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Reservoir of the Biggetalsperre
Reservoir of the Biggetalsperre
Location: Sauerland , Olpe District , North Rhine-Westphalia ( Germany )
Tributaries: Bigge , Lister
Drain: Bigge (channeled)
Major cities nearby: Attendorn , Olpe
Biggesee (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Coordinates 51 ° 6 '37 "  N , 7 ° 53' 45"  E Coordinates: 51 ° 6 '37 "  N , 7 ° 53' 45"  E
Data on the structure
Construction time: 1956 / 57-1965
Height above valley floor: 52 m
Height above foundation level : 52 m
Height of the structure crown: 310.5  m above sea level NHN
Building volume: 1,900,000 m³
Crown length: 640 m
Crown width: 10 m
Base width: 220 m
Slope slope on the air side : 1: 1.70 / 1: 2.00
Slope slope on the water side : 1: 1.75
Power plant output: 17.6 MW
Data on the reservoir
Altitude (at congestion destination ) 307.5  m above sea level NHN
Water surface 876 hadep1
Total storage space : 171.7 million m³
Catchment area 287 km²
Design flood : 347 m³ / s
Winter at the Biggesee

The Biggesee (also Biggetalsperre ) is an 8.76 km² reservoir in the Olpe district in North Rhine-Westphalia ( Germany ). With the Lister Reservoir, which serves as a preliminary basin, it has a volume of no more than 171.7 million m 3 . This makes it one of the largest reservoirs in Germany.

The Biggesee, the dam of which was built between 1956 and 1965, is used to regulate the Bigge , Lenne and Ruhr as well as the water supply for the Ruhr area, among others .

Geographical location

The Biggesee is located in the southern part of the Sauerland between the cities of Attendorn in the north and Olpe in the south. It extends roughly in the center of the Ebbegebirge Nature Park . The reservoir is traversed by the Lenne tributary Bigge and, among others , fed by Bieke , Brachtpe , Bremgebach , Dumicke and Lister . The 34 hectare Gilberginsel is located in the reservoir .

The formerly independent Listertalsperre extends to the west of the Lister, directly adjacent to the Biggesee, in the area of ​​the towns of Drolshagen (Olpe district) and Meinerzhagen ( Märkischer Kreis ) .

Protected areas

On the Gilberginsel and the adjacent bank region of the reservoir which is protected area Gilberginsel ( CDDA -No 163,245;. Expelled 1983 96.37  ha large). The Biggesee and the Listersee with shoreline areas were designated for the first time in 1988 as a nature reserve Biggesee-Listersee (CDDA no. 378681; 7.3779  km² ). In 2013 there was another expulsion. The 7.38 km² nature reserve Biggesee / Listersee has existed there since then .


Above all, the Biggesee is used to store raw water for the Ruhr area in order to ensure an even amount of water in the Ruhr. Up to 40% of the required additional water from all reservoirs in the Ruhr river system can be released from the reservoir via Bigge and Lenne. Another important task is flood protection. In the flood-prone period from November 1st to February 1st, a flood protection area of 32 million m³ will be kept free; this will be released for damming in the period from February 1st to May 1st. In addition, a hydropower plant generates around 22 million kWh of electricity per year. The expansion capacity of the three large and one small Francis turbine is 15.6 MW. The water is preferably drawn from the reservoir via the power plant. The operator of the dam is the Ruhrverband . Together with the neighboring Lister Reservoir, the Biggestausee forms a large reservoir system.

Construction of the Biggetalsperre

History and description

In 1956, the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia passed a law for the financing of the Biggetalsperre. On August 1, 1956, the Biggetalsperrengesetz came into force. According to this, the municipal utilities were obliged to collect 1.2 pfennigs per m³ of water drawn from every water consumer in the supply area as so-called “big pennies” to finance the construction of the dam. Most recently, the “Biggepfennig” was 1.79 ct / m³ and was discontinued at the end of 2009.

The construction of the Biggetalsperre began in 1956 and was finished in 1965, but the plans go back to 1938. In 1939 construction was ordered to begin immediately, but was not implemented due to the outbreak of World War II .

The Listertalsperre from 1912 became a fore basin of the newly created dam. The entire system has a storage volume of 171.7 million m³, of which 150.1 are accounted for by the Bigge and 21.6 million m³ by the Lister dam. This makes the Biggetalsperre the fifth largest reservoir in Germany. The catchment area of ​​both dams covers an area of ​​287 km². The reservoirs themselves have a water surface of 8.76 km² and a length of about 20 km. The greatest depth of the Bigge lake is around 52 m when it is fully dammed.

4.4 km of federal roads, 14.8 km of country roads, 18.2 km of district and municipal roads and 31 km of peripheral roads, a total of 68.4 km of roads and paths, were laid out. The Finnentrop – Freudenberg railway line was also rebuilt in the area of ​​the dam. Eight large valley bridges and 24 smaller bridges were required for the new traffic routes.

