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(upper course: Ammer )
The Amper south of Fürstenfeldbruck

The Amper south of Fürstenfeldbruck

Water code EN : 164
location Bavaria , Germany
River system Danube
Drain over Isar  → Danube  → Black Sea
source South of Oberammergau in the Ammer Mountains
47 ° 34 ′ 12 ″  N , 11 ° 3 ′ 5 ″  E
Source height approx.  850  m above sea level NN
muzzle North-northeast of Moosburg in the Isar Coordinates: 48 ° 30 '1 "  N , 11 ° 57' 24"  E 48 ° 30 '1 "  N , 11 ° 57' 24"  E
Mouth height approx.  407  m above sea level NN
Height difference approx. 443 m
Bottom slope approx. 2.6 ‰
length 168 km
Discharge at the Inkofen
A Eo gauge : 3076 km²
Location: 11.9 km above the mouth
NNQ (09/22/1947)
MNQ 1926–2006
MQ 1926–2006
Mq 1926–2006
MHQ 1926–2006
HHQ (06/01/1940)
10.7 m³ / s
24.6 m³ / s
45 m³ / s
14.6 l / (s km²)
140 m³ / s
300 m³ / s
Flowing lakes Ammersee

The Amper is a river in the Bavarian Alpine foothills and, together with the Ammer, forms a continuous river system. The name Ammer refers to the upper reaches to the Ammersee , Amper the section from the lake outflow to the confluence with the Isar near Moosburg . The near-natural river system over large areas is the most important tributary of the Isar with 185 kilometers in length and an average discharge of 45 m³ / s before the Loisach . With its catchment area of ​​3100 km², the Amper drains an area of ​​the same size as the Isar above the mouth of the Amper. However, because the alpine part of it is smaller, the Amper of the Isar brings less water than its own upper course.

The largest tributaries are the Maisach , which flows to the left near Dachau , the Würm , which drains Lake Starnberg , to the right, and finally the Glonn , which again flows to the left and which rises southeast of Mittelstetten in the Fürstenfeldbruck district .


In 1243 the Ammersee was first referred to as the Amirsee and it was not until the 14th century that a distinction was made between the Ammer as a tributary to the Ammersee and the Amper.

The term amper can be derived from the Indo-European root * ombh-, * mbh- , which denotes water or a watercourse . The Celtic name * ambra was adopted by the Romans and has been attested as genitive Ambre and locative Ambrae since the 3rd century. According to another interpretation, Amper is related to the Breton and therefore Celtic word ampart . Accordingly, the river name would stand for the terms skillful , agile and strong .


Ammer and Amper as part of the
Isar river system
Confluence of a brook from the Großer Ammerquellen (back) and the Linder (right) to the Großer Ammer (left)
The Ammer Gorge from the Echelsbacher Bridge
The Amper near Moosburg

The Ammer, and thus also the Amper, drains part of the Ammer Mountains to the northeast to the Isar and thus to the Danube . Its two largest tributaries are the Glonn and the Würm . Over a distance of around 100 km, the Amper crosses four natural areas: the steep old and young moraines , the flat gravel plain and the Danube-Isar hill country .


The source area of ​​the Ammer is located in the Ammergau Alps at the exit of the Graswang valley between Graswang and Ettal . Some of the water flows down from a raised bog , and some of the spring pots in the valley floor are fed by the water of the Linder that emerges here on the border between Tyrol and Bavaria near the Ammersattel and for most of the year between Linderhof and Graswang seeps into the permeable, chalky subsoil.

The streams fed by the Großer Ammerquellen, located on both sides of the river bed of the Linder, flow into the mostly dry bed of the Linder and, at some times of the year, together with the Linder, which is still flowing here, form the Große Ammer. The Kleine Ammer springs, located on the north side of the Graswang Valley, feed the Kleine Ammer , which flows into the Große Ammer between Ettal and Oberammergau and forms the Ammer with it.


North of Unterammergau , the river leaves the Bavarian Alps after about 15 kilometers and then flows through the Ammer- Loisach hill country to the north. In this young moraine landscape, created from the deposits of the Isar-Loisach glacier during the Würm glaciation , the Ammer cuts up to 80 meters deep into the moraine and into the molasse underneath and forms the Ammerschlucht , also called Ammerleite. To the south of Hohenpeißenberg, the Ammer Gorge bends to the east. At Peißenberg the river leaves the gorge and turns back north. It flows through a long, wide valley until it flows into the Ammersee east of Dießen . A little before that, the Alte Ammer branches off to the left , which after a short run is taken up by the longer, but usually less watery Rott , which also flows into the Ammersee.


At Grafrath , the Amper valley first cuts through a terminal moraine landscape of the Isar-Loisach glacier from the Würm glacial period and then flows through the Munich gravel plain from Fürstenfeldbruck . To the northeast of Dachau it comes into the area of ​​the tertiary Danube-Isar hill country and finally flows into the Isar at Moosburg. Southwest of Moosburg, most of its water (30 m³ / s) is withdrawn from the Amper and fed to the Isar through a canal south of Moosburg. This water is used in the Uppenborn works on the Mittlere-Isar-Kanal to generate energy through another connecting channel . Immediately before it flows into the Isar, another part of the water is branched off and flows as the Klötzlmühlbach north of the Isar to Landshut.

The Ammer / Amper river system overcomes a total of 430 meters in altitude. The Ammer loses almost 200 meters in the 20 kilometer long gorge south of Peißenberg alone.

Hiking trail along the Amperschleife in Olching shortly before the confluence with the Amperkanal (Mühlbach)


The Amper flows into the Isar (right) near Volkmannsdorf
Left tributaries Right tributaries
  • Windach
  • Garnbach
  • Höllbach
  • Mutterbach
  • Maisach
  • Webelsbach
  • Prittlbach
  • Sietenbach
  • Lotzbach
  • Miltacher Bach
  • Biberbach
  • Rettenbach
  • Glonn
  • Aiterbach
  • Otterbach
  • Hirschbach
  • Lumbach
  • Hütgrabenbach
  • Siechenbach
  • Flitzinger Bach
  • Plornbach
  • Marchenbach
  • Ambacher Bach
  • Haselbach
  • Walled brook


“Hüttenbäder” in Fürstenfeldbruck around 1910

The Ammer and Amper were most likely used as a means of transport by the Celtic tribes who settled along the river since prehistoric times. When the Romans conquered what is now Upper Bavaria in the first century , they opened up the country with well-developed traffic routes. One of the most important military and trade routes, the Via Julia , connected Augusta Vindelicorum ( Augsburg ) with Juvavum ( Salzburg ). These roads were not only used by the military, but mainly by traders in order to be able to better transport the salt , which was so valuable at the time . In order to safely overcome the Amper, road stations were built at river crossings like natural fords. The trade traffic, which is easy to control as a result, enabled regular income through customs duties and thus gained additional importance. The medieval foundation of the city of Fürstenfeldbruck is also directly related to the construction of a bridge.

The Amper Canal (Mühlbach) in Olching

During the migration of peoples in the fifth century, Alemannic tribal associations penetrated into the area of ​​the Ammer / Amper. Although the Alemanni were subsequently pushed back by the Bavarian tribes, the course of the two rivers still forms the linguistic border between the Swabian and Bavarian dialects. During the Thirty Years War , a Swedish army moved three times (between 1632 and 1634) along the Amper to reach Augsburg and Munich.

The recurring floods repeatedly caused flooding in the neighboring cities and communities. In order to reduce the risk of flooding in some areas, the banks were secured with dykes and the river itself was partially canalized so that the river bed could deepen. The flood protection was additionally improved through further regulatory measures, such as the construction of weirs . In 1945, German soldiers blew up the Amper Bridge west of Inning, among other things . As a result, the French troops of General de Gaulle, feared by the population, remained in the western area of ​​the Ammersee and therefore the areas further east were conquered by the American soldiers. During the Whitsun flood of 1999, despite all the measures, some of the weirs were severely damaged.

Nature and environmental protection

Amper bei Olching, oil painting by Emmi Schmitt (born March 19, 1916 - † March 29, 2006)

Since the middle of the 19th century, the natural course of the Ammer and Amper has been greatly changed by flood protection and the construction of power plants - with far-reaching consequences for the native flora and fauna. The continuity of the running water is often disturbed by weirs, for example. This makes the migration and distribution of fish upstream and downstream difficult or even impossible. The dike in some areas also meant an interference with the ecological balance. The alluvial forests were shielded from the natural inflow of water by the dykes, so that the alluvial forest is only in remnants. In order to preserve the original river landscape, at least in parts, several nature reserves , such as the Amperauen nature reserve with Leitenwälder between Fürstenfeldbruck and Schöngeising , were designated. The estuary of the Ammer and the Ampermoos nature reserve north of the Ammersee are among the seven internationally important wetlands in Bavaria ( see also: Ramsar Convention ).

Flora and fauna



Since humans changed the river landscape significantly in the 19th century, this has also had an impact on the plant and animal species represented here. Dams at numerous weirs slowed the flow so much that the water became warmer. Fish species from the still water area have therefore displaced those that can only live in oxygen-rich and cooler water. Because the current is now weaker, the gravel banks are seldom rearranged so that they overgrow, which has driven away bird species that can only breed on open gravel surfaces.

Amperkanal (Mühlbach) in Olching

Nature reserves and fish passes at weirs are supposed to improve the living conditions of many animals and plants, some of which are rare. Studies have shown that in the decline of the grayling stocks on the Ammer also grown population of the Goosander effect. This endangered duck bird specializes in hunting small fish. This shows how difficult it is to restore an old ecological balance once it has been permanently disturbed.

The river system of Ammer and Amper can be divided into three river regions , the trout region , the grayling region and the barbel region .

The bunting is divided into a trout and grayling region. Especially in the oxygen-rich and cooler upper course of the river to the end of the Ammer Gorge southwest of Peißenberg, the main fish of the trout region occurs, the brown trout . The further course up to the mouth of the Ammer in the Ammersee is part of the grayling region. The Amper, in turn, counts all the way to the barbel region; brown trout, roach , pike and also naturalized eels live here . In addition to these typical fish for the fish region, the Amper also contains rare fish such as barbels and noses .

The bunting is also a habitat for the kingfisher

The river landscape provides a habitat for many rare bird species, including dipper , kingfisher and curlew . The fact that the black stork occurs along the Ammer is something special. Which also considered endangered applicable Sandpiper nest well camouflaged amid the rubble of the gravel banks where those seeking relaxation they usually do not even notice. The visitors can therefore unknowingly disturb these birds so much during the breeding that they fail to succeed.

In the bank area as well as on the gravel banks, there are common toads and sand lizards as well as blindworms . Are out of snakes vipers also ringed and smooth snakes represented. The large grass snake occurrence in the Amperauen nature reserve south of Fürstenfeldbruck is remarkable . In this section of the Amper near Schöngeising and the Zellhof and also below Dachau, mainly near Haimhausen, several beaver populations have settled in recent years .

Particularly in the upper, but partly also in the middle section of the river, the river repeatedly backs up open gravel surfaces through erosion and sedimentation . This is when pioneering plants settle in, which can cope well with the initially difficult conditions. These include alpine toadflax , yellow-flowered hawkweed and the rare German tamarisk . If high water does not remove the gravel bank again, then after a few years white silver arum , juniper and finally even various types of willow grow here .

In the last remaining alluvial forests there are gray alder forests and in the lower reaches of the Amper also bird cherry, alder and ash forests . A number of moors have developed along the Ammer , which are known for their colorful world of flowers, for example the Ettaler Weidmoos south of Oberammergau.

Endangered species

In the Amperauen habitat there are u. a. also the following very endangered species:

  • Mammals: beaver, swamp shrew, water shrew
  • Birds: Little Grebe, Little Bittern, Water Rail, Kingfisher, Dipper, Golden Oriole, Marsh Harrier
  • Reptiles: grass snake, europ. Pond turtle
  • Amphibians: water frog, tree frog, even freshwater jellyfish
  • Fish: brown trout, grayling, hazel, nerfling, nose, barbel, bitterling, gudgeon, tailor, rod, head, mud whip
  • Butterflies: Large Schiller Butterfly, Small Kingfisher, Dark Blue Moor, Purple Silver Butterfly
  • Dragonflies: Small pincer dragonfly, common wedge damsel, banded darter dragonfly
  • Locusts: marsh insects, wart-bites
  • Vascular plants: Orchids, such as various orchids (picture), creeping pine fronds, colored pondweed, cutting edge, marsh victoria, Siberian iris, swamp-leaf pea, Charles scepter, tall violet, gentian, common meadow rue, common rue, frog-tailed pea grass , Roller sedge, Charles scepter.



Amperbrücke near Esting

The Amper is only navigable in part and is of no importance for inland navigation .

From 1880 to 1939 a regular steamboat connection operated between Stegen am Ammersee and Grafrath , which was mainly used by excursionists from Munich. These took the train to Grafrath and walked about 1.5 km from the train station to the landing stage. There they boarded the boat to Stegen, where they could change to Ammersee steamboats.

