The Pfaffensee is the oldest of three lakes that can be found directly behind each other in the Rotwildpark near Stuttgart.
Most people in Stuttgart probably refer to the three lakes as bear lakes for the sake of simplicity. In 1566 Duke Christoph decided to build the Pfaffensee in order to end the then water shortage of the mills. For this purpose, the Glems was dammed.
The other two lakes came later. The Glems currently flows over the Pfaffensee to the New Lake and from there over an overflow into the Mahdental towards Leonberg.
The Stuttgart Park lakes are located on the subdivision of the Stuttgart district Wildpark in the inner district of Stuttgart-West and Büsnau in the outer district of Stuttgart Vaihingen. Among the park lakes in the nature reserve Rotwildpark near Stuttgart include the Bear Lake, the New Lake and the Pfaffensee, and in the conservation area Glemswald the Katzenbachsee and the Steinbachsee. Regionally known and in summer very popular for recreation is the Bärensee lying Bärenschlössle.
Before the introduction of a powerful long-distance water supply (provincial water supply, Lake Constance water supply) in the last century, Stuttgart was dependent on some sources and the low water supply of the city brook Nesenbach. With the expansion of water pipes and spring sockets for the then royal town Nesenbach was increasingly deprived of water, so that the settled in the city mill operators complained in 1564 about lack of water.
The experts used for the investigation confirmed the lack of water and proposed to create an artificial lake in the Glemswald southwest of the city and thus capture a reservoir of water that has so far flowed unused into the Glems. The water should then be fed to the Nesenbach. Duke Christoph decided on January 21, 1566, the construction of the Pfaffensee at the knee of the highest Glems and a named after him, 2810 foot long tunnel to the Heidenklinge and thus over the Heslacher waterfalls to Nesenbachtal. Since the tunnel was not executed with the required slope, he did not bring the desired improvement. After the death of Christoph, his son Ludwig left the project until the millers again complained about water scarcity. In 1575 the Christophstollen was completed and even the dry summer of 1578 brought the mills to a standstill.
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