Tucked in the northern part of the Edersee Natural Park basement, Waldeck stretches from the shores of the Edersee reservoir up into the Langer Wald, “Long Forest”. It is a wonderfully arranged town with homes built in the rural architectural style that is typical of the region—steep roofs and a uniform beige colour. Remarkably, the small railway station shares the same style. With its quaint artisanal shops and restaurants, the pretty village is a pleasure to explore–when you are not visiting the impressive castle, the Edersee Dam, and other eye-catching sights around Lake Eder. The castle is connected to the lake via the Waldecker gondola mountain railway. In dry years, visitors can see the remnants of three villages and a bridge on the original riverbed that were submerged when the lake was filled in 1914. Another place of great interest is Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, which is brimming with wild fauna and flora.
Location: On the northern bank of the Edersee reservoir
Waldeck lies on the Edersee reservoir, a man-made lake in the north of the German Federal State of Hesse. With a network of road and rail tracks, the town it is well connected by car or train. Thanks to the good connection to the autobahn A49, Kassel is a convenient 45-minute drive away.
Culture: A medieval fortress
Waldeck Castle stands on a hill, 200 m above the 27-kilometre long lake. The fortified castle dates from the 12th century and is the former seat of wealthy counts who resided here until the 17th century. When you enter the castle, you first pass three gates before you come in the inner court. The castle museum displays the theme "Under lock and key" with exhibits from the era of the women's prison and the Waldeck 18th century prison. From the terrace, you have a fantastic view of Lake Eder and the wooded mountains in the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park.
Activities: Hiking and bird watching
The Kellerwald is a low mountain range reaching heights of up to 675 metres. It is Germany's largest contiguous beech woodland and it contains the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park. Hesse's only national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many hiking trails run through the Kellerwald, among them the Kellerwaldsteig, a 160 km-long ring that joins mountains and plateaus in the Nature Park while the 70 km-long Urwaldsteig Edersee ("Primeval Forest Trail") runs through the oak forests on the lake's north shore. Parts of the Kellerwald are a Special Protection Area for birds, among them the black stork, the common raven, the peregrine falcon, the honey buzzard, the Eurasian eagle owl, the red kite, the great grey shrike, and several species of woodpeckers. Therefore, the Kellerwald area is a paradise for birdwatchers.