Huge expanses of water shimmer in the sun, families are setting out on a bike ride, stand-up paddlers are doing their laps and boats are sailing on the lake. This scene in the Lusatian Lakeland today was an infinitely distant dream just a few decades ago. The lunar landscapes of the former opencast mines between Berlin and Dresden have been transformed into an attractive travel destination. Once completed, the Lusatian Lakeland will be the biggest man-made waterscape in Europe, with more than 20 flooded lakes and navigable canals.
The Lusatian Lakeland is no ordinary travel destination – it is a rapidly changing landscape. Before-and-after photographs illustrate how this former lignite-mining region is transforming into a holiday paradise.