Guided tours of castle & museum are provided. Or one may just take a hike on the little trail around the castle, leading through forest and down to the lake. Waldeck-town and castle are def. beautiful & picturesque!
April to September: 10:00 - 18:00
October to March: 12:00 - 16:00
Closed on Mondays
Incl. audio tour (English, French, Dutch and German)
Children € 2.--
Groups (10 or more) € 3.50 pp
A visit to the Eder Dam was the main point of our trip to Waldeck and the Edersee.
I wanted to see how big the Eder dam was and get some idea of the task that was given to the Dambusters in Operation Chastise.
Operation Chastise was an attack on German dams carried out on 16–17 May 1943 by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, subsequently known as the Dambusters, using a specially developed "bouncing bomb" invented and developed by Barnes Wallis.
The Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in the Eder valley, while the Sorpe dam sustained only minor damage.
This gigantic dam was built between 1908 and 1914 to regulate water levels in summer for the Mittelland Canal and for shipping on the Weser river. It is 47 metres high and 400 metres long.
We parked up, just past the dam, and took a slow stroll across the whole length.
After the dam was destroyed it was quickly rebuilt and you can just tell where the repairs have been made. In one of the pictures you can clearly see the new parts of the dam as the stones are a slightly different shade and also the fact that the sluice holes were never replaced.
After visiting the Eder dam, we got directions to this museum from the information booth situated on the dam.
We drove to the short distance and took a look around the small but nicely done place. Part of the museum shows videos in German, and we caught the end of “The Dambusters” movie with Richard Todd as Guy Gibson. It was strange to watch the film, which I have seen many times, dubbed in German. We watched until the climax of the bursting of the dams and it was interesting to note the lack of famous rousing theme tune, which would normally accompany the triumph of the English version of the film. Most of the details of the local history of the Eder dam are in German.
There are some copies of the English newspaper the Lincolnshire Echo, which is where Squadron 617 was based in Scampton. The museum has, as part of its exhibits, pages from the “The Dambusters at 60” which was a special 60 year anniversary supplement printed in April 2003.
Schloss Waldeck is a castle next to the town Waldeck and was built in the 12th century. When you enter the castle, you first pass three gates, and then you are in the inner court. Inside the castle is a hotel and also a museum. The museum is called “Hinter Schloß und Riegel” (under lock and key) and concentrates on the time that the castle was used as jail.
From the inner court, you also can reach a large terrace from where you have a great view on the lake Edersee.
Admissions to the museum is 4€ adults/ 2€ children. Entrance to castle grounds and the lookout terrace is free.
There’s a large car park below the castle (some minutes by foot to the castle), and a few afterwards at the street towards the castle. These are “pay & display” car parks, until 8pm.
The Edersee is one of the largest dam reservoirs of Germany. It was my second visit to the lake and I always come to the wrong time, when the lake has very few water. The reason for this is that the lake is used to provide the Mittelland Canal with enough water. Plus the lake will hold additional water of the rivers Eder, Fulda and Weser in case of floods. So usually the Edersee doesn’t have much water in the late summer and autumn. At Waldeck, there's still a bit lake then, but at the western end you only see the Eder river. This can be interesting: for example you then can walk across the lake. This is possible at Asel, where is a bridge over the river Eder. Less nice are the old cemetery, with the tombs covered with concrete slabs. There are also a few remains of the village Berich near Waldeck.
Waldeck castle towers over the small town of Waldeck. It is built on a 11th century fortifications. The castle is high up at the north shore of the Edersee.
We stopped off here for a lunch at the Restaurant Altane before heading to the Eder dam.
The hotel has great views off the Edersee and its dam, and so as it was quiet when we arrived we got a lovely table by the window.
I went for the three sausage ploughman’s ... highly recommended.
Nearby to the Waldeck Schloss Hotel is a cable car which takes you down to the north shore of the Edersee.
The return trip doesn't take that long, and the cars are fairly sturdy, although just about big enough to seat two adults. We took the cable car down as it gave us a good excuse to ...
"take zee cable car up to zer castle"
Look out for a large teddy bear at one of the stations. I presume it is there as a test teddy!
Asel is one of the villages that had to give way to the lake in 1914. Several people moved a bit north and founded the village that was called Asel again. There’s also “Asel-Süd” on the other side of the lake. At the place of the former town still is a bridge which was build 1887 and that you even can cross when there’s low water. It feels a bit weird to walk through the Edersee and over that bridge, knowing that it’s usually under water. When we were there, there only was a small river flowing below the bridge, and that was all.