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Eider, Kiel Canal and Treene

Eider, Kiel Canal and Treene

Water code DE : 952, DE : 59782
location Germany , Schleswig-Holstein
River system Eider
source Klaster pond near Wattenbek
54 ° 8 ′ 18 ″  N , 10 ° 7 ′ 38 ″  E
muzzle At Tönning over the Purrenstrom into the North Sea Coordinates: 54 ° 18 '46 "  N , 8 ° 56' 55"  E 54 ° 18 '46 "  N , 8 ° 56' 55"  E

length 188 km
Catchment area 3275 km²
Discharge at the Hammer
A Eo gauge : 151 km².
Location: 15.3 km above the mouth
NNQ (July 3, 1993)
MNQ 1972–2014
MQ 1972–2014
Mq 1972–2014
MHQ 1972–2014
HHQ (December 26, 2014)
198 l / s
557 l / s
1.74 m³ / s
11.5 l / (s km²)
5.92 m³ / s
10.8 m³ / s
Drain MQ
6.5 m³ / s
Left tributaries Tielenau , Broklandsau , Süderau
Right tributaries Treene , worry
Big cities Kiel
Medium-sized cities Rendsburg
Small towns Friedrichstadt , Tönning
Eider with lock Nordfeld, view from the north

Eider with lock Nordfeld , view from the north

The river system of the Eider (schematic)

The Eider ( Latin Egdor ; Old Norse Egða ; Danish Ejderen ) was the longest river in Schleswig-Holstein at 188 kilometers at the end of the 19th century . The course of the Eider east of Rendsburg is interrupted by the Kiel Canal : the upper Eider ( water code number 59782), hydrologically also defined as the Eider river basin , merges into the ring canal at Achterwehr , while the one east of the Flemhuder See from south to north -Baltic Sea Canal empties. With this it belongs to the catchment area of ​​the Elbe . The Obereider in Rendsburg is part of the old Eiderlauf, but now a bay of the Kiel Canal. The lower Eider begins in the northwest of the Rendsburg old town near the confluence of the Rendsburg city lake. As a direct North Sea tributary, it has the water code number 952.

In an essay first published in 1969 in a supplement to the journal Dithmarschen: Blätter zur Heimatkunde , the former director of the Dithmarscher Landesmuseum in Meldorf, Nis R. Nissen (1925–2000), admits that the Eider is now only 108 km long after all hydraulic engineering measures to. This is also the result of a regional study from 2013.

From 811 to 1864 the river marked the southern border of Denmark with two short interruptions . He gave the Danish National Liberals the name Eiderdänen in the 19th century because they wanted to continue to see the river as the Danish southern border.


The name of the Eider derives a certain probability of Egidor ( Fluttor off Schreckenstor) and alludes to the Germanic sea giant Ægir to which was blamed for floods and related terror. The first Latin mention after Volker Schmidt as Flumen Egidora suggests this assumption. Other names of the Eider such as Egidorae fluminis (9th century Reichsannalen), fluminis Eydori (12th century Saxo Grammaticus ), Eidera (1148 document of Henry the Lion) and Eydaer (1235 in King Waldemars II's earth book ) provide information about the derivation to today's name.


River course

In the Topographical Atlas Schleswig-Holstein from 1963 it says: “The Eider rises at Gut Schönhagen.” That is still true today: The Eider rises to the same strength in two spring ponds located in Holstein, namely the lake at the forester's house Mannhagen south of Schönhagen and the Heickenteich near Ovendorfer Redder above the Klasterdoppelteiches, which used to be traditionally seen as a spring pond, but has less water outlet. The outflows of the two upper spring ponds are now partly heavily piped and meet below Klein Buchwald for the Drögen Eider , which flows to the Bothkamper See , which lies between Bordesholm and Preetz . From the lake it first flows a little to the southwest, and then flows east past Bordesholm. From then on, its water flows north to Flintbek, Molfsee and then into Schulensee , which is located on the southwestern outskirts of Kiel .

The upper Eidertal was selected as a model project for the watering of fens . The Eider Lowlands are grazed extensively there. Back-breeding of wild horse breeds and aurochs are used. The 390 hectare project area includes both the lowland and the adjacent slopes.

