Project 11: Floating pontoon on Lake Sedlitz

Going 1000m over water

Flooding of the Lake Sedlitz will not be completed until 2015, by which time the water level will have risen by eight metres. Today, the lake is already a fascinating site thanks to its banks, little forests and «Kippenrippen« or ridges formed by mine dumps – soon to be lost, but rising from the water as islands for a short time yet. A floating walkway across the growing lake will allow pedestrians and cyclists to experience the site’s transition from an open-cast mine to a lake.


Although lignite mining at Sedlitz ended in 1980 and the rising groundwater had already created a large lake, additional flooding began in 2005. By then, a unique »transitional landscape« had developed in the future Lake Sedlitz area, with large breeding colonies of gulls on the sandy islands, wide reed beds in the shallows and wild-growing birches, and other fast-growing trees on the banks. But this man-made idyll is only a brief moment in time. Every year, the water level rises – and since artificial flooding began, it has been rising faster.


Several temporary and permanent IBA projects in the Lake Sedlitz area allow people to experience the unique charm of this »temporary landscape« – thereby drawing their attention to the huge changes and fu¬ture potential in Lusatia. A semicircular route ideal for cyclists has already been created along its east and south banks. For years, the IBA has been trying to build a floating pontoon stretching 1,000 metres from the end of the Sedlitz peninsula to the opposite bank to fill a gap in the Lusatian lakes’ route network for cyclists and pedestrians and allow direct access to the Lusatian Lake Land landmark from Sedlitz.

More importantly the floating pontoon will be one of the biggest attractions and unique features of the Lusatian Landscape. It will emphasise the »man-made« nature of the lake and make the area a holiday landscape with a reputation outside the region.

In 2008, the LMBV and MIR (Gemeinsame Landesplanung or Joint Regional Planning Department of the Ministry for Infrastructure and Regional Development) commissioned a feasibility study, which recommended making the pontoon from floating concrete elements four meters wide, which would have to cover 1,070 meters from one bank to the other. Facilities for mooring boats and for letting boats pass through the pontoon have been provided for, and lines and points for electricity and water are also planned: this would open the door for recreational spaces on floating »islands« docked onto the pontoon, making traversing the pontoon an experience in itself. In 2009, a master plan highlighting development priorities for the Sedlitz peninsula followed.


The pontoon should float and rise with the water level, allowing it to be built before flooding concludes in 2015 – as soon as the last technical issues have been resolved. This time frame will also take advantage of the transitional landscape’s special charm. The pontoon is a suitable basis for further tourism development in the area. A business will operate the pontoon, rent out mooring space, and organise events. The master plan for the Sedlitz peninsula includes – among other things – a waterskiing facility, a youth hostel, and a fire service rescue and training centre.

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last update: 1/26/2017 13:13