Around the Visitor Mine F60: Lost Villages and New Paradises

Bike tours
Length: 26 km
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Length: 26 km
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The shore of the flooded surface mining pit Bergheider See is home to a gigantic piece of technology: the F60 visitor mine. A visit to the former conveyor bridge marks the start of this tour. You then go on around the lakeshore of Bergheider See, where you will encounter many traces of mining activities that are reflected in the landscape: lignite deposits in a steep furrowed slope, man-made islands that symbolise the villages destroyed by mining activities, and the surprising natural paradise Grünhaus of the NABU (German environmental organisation) foundation for national natural heritage. The former surface mining sites are home to more than 3,000 animal and plant species, including rather spectacular ones such as hoopoes, cranes and sea eagles. The tour ends with a visit to a restaurant that narrowly escaped becoming a victim of surface mining along with the village Klingmühl. In Griebners restaurant you will go on a journey across time, back to the pub culture of the GDR. 
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  • Am Besucherbergwerk F60, Foto: Nada Quenzel
  • Geführter Rundgang über das Besucherbergwerk F60, Foto: Nada Quenzel
  • Im Werkstattwagen am Besucherbergwerk F60, Foto: Nada Quenzel
  • Radtour ab dem Besucherbergwerk F60, Foto: Nada Quenzel
Length: 25 kilometres, without a detour to Sallgast (13 kilometres)

Start/finish: Visitor Mine F60 in Lichterfeld

Logo/route sign: The tour is not signposted

How to get there:
  • Train: From Berlin central station, you can go to Finsterwalde via Cottbus or Calau. Continue by bike from here. The Visitor Mine F60 is about 7 kilometres from Finsterwalde.
  • Car: From Berlin or Dresden, take the motorway A13 to the exit Großräschen. Continue towards Finsterwalde. Turn left towards Licherfeld in Lieskau. In Lichterfeld turn left towards the Visitor Mine F60.

Route: ​Lichterfeld, Bergheider See, nature conservation areas of the NABU foundation, former village Kostebrau-Römerkeller, Klingmühl, Sallgast (detour)

Route description: The tour starts at the F60 visitor mine. In the past, this huge machine was used to transport material that was layered above the lignite seams. Type F60 conveyor bridges are 502 metres long and 80 metres tall, making them the biggest mobile equipment in the world. After the tour that lasts 1.5 hours and maybe a snack at the rustic snack bar “Steigerstube” in the workshop wagon, you will start your tour by going towards the circular path around the lake Bergheider See to the north-east. The lake was created when the pit of the former surface mine Klettwitz-Nord was flooded, starting in 1992. Many traces of mining are still visible in the landscape.

The first part of the tour takes you through the former surface mining sites, on which lignite used to be extracted from open pits. The gravel path takes you to the south in a straight line, along the eastern shore of the lake. You cycle along with the water surface to your right, and a steep furrowed slope to your left that is about twelve to fifteen metres high. Here you can see traces of geological history, such as soil layers and lignite deposits.

A little further to the south, you will spot two little islands in the lake, close to the shore. These stand for the former village Bergheide (Gohra). The path continues to the southern shore with lovely views of the lake and the impressive F60 conveyor bridge. Here you may want to park your bicycle for a moment and climb the observation hill. It allows for stunning views of the nature paradise Grünhaus that is managed by the NABU (German environmental organisation) foundation for national natural heritage. The NABU foundation has purchased huge areas of this landscape. The former surface mining sites are still home to more than 3,000 animal and plant species, including rather spectacular ones such as hoopoes, cranes and sea eagles. The path will now take you to the country road no. 60 and then north towards Lichterfeld. About half-way, you will gross the so-called conductor canal, which is a non-navigable canal. The village Lichterfeld soon comes back into view. You can now choose to turn right towards the F60, or go directly to the wide sandy beach on the shore of Bergheider See to take a relaxing break.

You continue by going to Klingmühl, which is located about 3 kilometres to the north-east. Planning provided for this village to also be demolished in the early 1990s, and most residents had already left. Only the Griebner family who were the landlords of the inn and a few others remained. However, the mine was closed down and Klingmühl escaped demolition. It is now a thriving village once again. In Griebners restaurant you will go on a journey across time, back to the pub culture of the GDR.

Detour: A detour to the castle grounds in Sallgast is very worthwhile. You will reach the little castle by cycling across the forest from Klingmühl for about 15 to 20 minutes. Sophisticated regional cuisine is served at the Hotel in the castle grounds in Sallgast. Luckily, the village and castle of Sallgast also escaped being demolished to allow for surface mining activities.

Possible combinations: Long Distance Cycle Route no. 6, Prince Pueckler Cycle Path and Lignite, Wind and Water Tour

Trail conditions/surface: unpaved but very good gravel paths and quiet country roads

Maps/Literature: 

  • Pocket guide with tour description in PDF format, available for download from the website of the Energy Route of Industrial Culture in the Lausitz Region
  • Sängerstadt Finsterwalde - Doberlug-Kirchhain und Umgebung No. 62, 1:50 000, Sachsen Kartograhpie, Auflage: 2 (6/2011), ISBN-978-3-86843-062-2, Euro 5.50
  • Senftenberger See und Umgebung No. 55, 1:50 000, Sachsen Kartograhpie, Auflage: 4 (8/2014), ISBN-978-3-86843-055-4, Euro 4.90

