The Ochsenweg (or Oxen Road) back then
The story of the Ochsenweg
The origin of the Ochsenweg lies in 19th century agriculture. The 245 kilometre long road leads from Flensburg, Schleswig and Rendsburg to Wedel near Hamburg. As the name suggests, the Ochsenweg once served as a central route to escort Oxen from Denmark to Northern Germany. A total of 50,000 oxen were driven to the trading centres during the peak times.
It served not only to transfer oxen, but it was also used by soldiers, merchants and palmers as a direct route to the south.
The Ochsenweg today
A historic cycling route
Today, you have the chance to discover the Ochsenweg by bike and to cycle the 245 kilometre long track from Flensburg to Wedel near Hamburg. In the Schlei region, you will pass some beautiful gardens such as the biblical garden in the heart of Schleswig's old town where a monastery garden shows the flora mentioned in the bible. Inside you learn about wine, wormwood, the Judas tree and Jacob's ladder as well as the biblical meaning of mandrake, pomegranate and Madonna lily.
Afterwards, it's worth visiting one of the greatest archaeological monuments in Northern Europe – the Danevirke. The Danevirke Museum presents the history of the Danevirke in German and Danish which was erected between the 7th and 11th century.
The Danevirke used to represent the southern border of the Danish kingdom. The first defensive fortifications were built around 650 AD. You should also take the time to discover the outside area. Here, you can view the various elements of the defence fortification such as parts of Valdemar's wall. Even the nature around Danevirke invites you on a small hike.
Before you continue on your tour towards Rendsburg, make sure to pay a visit to the adventure track in Kropp. Here, you can find preserved historical sections of the Ochsenweg.
The remarkable thing about it is that you can witness the past of Ochsenweg as there are some historical references to be found. It's also an ideal place for a break before your next stage.