Okerstausee and Okertalsperre

Dams in the Harz Mountains are used for flood protection, power generation and drinking water production. One of the most beautiful dams you can visit in the Harz Mountains is the Oker Dam. With a water surface area of almost two square kilometres and a reservoir capacity of 46.85 million cubic metres, it is the largest dam in Lower Saxony. The Oker reservoir is held in place by a 260 metre long dam wall and is romantically situated in a beautiful natural setting. The deepest point of the lake is 65 metres. It was created in the 1950s by the flooding of Schulenberg. The inhabitants of the Oberharz village were relocated to the higher situated Neu-Schulenberg. A legendary story is told about the lake with the "sunken village": Allegedly, the ringing of the bells of a church tower can still be heard under the surface of the water today.

From Schulenberg you can enjoy an idyllic view of the Oker reservoir. In summer, the Oker reservoir offers ideal conditions for water sports. Here you can swim, surf or go on go on boat trips. You can also explore the dam wall and take part in informative guided tours. The Oker, which rises 910 metres above sea level on the Bruchberg, is bordered on both sides by cliffs and rock formations that are particularly popular with climbers. High above the Oker valley, granite rocks form the well-known Kästeklippen formation up to 605 metres above sea level. You can hike to the Kästeklippen from Romkerhall and enjoy a beautiful view of the Oker Valley once you reach the cliffs.

Romkerhall waterfall

Another highlight is the Romkerhall waterfall. This is located in the direct neighbourhood of the Oker reservoir, directly on the B 498 between Altenau and Goslar. The water from the River Romke cascades over the artificial waterfall, which is around 70 metres deep, and then flows into the River Oker. You can watch this spectacle from a viewing platform. In winter, the waterfall freezes into an impressive work of ice art that attracts ice climbers from all over Germany.

Below the waterfall you will find "Romkerhall", the smallest kingdom in the world. Romkerhall is the former hunting lodge of Hanoverian King George V. During a Harz region reform, Romkerhall was inadvertently "overlooked" and not assigned to any municipality, whereupon it was proclaimed the "smallest kingdom in the world" in 1988. Here you can spend the night in a royal hotel with a matching knights' hall and even pay with royal money, the "Königsthaler coins".

Romkerhall waterfall Upper Harz
©Bettina Höll