Franconian Lake District

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Franconian Lake District

The Franconian Lake District is an area with artificially created lakes in Bavaria , almost 50 km southwest of Nuremberg in the administrative region of Middle Franconia . In the beginning, the term New Franconian Lake District was in use. The lakes were essentially created with the Danube-Main crossing , which was created to balance the water distribution between the water-rich southern and arid northern Bavaria ; this takes place by the transfer of water from the Altmühl and Danube valleys over the European main watershed into the Regnitz-Main area. The area is also very important for tourism in the region.


According to the delimitation by the Bavarian State Office for Statistics and Data Processing , the Franconian Lake District extends over 45 cities and municipalities in three districts:

The lakes

Great Brombachsee
Altmühlsee from above

The center of the Franconian Lake District is made up of the Große Brombachsee, the Kleine Brombachsee and the Igelsbachsee, three reservoirs located directly next to each other that are only separated from each other by 2 dams, as well as the Altmühlsee, located around 10 km to the west, and the Rothsee, located 20 kilometers to the northeast. The Hahnenkammsee, 15 km to the south, the first artificial body of water in the Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen district , and the Dennenloher See, 14 km to the west, are also part of the Franconian Lake District, although they have nothing to do with its water management task.

The lakes have a total of almost 20 km² of water:

Purpose of the seascape

The decisive factor for the great effort was the aim of adapting the regionally very differently distributed water resources in Bavaria. While northern Bavaria is arid, there is about three times as much water south of the Danube due to the numerous tributaries from the Alps . In order to increase the quality of life and the economic development of northern Bavaria - especially in the Nuremberg metropolitan area - a water balance between northern and southern Bavaria should be created.


A first planning approach took place as early as 1942. At that time, two smaller bodies of water at Ornbau and Mitteleschenbach were considered. However, the idea was soon discarded. In May 1964 the area of ​​today's Brombach was considered suitable to form a dam to absorb the Altmühl floods. The building project was decided by the Bavarian State Parliament on July 16, 1970 , at the initiative of MP Ernst Lechner , and on July 4, 1974, the tunnel for the overhead was put in place by Minister Bruno Merk . The Kleine Brombachsee, the Igelsbachsee and the Altmühlsee were given their destination on August 1, 1986 by the then Prime Minister Franz Josef Strauss . In 1993 the water transfer was started. On July 20, 2000, construction was completed with the official inauguration of the Great Bromb axis by Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber . A special authority was created for the construction in 1971, the Nuremberg Dam Construction Authority. Since the completion of the construction work, the transfer system has been looked after by the Ansbach Water Management Authority (WWA Ansbach). The Nuremberg Water Management Office (WWA Nuremberg) takes care of the maintenance of the Rothsee.

Lost places

Information board on the north bank of the Bromb axis about the abandoned mills

For the construction of Igelsbachsee, Großes Brombachsee and Kleines Brombachsee, the deserted areas of Beutelmühle , Birkenmühle , Furthmühle , Grafenmühle , Griesmühle , Hühnermühle , Langweidmühle , Neumühle , Scheermühle , Spagenhof , Sägmühle , Ziegelhütte , Öfeleinsmühle and a concrete plant (Huberissen & Riedel) had to be demolished. The properties and their corridors were bought up by the Bavarian state. The Langweidmühle and the Furthmühle were rebuilt in other places, the Hühnermühle was retained as the local part name of Pfofeld . The Birkenhof north of Absberg between the two bodies of water Igelsbach and Gänsbach , whose corridor also sank into the Großer Brombachsee, existed only as a barn as early as 1962. The Mandlesmühle abandoned by the construction of the reservoir , today part of Pleinfeld east of the Great Brombach , is used by the Ansbach water management office as an information center "Seenland - Water for Franconia" .


The water is distributed between the water-rich and water-poor areas by transferring water from Altmühl and Danube water on two separate paths:

  • Altmühlwasser: In the Central Franconian Altmühltal there is no water shortage due to the sufficient amount of precipitation in the catchment area. Winter and spring floods in the Altmühl are dammed and reduce the floods in the lower reaches of the Altmühl and the Danube. This water improves the water quality of Regnitz and Main, which has been affected by intensive industrial and agricultural use. West Central Franconia , in which intensive agricultural use is not possible and relatively little industry is located, was structurally supported by the simultaneous creation of a local recreation area for the metropolitan area of ​​Nuremberg . In the event of flooding at the Gern gauge near Ornbau, water is fed to the Altmühlsee via the Altmühl feeder. There it is temporarily stored and, if the level is exceeded, it is transferred to the Kleiner Brombachsee via the Altmühlüberleiter . From there, the water first flows over the Großer Brombachsee and the Brombach into the Swabian Rezat , at Georgensgmünd into the Rednitz and then on to Nuremberg, before reaching the Main via the Regnitz . So water that would normally end up in the Danube via the Altmühl can be diverted towards the Main if necessary.
  • Danube water: Separately from this, the water level in the apex position is regulated via the Main-Danube Canal with the help of the Rothsee . When the water level in the Danube is high, water is channeled into the Rothsee, which is then released to the Rednitz via the Kleine Roth and Roth rivers as required .


Taking into account nature conservation, around 2000 hectares of land were converted into reservoirs and roads, the lake landscape was cultivated and the framework conditions for the emergence of tourism were created. The landscape protection measures include the creation of nature reserves, such as the bird island in the Altmühlsee or the shallow water areas of the Großer Brombach.


The lakes also created a local recreation and tourism area. In addition to sunbathing lawns, bathing and sandy beaches, hiking and biking trails, sailing areas as well as kite and windsurfing opportunities have been set up. Fishing is also possible. Not only do the seven lakes make the Franconian Lake District attractive, but also cultural highlights such as the Limes , a UNESCO World Heritage Site that runs right through the Franconian Lake District.

Fish fauna

In the waters of the Franconian Lake District, a large number of fish species found in Central Europe such as eels , pike , pikeperch , lake trout , rainbow trout , catfish and non-coarse fish such as carp , tench , roach , rudd , bream and many more thrive . While a stable perch population has formed in the Brombachsee , the number of pike over one meter in length is falling due to the high fishing pressure.

Web links

Commons : Fränkisches Seenland  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. "Biggest project since the Limes". Weißenburger Tagblatt , September 4, 2016
  2. Franconian Lake District - Franconian, Lakes, Land
  3. ^ Culture in the Franconian Lake District ( Memento from December 23, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Fishing in the Franconian Lake District

Coordinates: 49 ° 8 '  N , 10 ° 49'  E