Mill fans will discover over 100 windmills and watermills along the Lower Saxony Mills Route that runs for approximately 260 km between the North Sea and the Elbe and Weser rivers. Let this route be your guide to the region's many hidden treasures.
The Lower Saxony Mills Route runs through medieval towns and meanders over the valleys around the source of the river Ilmenau through the sleepy heathland villages of the Hohe Heide, the forests of the Südheide, the district of Celle and the Allerniederung nature reserve. It even covers part of the Cuxland in the district of Cuxhaven. Just as rich and diverse as the surrounding countryside are the mills and their history.
Impressions of mills
On this route you can see windmills and watermills, mills in museums that are still fully operational and long-dormant mills where time has stood still since their last day of operation. Lovingly restored "windmill houses" and modern mills are also to be found in equal abundance. In the old mills you can follow the flow of energy from the sails or the water wheel right into the sack of flour, and will be left in awe by the technical skill of the old millwrights. You're sure to find the windmills' construction and technology fascinating, even if you're generally not a fan of technology.
Once upon a time...
For our ancestors, there was nothing romantic about mills, they were just a part of everyday life. From the early Middle Ages, mills were widespread throughout Europe and made a deep impression across wide swathes of working life. Grinding corn, milling cotton, pressing oil and pounding rags to make paper were just some of the activities carried out by mills. In fact, mills were the ancestors of the very first factories.
Fairy tales, sagas and legends
Sagas and legends surround many old mills. These legends tell of a mill run by dwarves or a beautiful miller who creates mischief when she transforms into a black cat. There is also the fairy tale about Puss in Boots or the tale that recounts the sudden demise of Max and Moritz. The mills are often ancient, secluded and are always found near to a source of water or wind. On the Lower Saxony Mills Route, fairy tales and stories are quite literally in the air and it's so easy to let your imagination soar.
A road map to the mills
The Lower Saxony Mills Route connects over 100 mills. What's more, the variety of paths along the route give visitors the option to tailor their itinerary according to their own individual interests. One truly unmissable detour is to the International Windmill and Watermill Museum in Gifhorn, the only one of its kind in the world. Whether travelling by bicycle, car or on foot, new insights and discoveries await you at every turn, making a trip along the Lower Saxony Mills Route a truly amazing experience.
Length: approximately 260 km
Theme: mills, countryside, culture
Aurich: the Stiftsmühle windmill
Burlage: ground-sailer windmill
Buxtehude: motorised mill
Cloppenburg: post mill
Dornum: trestle windmill
Gifhorn: the International Windmill and Watermill Museum
Haren/Ems: mound mill
Hoyersvörde: round galleried Dutch windmill made of stone
Jork-Borstel : galleried Dutch windmill
Rinteln-Exten: Unterer Eisenhammer Industrial Museum
Stade: galleried Dutch windmill, trestle windmill
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