Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

The Czech energy group EPH has taken over the lignite mining operations in eastern Germany previously managed by Swedish company Vattenfall. What does this mean for the village of Haidemühl, now abandoned for almost a decade, which sits in a area designated for opencast mining?

article summary —

It is now ten years since we wrote about the fate of the Lusatian village of Haidemühl about 100 km south-east of Berlin (for the original story see hidden europe 10, page 36ff). In 2006, all bar a few of Haidemühl’s inhabitants relocated to a new settlement about 12 kilometres distant from their old village. The Swedish energy company Vattenfall funded the controversial relocation, as the company planned to exploit brown coal reserves in and around the village.

At the time we reported from Haidemühl, a few diehard inhabitants were still living in the village, refusing every inducement from Vattenfall to move to new homes in the new village (which is called Neu-Haidemühl).

There is a curious twist to this tale: ten years on, the old village of Haidemühl is still there, its remaining housing stock slipping slowly into dereliction.


This is just an excerpt. The full text of this article is not yet available to members with online access to hidden europe. Of course you can also read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 50.

About the authors

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 50.