Düben Heath
Düben Heath ©Lothar Sonneberg
Naturpark – Verein Dübener Heide e. V.
NaturparkHaus

Neuhofstraße 3a
04849 Bad Düben

Phone +49 (0)34243 72993
info@naturpark-duebener-heide.com

Düben Heath: new horizons in historical surroundings

The Middle Elbe Valley and Düben Heath, together with the surrounding towns of Dessau, Wörlitz, Lutherstadt Wittenberg and Torgau, can look back over a long and fascinating history. Conservation has not always been a priority here, least of all during the age of industrialisation. Today, however, a range of initiatives are bringing sustainable experiences to this historical setting, preserving it for future generations.

Moments of history

500 years ago in Wittenberg, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church, heralding the Reformation that took hold of, and transformed, the whole of Europe. The Age of Enlightenment is reflected in the accomplished symphony of nature, landscape design and architecture that you as a visitor will witness today in the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz. Also ahead of its time was the Bauhaus School, whose legacy is still widely preserved and respected to this day.

Amazing flora and fauna

Amidst these historical sites, nestled within the natural riverscape of the Elbe and the Mulde, lies Düben Heath Nature Park, home to the largest mixed forest in central Germany and to meadows, stream-covered lowlands, pretty little reservoirs and heathland villages. You might also spot cranes, white-tailed eagles and other rare birds here. The park’s most famous inhabitant (and its logo), the beaver, was nearing extinction by the mid-20th century, with only a small number remaining. Thanks to strict conservation measures, however, the population is slowly recovering. Today, roughly 800 beavers live in the Düben Heath Nature Park and in the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve, which became part of the UNESCO-accredited Elbe Riverside Biosphere Reserve in 1997.

Health on the heath

Bad Schmiedeberg and Bad Düben have both enjoyed long traditions as spa resorts. For more than 100 years, orthopaedic, rheumatic and gynaecological conditions have been successfully treated here using the moor peat from Düben Heath.

The range of therapies also includes naturopathic treatments, fasting and Kneipp hydrotherapy. The Health Academy offers courses and workshops on naturopathy, herbal remedies and homoeopathy.

Breathing new life into endangered habitats

Open-cast lignite mines, closed in the late 1980s, left deep scars in the landscape. Today, however, Goitzsche country park near Bitterfeld is a model example of sustainable environmental restoration. The former mines here were flooded to create four lakes as part of a landscape design project. You can now stroll along the water’s edge, past the marina and the beach, and on to Bitterfeld harbour.

Sail straight out of the water sports centre and into the wind or take a leisurely tour on a pedalo. Nordic Aktiv Park offers a selection of Nordic walking and rollerblading routes covering around 100 kilometres.

Highlights

  • Düben Heath Museum Village: crafts, culture and environmental education in the historical watermill, reconstructed in 2006
  • Heide Spa: award-winning spa retreat with a commitment to sustainability
  • Nature reserve centre in Bad Düben with wide-ranging activities for all the family, such as the quality-certified Heath Beaver Trail and guided wildlife tours
  • Food and drink made from locally sourced ingredients is sold under the ‘Bestes aus der Dübener Heide’ label Try beer, fruit wine, ham, sheep’s cheese, pumpernickel or heath honey at various farms on the heath.

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