Nature-lovers with an eye for the accomplishments of great engineering are sure to love these three ‘water highlights’ of the rural district of Rastatt:
The Schwarzenbach Dam (‘Schwarzenbachtalsperre’) was completed in 1926. With its large reservoir – the biggest body of water in the northern and central Black Forest – it feeds the hydro-electric power plant in Forbach. Not only is the colossal structure, measuring almost 1,000 feet across, still being seen as a pioneering feat of German dam construction: The lake is also a popular destination for travellers both in summer and winter thanks to its idyllic setting. Along the waterside path you’ll find information boards providing all the facts and figures of the dam and the story of its construction. And if you venture further uphill, you’ll find the ‘Herrenwieser See’, one of the Black forest’s most picturesque glacial lakes.
Further information on the Schwarzenbach Dam: www.forbach.de (German-language homepage)
The Iffezheim Barrier (‘Staustufe Iffezheim’) is a joint project between the French and the Germans. It is a combination of a hydropower station, a weir, and a water gate that is passed by approximately 45,000 boats and ships every year! The Barrier also features Europe’s largest fish ladder which significantly helps to protect the local environment.
If you’re interested in technology and structures, you’ll want to spend some time here to watch everything that’s going on!
Further information on the Iffezheim Barrier: www.iffezheim.de (German-language homepage)
Another place of great interest is the Flood Prevention Trail (‘Polder-Infopfad’), winding along the Söllingen and Greffern polders. This trail is formed by two 3.7 miles long circular paths, which can be explored on foot or by bicycle. Information signs along the way provide insights into flood prevention measurements as well as the basins themselves.
Further information on the Flood Prevention Trail: www.rheinmuenster.de (German-language homepage)