Continue readingcollapse
The shore of the flooded surface mining pit Bergheider See is home to a gigantic piece of technology: the F60 visitor mine. A visit to the former conveyor bridge marks the start of this tour. You then go on around the lakeshore of Bergheider See, where you will encounter many traces of mining activities that are reflected in the landscape: lignite deposits in a steep furrowed slope, man-made islands that symbolise the villages destroyed by mining activities, and the surprising natural paradise Grünhaus of the NABU (German environmental organisation) foundation for national natural heritage. The former surface mining sites are home to more than 3,000 animal and plant species, including rather spectacular ones such as hoopoes, cranes and sea eagles. The tour ends with a visit to a restaurant that narrowly escaped becoming a victim of surface mining along with the village Klingmühl. In Griebners restaurant you will go on a journey across time, back to the pub culture of the GDR. 
Continue readingcollapse
  • Am Besucherbergwerk F60, Foto: Nada Quenzel
  • Geführter Rundgang über das Besucherbergwerk F60, Foto: Nada Quenzel
  • Im Werkstattwagen am Besucherbergwerk F60, Foto: Nada Quenzel
Length: 25 kilometres, without a detour to Sallgast (13 kilometres)

Start/finish: Visitor Mine F60 in Lichterfeld

Logo/route sign: The tour is not signposted

How to get there:
  • Train: From Berlin central station, you can go to Finsterwalde via Cottbus or Calau. Continue by bike from here. The Visitor Mine F60 is about 7 kilometres from Finsterwalde.
  • Car: From Berlin or Dresden, take the motorway A13 to the exit Großräschen. Continue towards Finsterwalde. Turn left towards Licherfeld in Lieskau. In Lichterfeld turn left towards the Visitor Mine F60.

Route: ​Lichterfeld, Bergheider See, nature conservation areas of the NABU foundation, former village Kostebrau-Römerkeller, Klingmühl, Sallgast (detour)

Route description: The tour starts at the F60 visitor mine. In the past, this huge machine was used to transport material that was layered above the lignite seams. Type F60 conveyor bridges are 502 metres long and 80 metres tall, making them the biggest mobile equipment in the world. After the tour that lasts 1.5 hours and maybe a snack at the rustic snack bar “Steigerstube” in the workshop wagon, you will start your tour by going towards the circular path around the lake Bergheider See to the north-east. The lake was created when the pit of the former surface mine Klettwitz-Nord was flooded, starting in 1992. Many traces of mining are still visible in the landscape.

The first part of the tour takes you through the former surface mining sites, on which lignite used to be extracted from open pits. The gravel path takes you to the south in a straight line, along the eastern shore of the lake. You cycle along with the water surface to your right, and a steep furrowed slope to your left that is about twelve to fifteen metres high. Here you can see traces of geological history, such as soil layers and lignite deposits.

A little further to the south, you will spot two little islands in the lake, close to the shore. These stand for the former village Bergheide (Gohra). The path continues to the southern shore with lovely views of the lake and the impressive F60 conveyor bridge. Here you may want to park your bicycle for a moment and climb the observation hill. It allows for stunning views of the nature paradise Grünhaus that is managed by the NABU (German environmental organisation) foundation for national natural heritage. The NABU foundation has purchased huge areas of this landscape. The former surface mining sites are still home to more than 3,000 animal and plant species, including rather spectacular ones such as hoopoes, cranes and sea eagles. The path will now take you to the country road no. 60 and then north towards Lichterfeld. About half-way, you will gross the so-called conductor canal, which is a non-navigable canal. The village Lichterfeld soon comes back into view. You can now choose to turn right towards the F60, or go directly to the wide sandy beach on the shore of Bergheider See to take a relaxing break.

You continue by going to Klingmühl, which is located about 3 kilometres to the north-east. Planning provided for this village to also be demolished in the early 1990s, and most residents had already left. Only the Griebner family who were the landlords of the inn and a few others remained. However, the mine was closed down and Klingmühl escaped demolition. It is now a thriving village once again. In Griebners restaurant you will go on a journey across time, back to the pub culture of the GDR.

Detour: A detour to the castle grounds in Sallgast is very worthwhile. You will reach the little castle by cycling across the forest from Klingmühl for about 15 to 20 minutes. Sophisticated regional cuisine is served at the Hotel in the castle grounds in Sallgast. Luckily, the village and castle of Sallgast also escaped being demolished to allow for surface mining activities.

Possible combinations: Long Distance Cycle Route no. 6, Prince Pueckler Cycle Path and Lignite, Wind and Water Tour

Trail conditions/surface: unpaved but very good gravel paths and quiet country roads

Maps/Literature: 

  • Pocket guide with tour description in PDF format, available for download from the website of the Energy Route of Industrial Culture in the Lausitz Region
  • Sängerstadt Finsterwalde - Doberlug-Kirchhain und Umgebung No. 62, 1:50 000, Sachsen Kartograhpie, Auflage: 2 (6/2011), ISBN-978-3-86843-062-2, Euro 5.50
  • Senftenberger See und Umgebung No. 55, 1:50 000, Sachsen Kartograhpie, Auflage: 4 (8/2014), ISBN-978-3-86843-055-4, Euro 4.90

Continue readingcollapse

Arrival planner

Bergheider Straße 4

03238 Lichterfeld

Weather Today, 24. 5.

15 22
Possible drizzle in the morning.

  • Wednesday
    11 22
  • Thursday
    12 21

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Tourist information

Tourismusverband Elbe-Elster-Land e.V.

Schlossplatz 1
03253 Doberlug-Kirchhain

Tel.: +49 (0) 35322-6888516
Fax: +49 (0) 35322-6888518

Weather Today, 24. 5.

15 22
Possible drizzle in the morning.

  • Wednesday
    11 22
  • Thursday
    12 21

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