The German Sluice Route, also known as Weser Marshes Route or Deutsche Sielroute in German, is a bicycle route stretching around 200km along canal towns, the Weser river, and the North Sea in the Wesermarsch district.
Dykes are a major focal point here, and by simply following the blue/green swiped signs you’ll have quite an awesome trip.
The Start of the German Sluice Route
Since the Sielroute is a circular route, you got to start somewhere; and Lemwerder is a great place to do that!
Since the Sluice Route is all about the dykes the Chapel at the Dyke starts your trip off just right. While the chapel might be the oldest building in Lemwerder, the Black Lighthouse is the town’s landmark. And its Ochtumsperrwerk is what you’ll want to see too. By the way, on the third weekend in August is the Drachenfest (Dragon Festival). Hope you can make it!
Elsfleth is the next small town. Visit the Denkmal des Schwarzen Herzogs (Monument to the Black Duke), the early 16th century St. Nicolai Church, and the Grand Duchess Elisabeth (a beautiful floating school for sailors).
After leaving Elsfleth ride over to Brake. This is where the Weser Cycle Track meets up with you on the Sluice Route. While the telegraph tower is its landmark, a visit to the Shipping Museum is more educational.
Your next stop is pretty awesome. Rodenkirchen, part of the town of Stadland, is quite small, having only about 4,000 residents. But, it has a replica of a Bronze Age house known as the Hanenknoop and the late 12th century church of St. Matthaus. Try to coordinate a visit to arrive on a Thursday for Rodenkirchen’s weekly market.
Wait! Don’t leave the German Sluice Route on the ferry — you have more to see, like the village of Blexen (which is part of Nordenham). Blexen is one of those places where you’ll see sheep grazing on open fields. You also have the Blexer Dyke to see and the St. Hippolyt Pilgrimage Church.
If you took that Bremerhaven ferry you’ll miss Butjadingen, too. Most visitors to Butjadingen come to swim in the bathing lagoon, where you’re protected from the waves of the North Sea. Plus, it does have a gorgeous church (St. Petri) that was originally built in the 14th century, but what you’ll see now was only built in the 19th century.
Tossens, a district of Butjadingen, is great for at least a day of a splashing good time at the Aquafun waterpark. It also has a lovely 14th century church, too.
In nearby Jaderberg, a district of the town of Jade, is the third largest game park in Germany, the Jaderpark, receiving more than three million visitors annually.
If they missed Ovelgönne it would be their loss. Good thing you’ll get to see it on the German Sluice Route. Aren’t you glad you didn’t jump on the ferry?
While in Ovelgönne head to Großenmeer which has a Jewish Cemetery, a craft museum, and a horse market. A horse market? Yes, for the last 380 years Großenmeer horses have taken center stage on the 1st weekend of September.
Then on to Berne, would you believe you’re done already? I know, it’s bittersweet when you get to the end. So take your time in Berne for its St. Marien Church (built 1350), St. Aegidius Church (built 1240), and the Urban History Museum.
Conclusion? Along the way you’ve rode past fantastic moorlands, meadows, pastures, prehistoric finds, museums, dykes, and churches. Aren’t you glad that you decided to follow the German Sluice Route rather than taking the ferry over to Bremerhaven? ;-)
German Sluice Route Web Site
Here’s the Web site about the German Sluice Route, although you certainly got more info about it here at MyGermanCity.com…