An overview of the cycle tours to industrial culture in Saale-Unstrut
Saale-Unstrut: that's not just wine, the Middle Ages, the spa industry and a landscape with Tuscan flair. With its impressive relics, the region also opens up various chapters of Central German industrial culture. This can be combined with exciting cycle tours of industrial culture. Here are some tips, whether you want to start cycling in spring or enjoy the golden autumn. This is sure to delight the whole family.
The Salt Road Cycle Route: From Opencast Mine to Opencast Mine
Do you know Germany's largest artificial lake with marinas, beaches and a circular cycle route? The Geiseltalsee is the starting point of a 43-kilometre cycle tour of industrial culture. This takes you from Mücheln via Merseburg on towards Wallendorf (Luppe) on the so-called Salt Road Cycle Route.
The Geiseltalsee - highlight or starting point of the tour
Industrialisation has changed many things in people's lives. Structural change means the end for many industrial companies. Entire regions are looking for a new identity and a different future. What remains is a rich industrial cultural heritage.
For centuries, lignite mining shaped the lives of the people in the Geiseltal valley west of the Saale city of Merseburg. The era ended in 1993 and the Geiseltalsee was created by flooding the open-cast mine. In Saale-Unstrut, the Geiseltalsee has successfully transformed lignite mining into a recreational area.
What it all means and what exciting information about the stories is hidden here, we have compiled for you in more detail in another article.
If you would like comprehensive information about the lake landscape in Saale-Unstrut, we recommend our lake guide "Auszeit am Wasser - Wegweiser zu Geiseltalsee & Co." (Time out by the water - guide to Geiseltalsee & Co.) You can download it and start browsing directly or order the print version to take home.
1st excursion tip: Pfännerhall central workshop in Braunsbedra
Pfännerhall central workshop in Braunsbedra: where mining equipment was once repaired, visitors now learn interesting facts about lignite mining and the archaeology of the region. Besides the technical exhibits, the life-size colossus of an old elephant that used to live here (replica) and the replica of the skeleton of the so-called Geiseltal primeval horse found in the Geiseltal valley are particularly fascinating.
2nd excursion tip: German Chemistry Museum in Merseburg
The technology park, unique in Europe, displays 300 exhibits from the chemical industry, including a historic ammonia synthesis chamber. Between the world wars, Central Germany was home to the most modern chemical plants in the world at the time.
Tips for families
Families will be interested in the various action bounds that make it possible to explore the grounds in an entertaining way and are dedicated to different topics. There is also a game about the elements of the periodic table.
If you would like to get in the mood for a visit or if you are a chemistry fan, we recommend the three-part podcast "Erlebniswelt Chemie". It was produced together with students of cultural and media education at Merseburg University of Applied Sciences.
3. excursion tip: Wallemdorfer and Rassnitz lakes
East of Merseburg is another worthwhile destination on the cycle tour before returning to Merseburg. Two flooded residual holes of the Merseburg Ost open-cast mine now form the Wallendorf and Raßnitz lakes. From the lookout tower at Raßnitz Lake you can enjoy a dreamlike view of the young natural paradise. Romantic bays at the lakes invite you to picnic.
The Recarbo Coal Cycle Route: Even More Relics from the Lignite Era
Along with the Geiseltal, the Zeitz-Weißenfels lignite mining district was an important energy supplier in Central Germany. The Recarbo Coal Cycle Route from Zeitz to Hohenmölsen is a 19-kilometre cycle tour of industrial culture. A landscape shaped by mining leads cyclists to industrial monuments and places of remembrance.
1st excursion tip: Herrmannschacht briquette factory museum
At the Herrmannschacht briquette factory in Zeitz, everything revolves around coal: from its creation and refinement to its consumption. The briquette factory is an impressive testimony to industrial culture in Saale-Unstrut and closely linked to the region's mining history. On the grounds of the Herrmann shaft, the various areas convey all the components of coal mining.
Please note the restricted opening hours.
Mining Museum Deuben
The mining museum in Deuben provides exciting insights into lignite mining below and above ground as well as the refinement of the raw material. The mining museum is open by appointment. A faithfully reproduced, walk-through underground mining gallery in the basement of the museum is very impressive.
3. excursion tip: Mondsee and Wandelgänge
Recreation and bathing fun await you at the former open-cast lignite mine, which has coined the name Mondsee since it was flooded. Not far from the lake, walkways of hornbeam hedges recall the 15 villages that had to consecrate themselves to the open-cast mine.
4. excursion tip: Profen open-cast mine
MIBRAG has set up a lookout point near Profen. It can be reached by bicycle from Mondsee in about 15 minutes. The lookout point provides an overview of the mining activities. Information boards explain geological aspects, further mining and recultivation measures that have already begun.
On the trail of salt - the Saale-Unstrut-Elster Cycle Eight between Bad Kösen and Bad Sulza
Not only brown coal, but also salt used to determine the lives and work of the people in Saale-Unstrut. The mighty graduation towers in Bad Kösen and Bad Sulza tell of this. One of our cycle tours to industrial culture connects the two industrial monuments on the Saale-Unstrut-Elster Rad-Acht .
1st excursion tip: Bad Kösen graduation house and saline installations
The graduation house in Bad Kösen is enthroned above the town on the rocky slope and is visible from afar. It was built in the 18th century. It was originally built to extract salt, but the health-promoting effects of the brine were soon recognised. The historic salt works, which transport the brine to the graduation house, are still in operation today - and this is a special feature. On the way up to the graduation house you are accompanied by the creaking and crunching of the rods.
After Bad Kösen, the tour leads along the Saale below the famous Rudelsburg to Kaatschen. Here it is worth stopping at the restaurant of the Zahn winery directly on the Saale.
2nd excursion tip: Bad Sulza graduation house with atomiser hall
In Bad Sulza, the historic graduation house dates back to 1754 and also allows you to breathe brine-laden air. The fine brine mist in the adjoining atomiser hall, which is unique to Bad Sulza, is particularly well absorbed by the lungs. People with hay fever and asthma in particular are said to benefit from this.
3. excursion tip: Tourist information and Toskana Therme Bad Sulza
Visit the modern tourist information centre in the historic building of the inhalatorium. Here visitors can sample wines from a vending machine and purchase regional brine products such as brine sweets and brine jam. At the end of the tour, cyclists can relax in the Toskana Therme Bad Sulza, an extensive bathing and sauna landscape.
Days of Industrial Culture in Saale-Unstrut
Cycling tours to industrial culture in Saale-Unstrut are particularly worthwhile to the experience mines around industrial culture. Some of the museums and former industrial sites described above take part in the action days and usually come up with something special for their guests. It's best to make a note of the months of April and September in your calendar and find out more about the action days.
Industrial Culture Day Culture
The Leipzig Industrial Culture Day takes place annually in September. Due to the proximity to Saale-Unstrut, some of the museums, especially around Zeitz, use this date and open their doors. Make a note of it and, of course, come and see us.
Industrial Culture Day Saxony-Anhalt
The Mitteldeutsche Gesellschaft für Industriekultur e.V. (Central German Society for Industrial Culture) has created its own website on industrial tourism in Saxony-Anhalt and has organised an Industrial Culture Day 13 times so far. In the past, this has always taken place in April. You can find out when the next event is planned at