A cultural Landscape
The Lower Saxonian Elbe valley is an ancient cultural landscape, with traces of human activity going back to the Bronze Age 3,000 years ago. However, permanent settlement of the valley floor with arable farming was not possible for a very long time on account of the fact that the river flooded it every year.
For thousands of years the original valley of the Elbe consisted of impenetrable and unpredictable floodplains, with meandering branches of the river forming a complex system of waterways between swamps, moors and riparian forests, all of which were subjected to wholesale flooding at least once a year.
In recent centuries, however, human activities have slowly transformed the Elbe valley from a natural landscape to a cultural landscape – and the process continues to this day.
In recent centuries human activities have slowly transformed the Elbe valley from a natural landscape to a cultural landscape.