzlar. In the 18th century, ducats were minted from Eder-gold, which today are valued by collectors as a rarity. Even today it’s still possible to find gold sized at around 1 millimetre in diameter.
Canoe ToursEnjoy a canoe tour of the Eder, the most natural and rapidly flowing river in the State of Hessen.
The Korbacher Cleft/The Museum in Korbach
The Korbach Cleft, known locally as the ‘Korbacher Spalte’, is a unique fossil discovery site featuring finds stemming from some of the oldest ancestors of the mammalian species. The discoveries made at the cleft were, and still are, absolutely sensational in terms of international significance.
Whereas only small or hardly datable relicts from this geological era have been found elsewhere, mostly in the alluvial fan of rivers still existent from this period, the Korbacher Spalte provides a globally unique mosaic of Permian-era fauna.
The Korbach Museum provides a diorama of life-sized models of 250-million-year-old vertebrates and an insightful multimedia pageant that takes the viewer directly into the environment as experienced by the ancestors of the dinosaur and mammalian species. In addition, the museum offers a round tour, encompassing the history of the town and the region. A focal point of the exhibition is also a visit to those sections dealing with the gold, iron and copper mining industries.
The "Living Museum", OdershausenThe Living Museum of Odershausen exhibits lovingly selected agricultural artefacts and also provides an exposition of village life in times gone by.
Regular demonstrations with continually changing and seasonally-adapted activities: bread-baking, butter churning, the production of fruit wines, flax processing, spinning, weaving, threshing, and so much more. The Association for the Preservation of Historical Agricultural Machinery and Tractors demonstrates the old techniques once attendant to rural chores and craftsmanship, and thus helps visitors understand better the real hard work required of those who lived through the ‘good old days’.
Wildunger Straße 13
34537 Bad Wildungen Odershausen
Telefon (0 56 21) 21 04
Upland Milk Museum
The Upländer Milk Museum, located in the old dairy building belonging to the town of Usseln, makes a display not only of one of the above-shown milk cooling flasks, it also takes the visitor right back to the origins of the ‘white source of life’.
A tour of the rooms in the former Usseln Creamery makes for an exhibition that includes, apart from former dairy implements, historical expositions of routine domestic milk processing, milk-bottling and milk storage in Africa, and various curios dealing with every aspect of milk.
The history of the development of the ‘Upländer Gebirgsmolkerei’ (Upländer Mountain Creamery) over the years to today’s ‘Upländer Bauernmolkerei GmbH’ also plays a significant role in the exhibition by drawing the visitor’s attention to, among other things, organic agriculture and milk production, as well as the importance of healthy nutrition sustained by eating natural products.
Upländer Milchmuhseum e.V.
Korbacher Straße 6
34508 Willingen - Usseln