Annaburg Heath

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Annaburg Heath
Systematics according to Natural areas and natural area potentials of the Free State of Saxony
Natural region Saxon-Lower Lusatian heathland
Macro geochore Elbe-Elster lowlands
Mesogeochore Annaburg Heath
Geographical location
Coordinates 51 ° 39 ′ 0 ″  N , 13 ° 2 ′ 0 ″  E Coordinates: 51 ° 39 ′ 0 ″  N , 13 ° 2 ′ 0 ″  E
Annaburg Heath (Saxony)
Annaburg Heath
Location Annaburger Heide
state Saxony , Brandenburg , Saxony-Anhalt
Country Germany

The Annaburger Heide (formerly also Annaburgische Heide , before 1573 Lochauer or Lochauische Heide ) located in the Elbe-Elster area is a forest area that spans the current state borders of Saxony , Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt , which was used in particular for forestry and hunting purposes. Large parts of the area are called today training area of the Bundeswehr used. The main town of the heath is the small town of Annaburg . There was also the seat of the electoral forest and game master responsible for the heath. The heath was largely owned by the respective elector or king of Saxony.

Natural space

The natural area of Annaburger Heide, which is delimited according to physiogeographical aspects, is much more extensive than the "Heide" in the common sense, i.e. H. the wooded area. It is a sub-area of ​​the Elsterwerda-Herzberger Elsterniederung in the course of the Cold Age Lausitz glacial valley , which is characterized by an accumulation of mostly forested dune complexes. Although it is a lowland area in total, the relative height differences here reach up to 26 m at an altitude between 75 and 102 m above sea level , in contrast to the Torgau Elbe meadows located to the south-west, about three to five meters lower . NN. Only a few kilometers north-west of the heather the heights are equal, and the recent Elbe valley merges with the glacial valley.

The classification of natural areas in Saxony classifies the part located on Saxon territory as meso geochore "Annaburger Heiden" within the macrogeochore Elbe-Elster-Niederung . A distinction is made between the sub-areas (microgeochores) Blumberger valley sand level, valley sand dune plate, Zwethauer forest, Arzberger valley sand dune plate, Döbrichauer valley sand channel level, Züllsdorf valley sand dune plate and Züllsdorf valley sand channel level. A similar subdivision also exists for the Brandenburg part. The landscape structure of Saxony-Anhalt, on the other hand, dispenses with detailed subdivisions and shows a landscape unit “Annaburger Heide and Schwarze-Elster Valley” under the collective name “Landscapes on the southern edge of the lowlands”.

Characteristic soils are the large areas of sand and clay gleye . The dunes are covered with sand tendrils or poorly developed sand brown soils . The highest elevations are the Hirschkopf (102 meters) near Dautschen, the Dornberg (102 meters) near Züllsdorf , the White Mountains (94 meters) near Rosenfeld , the Bienenberge (94 meters) near the Züllsdorfer Pechhütte and the beautiful view (85 Meters) near Annaburg. In the nineteenth century, numerous renovation works were carried out to drain the heather. A total of 7,300 hectares were reclaimed. Among other things, the Swan Lake was completely drained.

Protected areas

FFH area Annaburger Heide (Saxony-Anhalt)

There are several protected areas in the Annaburg Heath. Near Annaburg in Saxony-Anhalt, large parts of the Annaburger Heide (especially the local practice area) are continuously designated as the European Annaburger Heide bird sanctuary ( CDDA no. 4244-401). There are two FFH areas on Annaburger Heide , each with several sub-areas, in Saxony-Anhalt (CDDA no. 4344-302) and in Brandenburg (CDDA no. 4344-303).

In the district of Wittenberg (Saxony-Anhalt), on the eastern edge of the Annaburg Heath, lies the Alte Elster and Rohrbornwiesen nature reserve . In the district of Meißen (Saxony), in the southeast of the Annaburger Heide, there is the nature reserve Gohrischheide and Elbniederterrasse Zeithain . The Thiergarten Annaburg landscape protection area, south of Annaburg town center at Annaburg Castle , also belongs to the heath .