A 52 m high rock embankment with an asphalt concrete outer seal serves as the barrier structure . In 2015 the Bigge Main Dam was extensively renovated. To do this, the water level was lowered by 15 meters. The cracked surface layer was milled off and re-asphalted over an area of ​​20,000 m 2 . The Ruhrverband invested around seven million euros in the renovation.

Sunken places

Around 2550 people were relocated to the newly built villages of Neu-Listernohl , Sondern-Hanemicke and Eichhagen for the Biggetalsperre .

The following villages and hamlets, which were demolished in the course of the construction of the dam, were wholly or partially in the storage space of today's Bigge Lake or in the reservoir (explicitly mentioned below):


Over the years, the Biggesee and Lister Reservoirs have become tourist magnets. In addition to the possibility of water sports (sailing, surfing, rowing, paddling, fishing and diving) on ​​or in the Biggesee, a tourist infrastructure has also grown over the years in the shore area. After investments were initially made on the south side (renovation of the leisure pool in Olpe on the shore, establishment of an illuminated circular path around the reservoir and construction of a catering pavilion on the lake shore), improvements were also made on the northern shore of the lake in 2009. In addition to the purchase of trackless train "Biggolino" that since Easter 2009 between the Atta cave wrong Attendorn and the Bigge Dam, a cafe overlooking the lake on the dam was also built and the Biggerandweg illuminated in this area.

In the course of the Regionale 2013 in South Westphalia, the “Biggesee-Listersee nature experience area” was created in order to significantly enhance the recreational value and tourism offers around the reservoir. In this context, among other things, the lake shore was redesigned in Sondern.

Bathing areas

The EU Commission rates the water quality in Biggesee as “excellent”. There are public bathing areas in the Attendorn area at Schnütgenhof and in the area of ​​the city of Olpe am Kessenhammer. There is also a lido run by the Sauerland surf club in Sondern. In June 2010, the existing lido "Waldenburger Bucht" was converted into a 7,000 m² beach club by adding 1,500 tons of sand. This is the largest in Germany and has two beach volleyball fields, restaurants and children's entertainment.

There are four other bathing areas at the Listertalsperre, including three in the urban area of ​​Meinerzhagen and one in the area of ​​the city of Drolshagen.

There are two official diving sites , the Weuste and the Kraghammer Sattel, as well as a diving school at the camping site on the "Sonderner Kopf".

Passenger shipping

Passenger shipping on the Biggesee (2017)

Two passenger ships operate on the Biggesee from the Easter to the autumn holidays. There are moorings on the lake promenade in Sondern, on the viaduct north of Sondern and on Biggedamm near Attendorn. A tour takes around 90 minutes.

The MS Westfalen, which went into operation in 1978 and has 750 seats, is used for regular services. The 50 meter long and 300 tonne ship was last rebuilt in 2019. Two six-cylinder engines with 400 hp each drive the propeller.

The MS Bigge, baptized in 1982, is slightly smaller with a length of 44 meters. The two outside decks were renovated and redesigned for the 2020 summer season. It is mainly used for special trips.

In earlier years there were four ships: three of them on the main lake, one canal boat on the holding basin.

Hiking and cycling network

The Biggesee is integrated into the network of trails of the Sauerland Mountain Association (SGV). The main hiking trails 3 (Talsperrenweg), 20 (Volme-Höhen-Weg) and 22 (Kurkölner Weg) lead along the Biggesee. SGV also looks after the 46-kilometer Bigge Lister Trail, which runs along the banks of the lakes and through the surrounding forests. With an 18.5-kilometer pilgrimage and adventure trail in the footsteps of the social reformer Franz Wärme and the Zwei-Burgen-Weg, two themed hiking trails also lead along the Biggesee.

The Bigge-Lister-Radring is signposted for cyclists. The 50-kilometer lake route mostly runs along the shore, while the 15-kilometer high-altitude route leads to Attendorn, Meinerzhagen, Olpe and Drolshagen. With the 68 kilometer long Agger-Bigge-Runde there is also a connection to the Aggertalsperre , which among other things leads through the Wegeringhauser tunnel. The Ruhr-Sieg cycle path between Meschede and Kirchen also runs along the Biggesee.

Along the lakeshore path, which is open to pedestrians and cyclists, signs were set up showing the Biggetal and its villages before the lake was built.

Big view

On a 388.6  m high southwest spur of the Dünnekenberg ( 390.3  m ), which is located near the core town of Attendorn between the Bigge lake dam and the Waldenburg Bay, there is an SGV hut and the Biggeblick viewing platform, which was inaugurated on July 3, 2013 ( ), which was built as a Skywalk . From there, the view falls particularly on the area of ​​the Bigge lake ( 307.5  m ) near the dam with the dam crest ( 310.5  m ) as well as, among other things, to the Gilberg Island (max.  360  m ) and to an approximately 360  m high (nameless) Northeast spur of the Buchhagen ( 458.6  m ) located ruin Waldenburg . The steel structure has a total weight of around eleven tons.