Although the Eider meanders close to the Baltic Sea near the city ​​of Kiel , a terminal moraine , the Hornheimer Riegel , blocks the way to the Baltic Sea, and from now on the Eider turns towards the North Sea : After flowing through the Schulensee , it flows west into the Westensee and through him to the north. At Flemhuder See , where it has passed east in the Achterwehr shipping canal since the Kiel Canal was expanded in 1907–1914 , it flows into the Kiel Canal, which essentially follows the old river valley to Rendsburg . In this area there are also routes called the Alte Eider and the former Eider Canal .

Rendsburg is central to the Eider: This is where the Eider in Rendsburg rises, so to speak, as no water from the Kiel Canal returns to the river. The section of the Eider between Steinwehr and Rendsburg is called Obereider (also called Obereiderseen because of the lake-like widening).

Then the Eider meanders west via Friedrichstadt to Tönning , where it flows into the Purrenstrom - its mouth about nine kilometers long and two kilometers wide . Not only in this area of its lower reaches the Eider is a Tidefluss , the brackish water - and freshwater Watten has. The large Eider Barrage is located at the southwest end of the Purren Stream . Directly behind is the Wadden Sea of the North Sea and the area of ​​the outer eider.

By at low tide and high tide occurring huge flows to the river bed of the Eider has cut deeply into the soft marsh soil that mainly of clay there. So you will find water depths of up to 20 m, especially in the sharp river curves. Official swimming areas for guests have been created in some shallow areas. There you can swim directly in the Eider.

The largest tributaries of the Eider are the Treene and the Sorge . The lower course of the Eider is connected to the Kiel Canal by the Gieselau Canal .

The mean discharge of the Eider is 6.5 m³ / s.

History of the course of the river

The Eider near Groven (around 1895)

At the beginning of the known development, the Eider had a river length of about 200 km and a catchment area of ​​3300 km². The Eider looks back on a very long history as a waterway. Even during the Viking Age , the route from the North Sea through the rivers Eider and Treene and further overland to Haithabu an der Schlei served as a connection to the Baltic Sea region.

The Eider has been subject to major changes since the Middle Ages. Interventions in the course of the river and the associated changes in the old river bed can still be clearly seen in aerial photographs today. In 1499 , a branch of the Eider to Dithmarschen was diked at the level of today's settlement Bösbüttel, municipality of Sankt Annen (Dithmarschen) . 1570–1589 a new tributary of the Treene to the Eider was established. "With the damming of the Treene, a serious intervention in the drainage conditions of the Eider was carried out." Initially, probably four, later only three sluices, the Treene near Friedrichstadt drained into the Eider.

With the construction of the Schleswig-Holstein Canal 1777–1784 (from 1853: Eider Canal ) from Holtenau to Rendsburg, a continuous shipping route between the North and Baltic Seas was created, which was also used for trade between England, France, Holland and the Baltic Sea. This led to an economic boom in this region. If the Eider Canal was already a major intervention in the hydrography of the Eider, its successor, the Kiel Canal (NOK), which replaced long stretches of the Eider and Eider Canal, was even more so. The Obereider flowed through the Flemhuder See into the NOK and thus cut off 37% of the catchment area from the Untereider, which led to severe siltation below Rendsburg. In Rendsburg, a lock was used to establish a connection between the Eider and the NOK, which was replaced by the Gieselau Canal in 1936/37 .

From 1935 to 1937, the Eider Damming Nordfeld at km 78.3 was built southeast of Friedrichstadt in order to achieve better protection against storm surges with the recurring floods and destruction in the marshes to the left and right of the Eider and to improve the outflow for this area. Since then, the Eider has only been a tidal body between Nordfeld and its mouth , and the stretch below Nordfeld is known as the Tideeider and above as the Binneneider . Before the damming, the tides reached as far as Rendsburg . The sluice structure with five openings, each 6 m wide, and the 65 m long Nordfeld ship lock are located in a river gorge. The Lex ferry barrage with lock was built at km 26.1 .