Flora and fauna

Since the Annaburg Heath is largely designated as a restricted area, nature can develop largely undisturbed. Extensive pine but also mixed forests with oak trees that are several hundred years old are characteristic here. The Heath offers among other habitat for deer , roe deer , wild boar , grouse , mouflon , adder , grass snake and also the beaver . Wolf sightings have also been reported increasingly since 2010.


At the beginning of November 1422, Elector Albrecht III stayed overnight . von Sachsen-Wittenberg during the hunt with his wife in a farmhouse in the Lochauer Heide. But suddenly a fire broke out, which took hold of the entire house. The flames had come so close that he and his wife were only able to save themselves through a window in their nightgown. Several of his servants died in the fire. The elector was shocked by this event and died a few days later in Wittenberg.

On April 24, 1547, the Elector Johann Friedrich von Sachsen was captured in the Lochauer Heide after the battle of Mühlberg .

On December 18, 1749, a large electoral sow or pig hunt took place in the Annaburger Heide, especially in the Naundorf district, during which the elector and elector with their wives as well as Prince Xaver and Prince Carl shot a total of 859 game.

The Duke Charles of Kurland was repeatedly to deer hunting in the Annaburger Heide, so in September 1771 in August and September 1772 and in August 1775. In March 1776, he visited here Auerhahnbalz. In November 1771, the duke had a so-called pig strip carried out in the forests of the offices of Annaburg, Schweinitz and Seyda. During the electoral stag hunt from August 18 to 21, 1777, 10 stags and 4 deer were shot. The twelve-fender he shot was sent to Duke Karl von Kurland to Elsterwerda .

Until the mid-1950s, the village of Zschernick was located in the core area of ​​the Annaburg Heath . The residents of this village were expropriated because the newly founded NVA used the entire area of ​​the Annaburg Heath as a training ground. Former residents of Zschernick still live in Mahdel , the former neighboring village.

Annaburg Heath

Military use

In 1953, the construction of a commandant's office for a planned military training area in the Annaburg Heath began in the former resettlement camp in Züllsdorf . In the same year the first artillery firing took place and the construction of a troop camp within the heath began. From 1954 the square was in constant military use. In this and the following years, the Mollgraben and Rosenfeld troop camps were expanded and expanded. In 1957, work began on the construction of the first tank firing range, which was opened for use in 1958. A second tank firing range was completed by 1962. The military training area with its facilities was constantly expanded and expanded, the technical systems on the shooting ranges and areas, as well as the created military camps and accommodations were modernized. There was a separate rail connection with a loading ramp on the square. This was connected to the Roßlau - Lutherstadt Wittenberg-Falkenberg / Elster railway line via the Mollgraben junction. In 1979 it was awarded the title “Military Training Area of ​​Excellent Quality”, and in 1981 the course was named “Best Military Training Area of the LaSK” . During the period of intensive use, several larger exercises and teaching presentations were carried out by land and air forces of the National People's Army and countries of the Warsaw Pact . Army General Heinz Hoffmann and General Sergei Matwejewitsch Schtemenko were among the high-ranking guests in the Annaburger Heide. The first commander of the training area was Lieutenant Hohlfeld in 1953 . With the conversion to a training area in 1994 was Captain Meckert the last commander of a military training area in the Annaburger Heide. Today the Bundeswehr uses the area with a total of three shooting lanes mainly for training purposes for shooting with handguns for units of the Holzdorf airfield . Prospective NCOs from the Army NCO School in Delitzsch are also trained here. The Rosenfeld troop camp is used for several days of training . In the vicinity of the Zschernick , a load shedding zone has been set up, in which aircraft crews can in future practice the targeted dropping of loads from the air.

