Germany » Havel-Oder-Waterway | Germany
The main waterway connects the west of Berlin with River Oder
Havel-Oder-Waterway | Germany: Characteristics & Overview
Rating of waterway
|Length of waterway:||131 km|
|Number of locks:||3|
|Lock dimensions:||80.00 x 9.50|
|Max. depth:||2.50||Max. headroom:||4.00|
|Degree of difficulty:||Demanding|
|Requirements:||Boating license essential|
|Character of waterway:||no rating|
|Profile of waterway:||Main waterway|
Waterway has access to:Finowkanal / Werbellinkanal / Langer Trödel | Germany
Obere (Upper) Havel-Waterway | Germany
Oder River | Germany
Untere Havel-Wasserstrasse (Lower Havel-Waterway) with Elbe-Havel-Kanal und Havel-Kanal | Germany
Suitability for a boat/houseboat holiday****
The first 40 km of this waterway are mainly used by skippers navigating from Berlin to the Lake District of Mecklenburg.
History of the Havel-Oder-Waterway
Already in mediaeval times, people living in Berlin thought of a way to link River Havel with River Oder. Construction started in 1605 and in 1620 the canal was finally finished. Partially the old river bed of the Finow was used.
During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) the facilities degenerated and couldn't be used any more. Friedrich II gave order to build the Finow-Kanal and in 1746 was the first salt transport from the Havel to the Oder. Interesting is that almost all the canals built between 1398 (Elbe-Lübeck) and the end of the 17th century were done for salt transports.
The Oder-Havel canal was straightened in order to allow big vessels and opened in 1914. The four steps of the lock fleet soon didn't satisfy anymore and therefore the biggest ship lift at the time was constructed at Niederfinow.
Skippers in a hurry still use this link, but mainly the first 40 km from Berlin to the branch-off into the Obere-Havel-Wasserstrasse, leading to the Mecklenburgischen Seenplatte, are not very attractive.
This waterway doesn't offer many attractions to tourists at all. A stop may be recommended at Oranienburg, the Lehnitz Lake or at the old ship lift. If you have enough time and want to go from the Havel to the Oder, choose the old, peaceful Finow-Kanal.