Industrial culture COAL | STEAM | LIGHT | LAKES

Radfahrer vor Ferropolis
© Thomas Klitzsch - Stadt Gräfenhainichen

Bitterfelder Bogen
© Uwe Hippe - Landkreis Anhalt-Bitterfeld

Industrie- und Filmmuseum Wolfen
© Christoph Petras - WelterbeRegion Anhalt-Dessau-Wittenberg

© Annett Freudenreich - Landkreis Anhalt-Bitterfeld

Kraftwerk Vockerode
© Kirsch - WelterbeRegion Anhalt-Dessau-Wittenberg

Like a string of pearls, the milestones of industrial history in the once prominent industrial belt of Central Germany lie between Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Dessau, and Bitterfeld.

The extensive lignite deposits of the region stimulated several unique developments of the 20th century. Hugo Junkers, for example, rang in the age of civil aviation by using light metal from Bitterfeld, and the nitrogen fertilizer from Piesteritz became the bedrock of modern agriculture. The world’s first color film was developed in Wolfen, and the Bauhaus in Dessau is considered to be the forerunner of Classicist modernism. The Zschornewitz power plant once was the largest steam power plant of the world, powering even the city of Berlin.

Right where large-sized mining equipment dug the earth until the end of the last century, wonderful recreation and leisure centers have evolved. The region’s numerous post-mining lakes offer opportunities for swimming trips, to discover nature, or for water sports.

Time for a discovery trip dedicated to coal, steam, light, and lakes.

Further information & contact

WelterbeRegion Anhalt-Dessau-Wittenberg e.V.
Neustraße 13
06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Tel.  03491 - 402610
Fax. 03491 - 405857



On 160 kilometers, well signposted, the biggest structural change of German economy becomes tangible. The stops along the route, either right alongside the cycle path or within reach by a short detour, provide interesting insights into the history and present of this versatile region. All stops may also be conveniently reached by car.

Numerous former lignite plants and works housing estates beckon a visit, the sight of abandoned large-sized mining equipment astonishes many a visitor, and the great diversity of animal and plant life around the countless post-mining lakes awaits discovery. The route is especially suitable for day trips with children and teenagers. Playgrounds, educational stations – partly with multi-media exhibitions -, nature trails, excursions, and water sports activities offer opportunities for breaks along the lakes.


Tourenheft (pdf, 5.91 MB)
GPS-Track (gpx, 625 KB)
Servicestellen (pdf, 44 KB)


Detailed maps and further information under:




Places with an industrial past