The Eider damming near Nordfeld fully guaranteed the flood protection of the Eidern lowlands above. However, due to the strong change in the tidal conditions below the damming, silting up which had not been foreseen occurred, endangering the receiving water and shipping. For this reason, a storm surge barrier was built in the Eider estuary funnel ( Katinger Watt ) from 1967 to 1973 as part of the North program , which now also protects the area between the Nordfeld and the barrage from storm surges. The Eider Barrage is located in a dam about five kilometers long. It has five openings, each 40 m wide, with segment locks and a ship lock. The barrage does not significantly affect normal tidal movement. In the 1990s there was an increased backwater because it was not possible to drain enough surface water due to extreme weather conditions.

Language border

Until the Great Migration, the Eider was presumably the language border between West Germanic Angling and Jutes on the one hand and Saxony on the other. Between Danish and Low German , which emerged from Saxon, there was probably still an unpopulated strip of land north of the river until just before the Schlei and Eckernförde Bay , but in simplified terms the Eider formed a dividing line between the North Germanic and West Germanic languages for around 300 years . The Angel Danish was still represented in fishing and swans until the 19th century .

The Eider as the imperial border

Together with the Levensau , which flowed north of the city of Kiel into the Kiel Fjord north of the city of Kiel in 1777 , the Eider formed the border between the Frankish (or later German) and Danish empires since 811 : The Viking king Hemming signed a peace treaty in 811 Charlemagne , who in the course of the Saxon War also subjugated the Saxon settlement areas north of the Elbe (later Holstein ) and thereby threatened Denmark from the south. (The Danes had apparently immigrated to the Jutes and Angling areas between 300 and 500.) In a treaty concluded on the Eider Island in today's Rendsburg , twelve Danish and Franconian negotiators agreed on the Eider as the imperial border in the same year. The peace agreement is documented, among other things, in the report by Adam von Bremen .

The successor to the Franconian Empire was the Holy Roman Empire from the 10th century , whose northern border was consequently also the Eider (only around 1000 the border was temporarily on the Schlei ). South of the Eider border, the German county of Holstein emerged from the Saxon areas, to the north of it the Jarltum Süderjutland and subsequently the Duchy of Schleswig , which became increasingly independent, but legally always remained a Danish fief, emerged from the Danish and Frisian populated areas . In the immediate south of Schleswig there was initially an almost uninhabited border strip such as the Danish Wohld , which was pledged by the Danish king from around 1260 and colonized by German settlers from Holstein, with the result that the Eider gradually lost its function as a language border. Even after the Danish king also became Count of Holstein in personal union in the 15th century , which shortly thereafter became a duchy , the Eider retained its function as the imperial border, since Holstein remained as a German and Schleswig as a Danish imperial fief. Only with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 did the Eider lose its function as a state border for a few years, only to mark the northern border of the German Confederation from 1815 .

In the German-Danish conflict over the Duchy of Schleswig, which is now predominantly German-settled and minded in the south, the Danish national liberals used the slogan "Danmark til Ejderen" ( Denmark to the Eider ), which was the slogan of the German Schleswig-Holsteiner Up eternally untagged opposition. The conflict culminated in the Schleswig-Holstein uprising (1848-1851) and the occupation of Schleswig after the German-Danish War by Prussia and Austria (1864), with which the river finally lost its function as the political northern border of the German Confederation and the southern border of Denmark.

Today the Eider in the west and in the east the Levensau (north of Kiel ) and the Kiel Canal, respectively, mark the connection between the two historic parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Schleswig and Holstein .

Federal waterway

Harbor in Tönning
Eider cycle path, west of Tönning

The Eider is a federal waterway from Rendsburg (km 0.12) to the mouth defined by the Federal Waterways Act at km 111.15 , with the section above km 22.64 being a so-called other inland waterway of the federal government. Below km 22.64 is the Eider a waterway of class II . The shipping routes regulations apply to the entire Eider . The Tönning Waterways and Shipping Office is responsible . At km 22.75 opens Gieselaukanal one for connection to the Kiel Canal .

Until 2008, the Obereider, also Obereidersee, between Rendsburg and the Kiel Canal was also the federal waterway under the responsibility of the Kiel-Holtenau Waterways and Shipping Office , since then the cities of Büdelsdorf and Rendsburg have been equally responsible. The state ordinance for ports in Schleswig-Holstein (Port Ordinance - HafVO) applies here, in which anchoring is prohibited under Section 19, Paragraph 5. This is an important notice for non-resident recreational captains, as there is currently no official notice indicating this.

