Blauer See

Blue Lake

Useful Information

map of the area.
Location: Garkenholz Quarry. Near Rübeland, 14 km south of Wernigerode. From Wernigerode F244 to Elbingerode, turn left, F27 to Rübeland, through the village, turn right towards Hüttenrode.
Open: no restrictions [2003]
Fee: free [2003]
Classification: KarstKarst Lake, artificial
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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the lake from the southern end.

The Blue Lake is a small lake of extremely deep blue colour. Although it looks like any other lake - despite the colour - it is artificial. The open pit quarrying of limestone in this area a huge pit with various levels and piles of overburden. The lowest mining level was flooded by the ground water after the quarry was abandoned. This water from the karst body, and probably also surface water which seeps through the overburden of the quarrying, is extremely rich in dissolved limestone and thus glows in this extreme blue colour. The principle is rather simple: the water filters all colours of the white sunlight except the blue wavelengths, which are reflected by the ground.

Today this lake is a famous tourist spot. It is best visited during sunny weather, as the blue colour is much less impressive in bad weather. The road leads up a little valley from Rübeland to Hüttenrode, to the left is a sign "Blauer See" and the gate to a huge parking lot. During summer there is a kiosk selling beverages and fast food. Now the visitor has to walk down to the lake.

There is a trail around the lake. If you start at the upper end of the parking a narrow trail leads through bushes and over piles of overburden. You will reach the lake at the side where the cliffs are highest. Following the trail you circle the lake counter clockwise and finally reach the water at the far end. On the other side a gravel single-lane-road leads up to the parking again. If you want to minimize the distance of the walk, use this road for downhill too.

Blauer See Gallery