Since I live in the Harz, I like exploring. I always lived in the Harz. And due to the rich history of the area, particularly in mining, there is a lot of old stuff to explore related to mining. Like the Oberharzer Wasserregal, that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Now, I’ve seen parts of this extensive water network consisting of artificial lakes, streams and channels, but I never really went anywhere just to explore this piece of history.
In the days when the Harz was still an area full of operational mines, the miners needed power for their equipment and lifts (also known as Fahrkunst). And that’s where the Oberharzer Wasseregal came into play.
The water was used to turn large water wheels and that motion was then used for equipment or converted to be used for the lifts I mentioned earlier. In some cases, the water was even used to create pressurized air for more modern tools.
To get the water from where it was to where it was needed, the miners build lakes, called Teiche in the Harz, to store water and channels to get it around.
It’s a magnificent system if you think about it. Lakes acting as ‘batteries’ storing power and channels and streams to acting as ‘power lines’ to get to the user, in the case of the Harz, to the mines.
This is just the beginning of my new ‘Exploring Heritage’ series, so stay tuned for more.
Do you have any historically interesting places near you? Which are your favourite? Tell me in the comments down below.