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Route Saxony-Anhalt

Highs and lows, mountains and valleys, wet and dry, in short something of everything is ready to welcome you to the section of the R1 through Saxony-Anhalt.

Soon after Bad Harzburg in Lower Saxony, the route crosses what had been the border between West and East Germany, which is now only marked by the valley of the river Ecker.

From here on, many of the tracks in this section are unpaved and you will need to be in good condition. However, the advantage is that there is little contact with motor traffic.

You are still cycling in the Harz hills here, and in some cases it can be advisable to use one of the available alternative routes.

Every now and then you will catch first glimpses of the flatlands of the Harzvorland, and you know that the terrain will soon have levelled out. Wernigerode is the first town on this route through Anhalt, and with its castle and the historical town centre it is well worth a longer stay.

From here you proceed into the Unterharznature conservation area where the contour level settles down at about 250 metres.

Cycling past the Michaelstein monastery with its music instrument museum, you arrive in the old mining town of Blankenburg.

Here too you have the opportunity to visit castles and palaces.

The town is now famous above all for its healing mud baths.

It is about 25 kilometres from Stassfurt to Bernburg and along the river Bode at levels between 60 and 80 metres and smooth sand tracks, the bicycle seems to be moving under its own power.

From Bernburg you cycle along part of the river Saale, which brought economic prosperity to the former principality.

Proceeding through flat land, the route of the R1 reaches the beginnings of the wild and romantic flood plain landscapes of the river Elbe.

The Elbe cycle route R2 welcomes you.

Near Aken the route of the R1 coincides with that of the R2.

Once past Dessau, you cycle through the Biosphere Reserve Middle Elbe and reach a park landscape which is unique in Europe - the Dessau-Wörlitzer Garden Realm.

This takes you to the river Elbe, and turning north you arrive in a small town with a significant place in world history.

Most cyclist will have heard of Lutherstadt Wittenberg.

Standing in front of the famous church door to which Luther nailed his theses that marked the start of the Reformation, it is possible to feel the ghost of history.

The route now continues northwards.

Soon after leaving Wittenberg the air becomes rich with the scent of the forest, announcing that you will soon be reaching the Fläming region.

Dense pine and mixed forests mark the end of the Anhalt section of the R1, as the route continues in the direction of Brandenburg.

On the Brocken/Harz

Wernigerode

Werigerode Castle

The river Elbe

Wörlitz Castle

The Dessau Wörlitzer Gartenreich

Wittenberg-City of Martin Luther