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Station 01

Bog and Moraine

Esterwegen in the 21st Century

Esterwegen lies in the northern part of the Emsland, between Oldenburg and Papenburg. As the Emsland region began to develop, the village of Esterwegen changed from one with an agricultural orientation into a modern village with over 5,000 inhabitants. The village’s motto, ‘a green island in the moor’ can be taken quite literally. Esterwegen is situated on a forested glacial moraine over 39 m above sea level at its highest point. In the charming village square the Heritage House, community oven as well as the Esterwegen tourist office can be found. In front of the tourist office, the bronze statue of a peat cutter reminds passersby of the hard times that the first settlers experienced as they struggled to get fuel for cooking and heating in this inhospitable environment.

Since 1973, the villages of Esterwegen, Bockhorst, Breddenberg, Hilkenbrook and Surwold are joined in and together form the community of Nordhümmling. As an officially certified recreational area, Esterwegen offers active vacations for hiking and bicycling but also for leisure and relaxation. Erika Lake is an attractive destination with its youth camping sites for over 400 people and many camper van sites. The mini-golf course, skateboarding park, adventure playground and barbequing site ensures that kids and teenagers never get bored. Those who enjoy something a little unique will enjoy the archery range. The new MoorInfoPath and the excursion destination of Esterweger Dose enable you to experience and become fascinated by this habitat. The close proximity to Papenburg enables convenient regional day trips and lets you experience fen cultivation up close.


You get a moving impression of Esterwegen and the joint municipality of Nordhümmling in the truest sense of the word with the image film of the municipalities.  A trailer makes you want to visit Esterwegen..

Tip: To see the photo captions, hold your mouse over the image. If you’re using a Smartphone leave your finger on the image. A larger image will pop up if you click it.

Melmmoor / Kuhdammoor
The Esterweger MoorInfoPath lies in the Melmmoor/Kuhdammoor south of the coastal canal. The 1300 hectares large Melmmoor/Kuhdammoor became an official nature reserve in 1992. Local farmers privately own 1000 hectares of the reserve. The nature reserve is of national importance as a meadow bird breeding ground and is part of the European Special Protection Area. The black-tailed godwit, the common red shank, the lapwing, Eurasian curlew, and the common snipe breed in the Melmmoor/Kuhdammoor. Renatured bog areas and badlands provide an important habitat for flora and fauna.
Additional Links | Website of the recreation centre of Esterwegen | Website of the joint community of Nordhümmling | Website of the Esterwegen memorial site | Website of the Esterwegen convent

Tourist-Information Esterwegen | ÖOpening hours and information from the Esterwegen tourist office on the Nordhümmling website

Additional Literature

Schmidt-Czaia, Bettina (Hrsg.): Esterwegen 1223 – 1999: „Moor und Heide nur ringsum…?“. Gemeinde Esterwegen (1999), ISBN: 3-00-0044441-8, also available directly from the Community of Esterwegen.

© Gemeinde Esterwegen. All rights reserved..