Freight traffic on the Eider has lost its importance with the opening of the Kiel Canal . This favors sport shipping, especially since there is a connection to the Baltic Sea via the Gieselau Canal and the Kiel Canal.

The Eider is crossed by several ferries and bridges. In the season weekends from May to September, pedestrians and cyclists can cross the Eider, for example at the Hohner and Bargener ferry.


  • Holger A. Bruns: Eider Estuary natural guide . Husum Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft, Husum 2008, ISBN 978-3-89876-388-2 .
  • M. Eckoldt (Hrsg.): Rivers and canals, The history of the German waterways . DSV-Verlag, 1998.
  • Hippolyt Haas : Why does the Eider flow into the North Sea? A contribution to the geography and geology of the Schleswig-Holstein state. Lipsius & Tischer, Kiel 1886
  • Hans-Tyge BTT Haarløv: Ejderen. 2014 (Danish).
  • Uwe Holmer: Eider and Eider Barrage . Eiderstedter Werbe- und Verlagsgesellschaft, 1992, ISBN 3-925821-06-6 .
  • Wolfgang Laur : The river name Eider. In: ZSHG 87 (1962), pp. 263-271.
  • Dirk Meier: The Eider. River landscape and history. Boyens Buchverlag, Heide 2016, ISBN 978-3804214347 .
  • Karl Müller: Across the country with the Eider . Book publisher Heinrich Möller and Sons.
  • Volker Schmidt: The Eider . Self-published v. V. Schmidt 2000, ISBN 3-928584-01-4 .
  • Gerd Stolz: The old Eider Canal - Schleswig-Holstein Canal. Published on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of its commissioning on October 17, 1784. 4th edition, Westholsteinische Verlagsanst. Boyens, Heide in Holstein 1989 (= Kleine Schleswig-Holstein-Bücher, 34), ISBN 3-8042-0297-7 .
  • Gerd Stolz: A brief history of the canal: from the Stecknitz Canal to the Kiel Canal . Westholsteinische Verlagsanst. Boyens, Heide in Holstein 1995, ISBN 3-8042-0672-7 .
  • Ernst Schwarz: The emergence of the Germanic north, here the journey of Pytheas . In Germanic tribal studies . VMA, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-938586-10-5 .

Web links

Commons : Eider  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Eider  travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ German Hydrological Yearbook Elbe Region, Part III 2014. (PDF) ISSN 0949-3654. Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Hamburg Port Authority, p. 168 , accessed on October 4, 2017 (German, at: dgj.de).
  2. See e.g. B. Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas of the State of Schleswig-Holstein: General Plan Inland Flood Protection and Flood Retention Schleswig-Holstein ( Memento from September 27, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF, 1.8 MB), p. 47.
  3. Nis R. Nissen : The Eider - Drama of a river. Supplement to Dithmarschen: Leaves on local history. (PDF; 1.1 MB), September 1969.
  4. Eiderstedt. A regional study in the area of ​​St. Peter-Ording, Garding, Tönning and Friedrichstadt , ed. by A. Panten , Heik Thomas Pordora and Thomas Steensen i. A. of the Leibniz Institute for Ethnology. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne Weimar Berlin 2013, p. 303.
  5. Tönning Waterways and Shipping Authority (accessed on October 5, 2013)
  6. ^ Quote from The water system on the Schleswig-Holstein North Sea coast by Friedrich Müller and Otto Fischer, 1958, Volume 4, p. 42
  7. Hans Schultz Hansen: Sønderjyllands historie , Volume 1, Aabenraa 2008, pp. 27, 39
  8. ^ Robert Bohn: History of Schleswig-Holstein . Beck, Munich 2006, p. 9
  9. Hans Wilhelm Haefs: Place names and local stories in Schleswig-Holstein , 2004.
  10. a b c Lengths (in km) of the main shipping routes (main routes and certain secondary routes) of the federal inland waterways ( memento of the original from January 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.wsv.de
  11. Directory E, serial no. 8 and directory F of the Chronicle ( Memento of the original from July 22, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.wsv.de
  12. Federal Law Gazette I / 11 of March 31, 2008, p. 449