Many holidaymakers move into the campsites around the two lakes, six of which are in the immediate vicinity of the water.


Rail and bus transport

A regional train of the DB called "Biggesee-Express" near Olpe.

The Bigge located on the single-track railroad line Finnentrop-Freudenberg , on the hour in the rail transport of Bigge-Express (RB 92) with LINT 41 -Triebzügen the Hessian Landesbahn (HLB) of from Olpe , with some stations in the vicinity of the reservoir banks, the station Finnentrop has a connection to the Ruhr-Sieg-Express (RE 16). In Sondern there is a stop at the reservoir, which enables a direct transfer from the train to passenger ships and is the only such station in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The two two - story concrete bridges over two arms of the reservoir are an architectural specialty . The railway line runs on the lower level, and the road above. The two bridges are about 1 to 1.5 km east of the Listertal dam .

In local road transport , bus routes run by Verkehrsbetriebe Westfalen-Süd (VWS), based in Siegen, and Busverkehr Ruhr-Sieg GmbH (BRS). In addition, lines of the bus company Regionalverkehr Köln run on Biggesee.

Local rail and road passenger transport are part of the Westphalian tariff .

Biggesee in the fog


The Biggesee is not far from the A 45 (Sauerland line) , which connects Dortmund with Aschaffenburg. The dam can be reached via the junctions Olpe (18), Drolshagen (17) and Meinerzhagen (16).

The route of the federal highways 54 (Hagen-Olpe-Siegen) and 55 (Olpe-Lennestadt-Meschede), which are the same in this section, leads with the Ronnewinkel valley bridge over the southern part of Lake Bigge. Furthermore, the state road  512 leads on the left bank from Olpe to Attendorn.

See also


  • Biggetalsperre. Information booklet of the Ruhr Association .
  • Peter Franke, Wolfgang Frey: Dams in the Federal Republic of Germany. Published by the National Committee for Large Dams in the Federal Republic of Germany (DNK) and the German Association for Water Management and Cultural Building eV (DVWK). Systemdruck-GmbH, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-926520-00-0 .
  • Ruhrtalsperrenverein , Essen (ed.): The Biggetalsperre. Inauguration and impounding 1965. Ruhrtalsperrenverein, Essen 1965.


Individual evidence

  1. a b Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  2. District of Olpe (ed.): Landscape plan No. 1 Bigge and Listertalsperre , Olpe 2013, pp. 42–43 (PDF; 1.02 MB)
  3. Herbert Kranz: Summer series: Life around the Biggesee. July 15, 2017, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  4. Peter Plugge: Construction machines hang on the ropes. July 10, 2015, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  5. Map Before Biggesee was created - an overview of sunken places ( memento from April 21, 2017 in the Internet Archive ), Zweckverband Tourismusverband Biggesee-Listersee , accessed on April 20, 2017, at
  6. Josef Schmidt: Lakeshore in Sondern to be developed into a pearl on the Biggesee. August 8, 2017, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  7. Bathing waters: Biggesee is rated “excellent”. June 24, 2019, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  8. 15,000 tons of sand for the lido., June 7, 2010, accessed on June 23, 2014 .
  9. Beach Park in Attendorn ( Memento from November 27, 2015 in the web archive ) (Stadt Attendorn; 2010), accessed on June 10, 2010, from
  10. Bathing fun and Corona: What to watch out for on Biggesee. June 25, 2020, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  11. Our timetable. Retrieved on July 6, 2020 (German).
  12. a b c Carsten Menzel: A shipping entrepreneur in the land of a thousand mountains. March 30, 2018, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  13. Viktor Dobek: Biggesee-Personenschifffahrt converts MS Westfalen. March 18, 2019, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  14. MS Bigge ready for the Whitsun weekend. May 27, 2020, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  15. Main hiking trails - SGV - Sauerland Mountain Association - hiking in the Sauerland and Ruhr area. Retrieved July 6, 2020 .
  16. Herbert Kranz: Hiking around the Biggesee is delightful. July 18, 2017, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  17. Franz-Wärme path is now hikable. August 27, 2014, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  18. Riem Karsoua: A journey through the historic Hanseatic city of Attendorn. March 19, 2019, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  19. Marius Albers: Cycle routes for all legs on the Biggesee. July 31, 2017, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).
  20. "Biggeblick" - The fascinating viewing platform on the Biggesee , from June 28, 2013, on
  21. Topographical Information Management, Cologne District Government, Department GEObasis NRW ( Notes )
  22. Gunnar Steinbach: Spectacular view of the Biggesee. July 17, 2017, accessed on July 6, 2020 (German).

Web links

Commons : Biggesee  - collection of images, videos and audio files