After the opening of the railway line between Munich and Herrsching , the number of passengers on the water sank so much that the cost of keeping the amp section navigable made operation uneconomical; the ship connection from Grafrath to Stegen had to be stopped. The beginning of the Second World War brought the ultimate end to shipping on the Amper.

The "Maria Therese" was the first steamship that opened the Amper shipping line between Inning and Grafrath on May 10, 1880. It was popularly known as the "Mooskuh" because the entire route between Grafrath and the Ammersee ran through the Ampermoos and its signal sounded like the bittern's call .

In the past, wood was rafted on the river , mainly from the Ammer Mountains. This is indicated by names such as Trifthof for an industrial park in Weilheim . This Trifthof was built in 1611. In order to bring the tree trunks further across the Ammersee to Dachau, they were connected to form drift rafts. There was also a Trifthof in Dachau.

Private hydropower plant in Olching

Power generation

The first hydropower plant in Germany near Schöngeising

Two hydropower plants are of historical importance . As early as 1891/92, the first hydropower plant in Bavaria was built by Oskar von Miller in Schöngeising . The world's first rail power station for single-phase alternating current , the Kammerl power station , went into operation a few years later around 1898 west of Saulgrub in the Ammertal valley. It served to supply the 23-kilometer-long line between Murnau and Oberammergau belonging to the Lokalbahn Aktien-Gesellschaft , which began the first scheduled electric train service in 1905. The Amperwerke was founded in 1908 in order to systematically use the water power on the Amper. A number of other run-of-river power plants along the river system with regional economic importance were built, mostly up to the First World War. These are works u. a. in Unterbruck near Fürstenfeldbruck (1892) , Olching, Dachau, Hebertshausen, Volkmannsdorf near Allershausen or Kranzberg (1911). Hydropower plants need a consistently high water level so that energy generation does not come to a standstill in months with little rainfall. This was ensured through the construction of some smaller canals, weirs and a reservoir near Fürstenfeldbruck. At Zolling, Amper supplies the Zolling power plant with cooling water via a canal . The Haag hydropower plant is located on the same canal . Today the waterworks are also used in terms of their fish passage, z. B. by fish ladders, judged.

The Schleierfalls in the Ammerleite nature reserve


In addition to a number of cities along the Ammer and Amper rivers such as Weilheim, Fürstenfeldbruck, Dachau and Moosburg, the Ammersee is particularly important for tourism. Along the Ammer, the Schleier waterfalls south of Bad Bayersoien and the Echelsbacher Bridge are the most important sights. Long stretches of the river are lined with cycle paths that allow tours from the Alps to the mouth of the Amper at Moosburg an der Isar. Driving on the Ammer and Amper with canoes or similarly manoeuvrable boats is possible over almost the entire route, but not allowed all year round. Boating is only permitted on the Ammer between December 1st and April 30th if the discharge is at least 6 cubic meters / second. During the bird breeding season (March 1 to July 15), driving on the Amper from Stegen to Grafrath and between Schöngeising and Fürstenfeldbruck is prohibited. The city of Fürstenfeldbruck has designated a number of official bathing opportunities along the Amper.

Cities at Ammer and Amper


  • Franz X. Bogner: Ammer and Amper from the air: portrait of a river landscape. Bayerland-Verlag, Dachau 2009. ISBN 978-3-89251-402-2 .
  • Norbert Göttler: To Ammer and Amper - A cultural and historical hike. 3. Edition. Bayerland-Verlag, Dachau 2004, ISBN 3-89251-060-1
  • Martin Siepmann, Brigitta Siepmann: Werdenfelser Land and Upper Ammertal. Bayerland-Verlag, Dachau 1995, ISBN 3-89251-213-2

Individual evidence

  1. a b Topographic map 1: 25,000
  2. ^ Deutsches Gewässerkundliches Jahrbuch Danube region 2006 Bavarian State Office for the Environment, p. 202, accessed on October 4, 2017, at: (PDF, German, 24.2 MB).
  3. ^ Community Haimhausen in the district of Dachau - Amperauen habitat. Accessed January 1, 2020 .
  4. a b c rafting and wood drift. In: Georg Paula , Stefanie Berg-Hobohm : District Weilheim-Schongau . (=  Monuments in Bavaria ) Volume 1, Lipp, Munich 2003, p. 23.
  5. Level of the Ammer in Peissenberg at
  6. Info page of the Fürstenfeldbruck District Office ( Memento from May 24, 2014 in the Internet Archive )

Web links

Wiktionary: Amper  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Amper  - collection of images, videos and audio files


This article was added to the list of excellent articles on May 13, 2005 in this version .