Mountain Biking Highlight
Some navigation apps (including Komoot) state (still) that there are still stairs or steps on the southern side of the dam. However, these were eliminated last year. You no longer have to carry your bike up the steps to get to the forest path to the south.
Although the connecting path between the dam and forest path is secured by a wooden railing, bikers should be careful as it is very steep, rocky and slippery in wet weather.
July 12, 2020
The Urft Dam is a curved gravity dam with its convex side facing upstream and an earth embankment (an Intze Wedge) on the reservoir side that reaches about half the height of the dam wall. It is located about 6.8 kilometers, as the crow flies, west-northwest of Gemünd, the northern part of the town of Schleiden in the district of Euskirchen.The Urft dam was built between 1900 and 1905. The general plan of the dam was drawn up by Prof. Dr. Otto Intze from Aachen and built according to the so-called Intze principle; Intze also led the construction. To build the dam wall, a railway line was laid from Gemünd to the site to transport men and material. The dam is made of rubble composed of locally quarried greywacke and slate and rises 58.5 meters above its base (Gründungssohle). At its crown it is approximately 226 meters long and 6 meters wide, and 50.5 meters wide at its foot. The Urft dam was also the highest in Europe until the construction of the Bober dam in the Silesian Giant Mountains in 1912.When completed, the Urft Dam became the model for many other projects in the country and abroad after water management for industrialization became increasingly important after the end of the 19th century . Test impoundment of the river began in November 1904, its use in water management began on August 26, 1905.
August 17, 2022
To the north of the Urft Dam and separated from it by the base of a narrow peninsula is the weir-like weir with a maximum width of 91 meters which cascades down a total of 33 steps. Inside the dam, at an interval of 2.5 meters, are vertical clay-filled tubes that drain water that infiltrates the dam wall.Several lower outlet towers provide access to inspection catwalks at two different depths which allow the condition of the Urft dam to be checked. The lower inspection gallery runs along its base joint. From 1994 to 2000, the dam was completely renovated. Among other things, an issue with uplift pressure has been resolved. It was also equipped with two new visit galleries dug with explosives, with a total length of 320 meters, an average height of 3.10 meters and an average width of 2.40 meters, as well as new sealings and drainages and numerous measuring devices.The Eifel-Rur water board celebrated the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Urft dam on August 26, 2005.Since the completion of the Rur dam, the Urft dam not only retains water on its upstream side, but also retains the waters of the Rur reservoir (also called Obersee) on its downstream side to a depth 12 meters.
August 17, 2022
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