hidden europe 50

News from Haidemühl

by hidden europe

Picture above: End of the road: Siberia, part of the Lausitz village of Welzow (photo © hidden europe).


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?

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 read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 50.
Related article

An Essex backwater: Discovering Harwich

The old town of Harwich, a port in the county of Essex on England's North Sea coast, is tucked away on the end of a peninsula. Maritime connections have shaped the development of Harwich. It's a place for sea breezes, rock oysters and watching the ferries come and go.

Related article

Editorial hidden europe 67

In hidden europe 67, we go mountain hiking in Croatia's Kvarner region, ponder the relationship between mining and cultural heritage, take to the rails in Germany with a wonderful slow travel deal and discover a former Catholic seminary in the Braes of Glenlivet. We also visit both Hoek van Holland and Harwich and make tracks for an unsung delta on the Adriatic.