Three border towers and one bunker

Traces and Memories in the Elbe Floodplain of Lower Saxony

The river Elbe divided Germany into East and West in this region for over 40 years.

This is where the past meets the present and the future. Here we learn from history for today and tomorrow.

Discover stories of German division and border nature. Stories in which life triumphs, in which nature breaks down boundaries and people once again cross borders without danger.

Border towers in Neu Bleckede, Popelau and Darchau

From border history to border nature

The Lower Saxon Elbtalaue – today a biosphere reserve, yesterday a border area.

The inner-German border divided Germany and this region into FRG and GDR for over 40 years. Three GDR observation towers and a GDR bunker on the Elbe are signs of this time.

Welcome to the river landscape, welcome to the memory landscape!

Lower Saxony Elbe Floodplain

In search of clues in the border region

Bicycle routes, hiking trails, ranger tours: routes lead along the Elbe dyke from border tower to border tower and through villages of the former GDR restricted area.

Cross the Elbe on ferry routes that have made history. Go in search of traces with your family or e-bike group. Explore places of remembrance on hikes.

Our guided tour programme for adults and families takes you into regional history and today’s Lower Saxony Elbe Floodplain Biosphere Reserve.

We offer school classes programmes in the spirit of education for sustainable development at this learning venue.

Region Region Bleckede, Darchau und Amt Neuhaus

Enter the bunker.
Climb the border tower.
Feel the effect of the border fence.

Bringing history to life

On the eastern bank of the Elbe, in the former protective strip of the GDR border, three observation towers and a bunker offer modern exhibitions for adults, families and school classes.

At hands-on stations, via QR codes and in impressive historical photographs, the exhibitions inside and outside tell border stories.

The exhibitions provide information, preserve memories of local contemporary witnesses and invite visitors to engage with the past, present and future for themselves.

In Neu Bleckede and Darchau, the border towers have been freshly renovated and can be explored on steep staircases, including new perspectives on the river and memorial landscape.

A former observation bunker has been rebuilt in Neu Bleckede and can be entered during the exhibition visit.

The border fence at the Popelau border tower reveals the effect of the border fortifications in sections – today, nature is protected at this border site.

Experiencing and understanding

The exhibition sites in Neu Bleckede, Popelau and Darchau can be visited as individual offerings or connected along informative and scenically impressive routes – whether by car, bicycle and e-bike or on foot.

Between wide skies and the unique landscape of the Lower Saxony Elbe Valley Biosphere Reserve, places of remembrance are waiting to be discovered by you.

Contemporary witnesses

Contemporary witnesses from East and West remember.

In reports about German division and unity in the region, the great contemporary history is translated into individual stories from the Elbtalaue.

The contemporary witnesses were interviewed especially for the exhibition and most of them still live not far from the former inner-German border in Amt Neuhaus and Bleckede.

The exhibition includes display boards with visual material personally selected by the eyewitnesses, which make the accounts particularly vivid.

These interviews in audio and text format can only be accessed via the QR codes in the exhibition.

Opening hours

Border Tower and bunker Neu Bleckede, Grenzturm Darchau:

Visits and guided tours on request.

The outdoor offerings of the exhibitions are accessible around the clock.


Depending on the season, we offer various guided tours, border rallies for school classes and events.

Group enquiries for guided tours, hikes or bike tours under contact.

The project is funded by:

Logo Europa für Niedersachsen
Logo kofinanziert von der Europäischen Union
Logo Metropolregion Hamburg