Legends and sagas

The dead fisherman

Cross dead fisherman

According to legend, a fisherman is said to have walked the road between Annaburg and Arnsnesta often. One day this fisherman was found dead on the road. It could never be determined whether the fisherman died a violent or natural death. However, as a result of superstition, everyone who passed the place put some twigs or branches there to honor the dead and to please the spirits of the forest for themselves. Since the laying down of such branches assumed excessive conditions and even the road was occasionally blocked by the discarded branches, the then forester Schmidt from Meuselko erected a wooden cross at the place to give the deceased an appropriate memorial. Before the renewal of the cross, a boat was carved on it.

The forester's cross

Forester's Cross
Tombstone forester Martin Rohrwacher in the Annaburg Museum

About 7 kilometers from Annaburg on the road to Züllsdorf there is a 1.70 meter high wooden cross. Before it was renewed, it bore the inscription Anno 1659. In front of this cross was an approximately 1.60 × 1.15 meter large sandstone, which once served as a tombstone in the Annaburg cemetery as a tomb. The inscription on the stone, which can hardly be seen today, explains the location of the cross. The then forest and game master Martin Rohrwacher was called to a forest fire in the Annaburg Heath. The flames of the fire surrounded him and, because of his bulk, it was probably impossible for him to escape the fire. The sandstone is now in the office building in Annaburg . His inscription reads: “ All here rests gently in God of Eldle, well-honored festivals and honorable Mr. Martin Rohrwacher, Elector Highness of Saxony over their offices Annaburg, Schweinitz, Seida and Schlieben in the 30 years ago well-deserved forest and game master. “This is followed by lists of origin, marriage, children and the cause of death.

The silver dam

The Silberdamm is located about 5 kilometers from Annaburg on the Annaburg - Fermerswalde railway line. At this point, on April 24, 1547 after the Battle of Mühlberg, the chariots of Elector Johann Friedrich von Sachsen are said to have fallen into the hands of the troops of Emperor Charles V. These were laden with valuable silver items and coins.

To the dead man

dead man

On a wooden cross near the embankment on Herzberger Straße there is a wooden cross about 1 meter high with the inscription Toter Mann . According to legend, a man was killed at this point. However, the circumstances of his death could never be determined. However, since a robbery was assumed, the following slogan prevailed in the surrounding towns in memory of this event: "For seventeen pfennigs and a little bread you beat a person to death here". In earlier times, green tree branches were also placed on this cross by passers-by to honor the dead.

The French grave

French grave

After the Battle of Dennewitz on September 6, 1813, Michel Ney's troops , who were pursued by Prussian and Russian troops as far as Torgau, also fled through the Annaburg Heath. Decades later, when a hollow oak tree was felled, a skeleton was found still in a French uniform. On the road from Zwethau to Züllsdorf , a tomb with the inscription "Franzosengrab 1813 - 1913" commemorates this event.


  • Karl Mannsfeld, Ralf-Uwe Syrbe (Hrsg.): Natural spaces in Saxony. with map supplement "Natural Spatial Structure of Saxony". German Academy for Regional Studies, Leipzig 2008, ISBN 978-3-88143-078-4 . (Research on German regional studies, Volume 257)

Individual evidence

  1. Nature conservation and forestry on military training areas in Germany, accessed on December 11, 2013
  2. ^ "The landscape structure of Saxony-Anhalt" (PDF; 2.7 MB)
  3. Landscape profile 88101 Annaburger Heide. ( Memento of March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) on the website of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.
  4. Wolf sighted in Annaburger Heide. on: , March 12, 2011.
  5. Otto Heintze, E. Grundler: The Annaburger Heide. 1938, p. 25.
  6. Otto Heintze, E. Grundler: The Annaburger Heide. 1938, p. 27.
  7. Otto Heintze, E. Grundler: The Annaburger Heide. 1938, p. 29.
  8. Otto Heintze, E. Grundler: The Annaburger Heide. 1938, p. 31.
  9. Otto Heintze, E. Grundler: The Annaburger Heide. 1938, p. 40.

Web links

Commons : Annaburger Heide  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Annaburger Heide  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations