On the track of the Heidjer culture
Kulturfindlinge (Cultural Boulders)
Route: Jesteburg - Hanstedt – Undeloh – Egestorf – Eyendorf – Raven - Soderstorf - Amelinghausen - Betzendorf - Südergellersen - Lüneburg
Total length: 88 km
Signposts: The trail is continuously signposted with public hiking path signs.
Accessibility: The hiking trail is accessible all year round and the difference in altitude is minimal.
Maps: Cartography and layout: Lüneburger Heide GmbH. All information subject to change. All rights reserved.
Characteristics: The area of today’s Lüneburg Heath Nature Park has been populated for more than 5,000 years. The people built houses and barns, churches and burial places from material they found in the heath landscape.
The “Kultur-Findlinge” (Cultural Boulders) hiking trail invites you to follow the tracks of the Heidjer culture. The path leads you through the natural landscape to typical heathland villages with thatched roofs and barns and directs you to the outstanding cultural and art historical sites of the heathland.
The starting point of the “Kultur-Findlinge” hiking trail is in Jesteburg, in the north of the Lüneburg Heath.
The Kunststätte Bossard site of arts is located in the middle of the forest and is a particular highlight of the region here. Johann and Jutta Bossard established the Kunststätte Bossard between 1911 and 1950. They united architecture, sculpture, painting, arts and crafts as well as landscape gardening into a synthesis of the arts – the “Gesamtkunstwerk”. The home and studio in Heimatschutzstil (homeland security style) is artistically furnished down to the smallest detail. Next to the residential building is the “Kunststempel” (Temple of Fine Arts), an example of expressionist brick architecture built in 1926. The artist couple created an impressive garden landscape extending over three hectares of forest land. Now continue via Dierkshausen to Hanstedt. St. Jacob's Church in Hanstedt is a true cultural gem.
The trail leads from Hanstedt through the “Schmale Aue-Tal” (narrow floodplain valley) into the small heathland village of Undeloh near to the nature reserve. The Heide-ErlebnisZentrum (Heath Experience Centre) opened in 2009 in Undeloh is worth seeing, as well as the St. Magdalena Church. The Heide-ErlebnisZentrum uses modern media to present the genesis of the cultural heath landscape over certain periods of time. Experience the emergence of the landscape during the Ice Ages inside an ice grotto. The typical habitats of the heath, i.e. rivers, moors and, of course, the heathland areas, are presented along with their flora and fauna in a very understandable way.
After visiting the Heide-ErlebnisZentrum, continue through the Radenbachtal towards Egestorf, where you can find the half-timbered St. Stephen’s Church. The church has a separate wooden bell tower reminiscent of Nordic stave churches. The altarpiece, pulpit and old paintings with figures from the Old Testament are of particular note inside the church. The Barfusspark Egestorf (Barefoot Park) is also worth a visit and recommended for tired hiking feet. The trail leads from Egestorf to Raven. It is worth taking a break in Eyendorf to see the smock grounder sailer mill still in use today. In contrast to German post mills where the entire building rests on a pivot and rotates, only the cap turns round to meet the wind in smock mills. On the way from Eyendorf to Raven, you will encounter an impressive megalithic tomb – an ancestral burial chamber – from here continue to the Oldendorf Totenstatt (burial ground). These are one of the fascinating testimonies of the early history of the Lüneburg Heath Nature Park. The megalithic tombs feature either side of the path and are up to 80 m long with several entrances.
Continue to the heathland village of Amelinghausen. Amelinghausen is famous for its annual Heather Festival that takes place in mid-August and is celebrated in style in Amelinghausen and in the Kronsbergheide.
An idyllic place to end the day is the lake Lopausee. The trail then leads from Amelinghausen over the heathland villages of Betzendorf, Südergellersen and Heiligenthal in the Hanseatic salt trading town of Lüneburg.