Aller Cycle Path, Stage 2
On this stage you can expect to encounter some special cultural and natural treasures such as the German Oil Museum in Wietze, the Hornbosteler Hutweide nature reserve or the open-air museum in Winsen.
In Marklendorf, east of Schwarmstedt and Essel, the bicycle tour meets a hydroelectric power plant built in the years 1913-1915 with two weir fields and an output of 1,000 hp. The width of both weir fields is 40.40 metres and the maximum lifting height is 3.18 metres. You can cross the Aller on the Aller barrage at this point.
From Marklendorf you will follow the river Aller through the Celle district, which will no doubt surprise you with its uniqueness. The world’s first oil was drilled in the small town of Wietze: a lignite-oriented bore was drilled shortly before oil was first discovered in America in 1858. Instead of the expected lignite, the drillers tapped into oil, which is also lovingly called Wietzer tar or Satan’s tar pitch. The history of the origin and production of crude oil can be seen at the German Oil Museum in Wietze.
A few kilometres further down the road, in Wietze-Wieckenberg, the 300-year-old Baroque Stechinelli Chapel still retains the splendour of the past from the times of the last dukes.
The Hereditary Postmaster General appointed Duke Georg Wilhelm of Celle built the Stechinelli Baroque Chapel in 1692 on the basis of his own designs. Constructed from the outside rather simply as a timber-framed building, the church interior will surprise you all the more with its colourful ambience.
A very special experience of the natural world awaits you near Hornbostel: the Hornbosteler Hutweide nature reserve. Common pastures like this are traditional pastures from earlier centuries. Today, with some luck, you may spot a herd of Heck cattle, which are descendants of the now extinct aurochs. Wild Mongolian Przewalski horses also graze here. You can also take part in guided hikes that will introduce you to this special experience of the natural world.
Winsen is the destination of your next stage. Winsen’s open-air museum and the post windmill dating from 1732 are well worth a break.
The open-air museum Winsener Museumshof features a rural farmhouse from the 17th to the 19th century. Visitors can visit 6 historical buildings with all the interior fittings and furnishings.