Photograph by Freya Najade

Lusatian Lakeland

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    Lusatia, a mining region in the east of Germany, is being transformed into a vacation destination with the creation of beaches, marinas, and campsites. One of the newly cultivated landscapes is Nochten Boulder Park, which is located on the land of a former opencast mine. Visitors can explore 6,000 boulders recovered from the tailings of the regional mining industry.

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    There are still five active opencast coal mines in Lusatia. The coal is mined at a depth of up to 120 meters (about 394 feet).

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    New observation points and towers allow tourists to have views over the changing landscape. Here, visitors gaze from an outlook platform at the
    scale of the open cast mine 'Nochten.'

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    One of the large-scale projects is the construction of the five-star campsite Sternencamp, which is being built at the shores of Bärwalder See, a small lake near the Polish border, to accommodate future vacationers.

     

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    A stall selling ice cream in front of the conveyer bridge F60, which, at 500 meters long, is one of the biggest mining constructions ever built. The bridge hasn’t been functional since 1992, and it’s been converted into a center to teach visitors about the region’s mining history.

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    German legislation has established that post-mining landscapes are to be recultivated and made reusable. As a result, a large area of Lusatia is once more under construction. The plan is ambitious: More than 20 exhausted former open-pit mines will be converted into lakes to form Europe’s largest man-made lake district.

     

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    The creation of beaches is an important element in the development of Lusatian Lakeland. The beach at Bärwalder See was opened in 2009 and is one of three beaches at the lake.

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    Max is visiting the lakes. He came last year for the first time and has returned this summer because he really enjoyed his stay. Lusatian Lakeland’s tourism board has forecast the number of overnight stays to reach about 1.5 million per year by 2020.

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    Visitors view a power station from the inside and learn how electricity is generated from coal.

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    The dream of living on the water will become reality through the construction of a marina for floating houses on Geierswalder See.

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    Piers and marinas are being built for future water sports on the lakes. The pier is made from an old conveyer bridge. The former opencast mine is still in the process of being filled up. The lake is expected to rise to its planned water level in three years.

    Photograph by Freya Najade
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    Senftenberger See is one of the first artificially created lakes in the area. It opened to the public in 1973 and has now become part of Lusatian Lakeland. Boat tours invite passengers to travel between its shores and to observe the newly built waterfront and harbor from the lake.

    Photograph by Freya Najade