Börltal in Gö – A Westside Story – July 22 2021 Gravel/Road Ride

We ventured away from the Dransfeld Ramp (an abandoned railway) and rode into the Börl Valley via the village of Hetjershausen (the village well survives) to the west of Göttingen.

In Groß Ellershausen the Lindenhof pub still stands and this was frequented by the first German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck and poet Heinrich Heine, and it is said that the pair scratched their names upon a window pane – looking at the building I wonder if the signatures remain because the building now seems to have modern windows.

Börltal features thousand-year villages, and it is the source of the Grone River flowing into the Leine River upon which the City of Göttingen is located. In the village of Elliehausen archaeological excavations have found traces of the Neolithic Rössener culture (4790 and 4550 BC) and an Iron Age settlement. Additionally, Rössen Culture graves were found at Obernjesa in the Leine Valley and a settlement to the East of Gö at Seulingen. More evidence of the Neolithic period was uncovered at Harste, Klein Lengden and Wollbrandshausen.

The Börltal features wide high ground over looking Göttingen and it was a place of importance for military control of the city and the Leine Valley. During the Thirty Years War the Imperial Catholic armies of the Holy Roman Empire and the opposing Protestant Swedish Army both based themselves here at one time or other in this horrendous conflict.

The Börltal and the Dransfeld plateau was also the site of several Medieval Warte (watchtowers) such as at Olenhausen (in the Grundbach) and at Knutbühren (Börltal). 

The area was decimated by the Thirty Years War during the siege of Gö (picture below), and to compound the hurt the later Seven Years War also took its toll – the Freikorps Fischer being infamous for its actions in the area in support of the French forces. In World War Two a munitions depot, plus aircraft and flak gun repair workshops were hidden in the Genossenschaftsforst Grone. Today, only concrete aprons remain obscured in the undergrowth. This site was near to the non-combat military airport at Weende and not far away in Lenglern was an ammunition and explosives factory.

The airport and the two munitions’ sites were worked by forced labourers and satellite-camps of the KZ Buchenwald Konzentrationslager were built adjacent to the works.

In 1945 WW2 some villages were damaged by US Army artillery fire.

Sadly the area is split by the busy with traffic B3 road (lorries especiialy going to the business parks in Grone and Weende) and this is best avoided on a bike.

The Ride
Garmin Connect: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/7171001889
Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/5669777031

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