Without the locks the journey of many huge vessels would end before having reached its destination. In order to ensure an even draught between the lower and the upper Elbe, 1957 the locks were built. The reason was that the lower Elbe had to be dredged out to 12 metres depth in order to provide a safe passage. Most importantly the water level of the upper Elbe did not get too low. Moreover, it had to be observed that the groundwater level of the nearby “Elbmarsch” area did not sink.
Since that time the locks with the channel have been of great importance. In spite of the enormous difference of water level even big vessels can pass safely. With the barrage the water level of the Elbe is increased up to 2 metres beyond the normal mark.
The lock is also part of our special „Technology Tour“. Technics enthusiasts will love this interesting bicycle tour to all technical innovations in or near Geesthacht.
The locks are an impressing technological installation. It has a length of 230 metres and a width of 25 metres as well as strong electricity pillars of 5 metres and weir buildings of 50 metres each.
It had been built from 1957 to 1960, the second lock chamber from 1978 to 1981.
The height of the barrage is 4 metres above NN.