German Inventiveness on Show
There is much more to this wooden shed than meets the eye. Or to the picturesque little lake that surrounds it. In fact, both belong to one of the technological wonders of the “Old” – i.e. pre-industrial – world:
The water management system of the mines in the Harz mountains of Northern Germany. A good example of German inventiveness.
The lake, called the “Kranicher Teich” near the village (and ancient mining town) of Hahnenklee, was created in 1674 as a sort of power station for the local silver mines. The idea was to conduct the water to the mine – as an artificial, fast-flowing river – so it could power its pumps and other state-of-the-art equipment (such as pit elevators).
Built at the far end of the lake, the shed was the place where they pulled the plug so the water could run out. UNESCO has given the system World Heritage status
You can find traces of this old system – with dams, reservoirs and ditches – over a large area (200 km²) across the entire Upper Harz.
Can you name other examples of German inventiveness?