The 54 km long tour takes you through picturesque heath villages, forests and moorland. Along the way you will discover fields with burial mounds, farms and manor houses as well as small but very special museums. The Bergen-Belsen Memorial stands as a memorial and witness to recent history, reminiscent of the crimes of National Socialism.
Special features of the tour
Bergen - vibrant small town in the Südheide
Midway between Soltau and Celle, Bergen welcomes you at the edge of Suedheide Nature Park. The tourist information office is located next to the town hall in the registry office building. It is open Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Tuesday and Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. The vibrant town offers you a central entry point into the surrounding countryside with its picturesque heath villages and a very well-developed network of cycle paths and agricultural roads.
Remarkable finds from Bronze Age burial mounds in and around Bergen testify that the area had a special meaning more than 3,000 years ago.
Becklingen Moor - foresight with biodiversity
Becklingen Moor began to form 125,000 years ago in a channel created by a melting glacier. Three kilometres wide and 7.5 kilometres long at the time, the moor remained largely untouched by humans until the end of the 18th century. Maps from 1770 show the first pathways and indicate the beginning of peatland use. Until the 1950s, peat was dug for use as fuel. But it was the large-scale drainage of 1964 that made huge parts of the moor disappear. It created fields, meadows and forests, until the southern part of the moor was declared a nature reserve in 1985. Measures to rewet the moor in this area began in 2006. Many rare plants and animals – such as cotton grass or white-tailed eagles - feel at home here. The viewing platform provides a fascinating view.
Memorial Bergen-Belsen - Remembrance of concentration camp victims
The Bergen-Belsen International Memorial commemorates the deaths of more than 70,000 people who were killed here between 1941 and 1945. The permanent exhibition, which is open daily, features original artefacts, photos and numerous video interviews with survivors. In addition, special exhibitions, a library and remains of the camp are also open to visitors. The wide range of educational offers includes guided tours, seminars, projects with contemporary witnesses, youth work camps and international encounters.
The camp was initially used as a labour camp and, from 1943, as a concentration camp. When it was liberated on April 15, 1945, British soldiers found thousands of unburied corpses and tens of thousands of terminally ill people. Up to 12,000 Shoah survivors lived temporarily in Bergen-Belsen in a camp for so-called displaced persons until 1950.
Suelze Saline - 500 years of salt production
The Suelze Saline was first mentioned in records dating back to 1379. In the beginning, the salt boilers won the salt directly on site from the saline water of the brine spring in Suelze. The brine was evaporated in large pans fired with peat to recover the pure salt. Whenever peat fuel became scarce, pipelines transported the brine from Suelze over several kilometers to the various other simmering stations such as those in Hassel and Altensalzkoth until the simmering station was finally brought back to Suelze. Simmering was finally abandoned in 1862.
The Saline Museum, which can be visited by prior arrangement (contact via Tourist Information), is located in a replica granary and has numerous display boards depicting salt extraction. Various models and objects in the freely accessible outdoor area explain the craft of salt-simmering craft.
Tour length: 54 km
Route profile: mainly paved agricultural roads and cycle paths, sections on traffic calmed district roads and paved paths.
Signposting: marked from start to finish with the pictogram shown below
Recommended bike: touring bike
Starting point: car park behind the town hall Bergen, Deichend 3-7, 29303 Bergen
Coordinates: N: 52.810611, E: 9.963035
Tourist Information Bergen
Deichend 3, 29303 Bergen, Tel. 05051 47964
You can find interesting information about all of our biking and hiking trails in the Region Celle Navigator.
Centrally located at Friedensplatz (Peace Square) in Bergen, the Römstedthaus Museum invites you to view its exhibits on rural life and work, as well as noteworthy finds from burial mound fields. Nearby, St. Lamberti church with its wooden belfry offers a place of contemplation, while the "water playground" is a great place for some aquatic fun and games. A typical heath village with old farmhouses awaits you in Hagen. Continue to Bleckmar – a charming timber-framed town with three historic circular trails – and then on to Wardboehmen. Turn left onto the highway towards Becklingen.
The Forestry Museum Becklinger Holz has more than 300 tools and documents from the time of traditional forestry work on display (opening hours: April-September, Sundays 2 to 5 p.m.).
A detour along the bike path on the B3 leads you to an architecturally impressive and emotionally touching military cemetery: embedded in the hillside, thousands of victims of the Second World War are buried here in seemingly endless rows. A little further on you will come to the Heinrich Eggers observation tower on Becklingen Moor, where the telescope and benches invite you to take a break. Learn more about the origins, uses and biodiversity of the moor. Between Dagefoerde and Nindorf lies a hill with wonderful views over meadows, fields and forests. In the forest areas north of Wohlde you will see a 3,000-year-old burial mound field with around 45 graves. The dead were buried here mostly in dug-out oak trunks. The history of the former place of pilgrimage in Wohlde is explained at the former location of the pilgrimage chapel.
The route continues via Huxahl to Suelze. The name (from the local German dialect "Op dem Solte", meaning "On the salt”) refers to the 500-year-old salt history and the former saline works, all of which are vividly described on panels and models at the Saline Museum (opening times: 1.8.-3.10.: Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.). Fresh cow’s milk is available from the "milk filling station" next door. Suelze’s timber-framed church of 1754 is well worth a visit. In addition, Suelze also boast an Africa Museum. Various exhibits of art, culture and nature as well as the experiences of the museum’s operators on the continent bring Africa to life (opening hours by appointment).
Eversen, an idyllic heath village situated on the Oertze with magnificent manor houses and a boat dock, is a great place to take a break. A 6.5 km circular trail with information boards takes you to the the three remarkable manors of the town, whose history goes back to the 15th century. You can also see a large raft as a reference to the tradition of rafting on the Oertze and the remains of the pipe dam, where the precious brine was transported to the saline where the salt was extracted. The tour takes you along agricultural land to Belsen, from where a 4 km detour to the Bergen-Belsen Memorial takes place. More than 70,000 people died in the former concentration camp between 1941 and 1945, among them Anne Frank. On the way back to Bergen, a huge metal sculpture by Hanoverian artists Almut and Hans Jürgen Breuste catches the eye. The memorial and the remains of the old loading dock and a train wagon recall the march of the exhausted prisoners to the camp six kilometers away.