Brombachsee, Bavaria, Germany

Lake Locations:

Germany - Bavaria -

Also known as:  Lake Brombach, Brombach Lake, Brombachsee Lake, Brombachvorsperre

As the largest lake in the man-made Franconian Lake District, Brombachsee–also known as Lake Brombach or Brombachvorsperre–is an impressive and popular destination. This lake covers more than 3,100 acres with a maximum depth of 105 feet (32 meters). Brombachsee was created in 2000 to control area flooding. The German water management project that established the Franconian Lake District is the largest of its kind in the history of Germany.

Brombachsee is part of the Altmuhl-Brombach Speichersystem (reservoir system), situated in Roth County and Weissenburg-Gunzenhausen County. The Altmuhl River was fitted with a diversion dam which forces water into the Altmuhl Basin and then through a diversion channel to Brombachsee. Lake Brombach’s reservoir has made a significant difference in improving the overly-dry northern areas and decreasing the flooding in the region through inter-basin water control schemes. Located about 23 miles (37 kilometers) southwest of Nuremberg, which is also the city with the closest major airport, Brombachsee is the largest artificial reservoir in Germany, with a length of 3.1 miles (5.1 kilometers), an area of 4.9 square miles (12.7 square kilometers) and a 10.9-mile-long (17.5-kilometer-long) shoreline.

The Franconian Lake District comprises a total of five separate lakes and several more ponds and smaller waterways. This young district is fairly large in total size, with total lake area equivalent to that of the Upper Bavarian Lake District. Begun in the 1980s, this water management project was designed to redirect waters from the basin of the Danube to the north, which is a traditionally dry area; its ultimate goal is to decrease the amount of flooding that occurs in the Altmuhl Valley. The Lake Brombach dam was completed in 1999, allowing the lake to be created the year after. Visitors to the area who are not aware of the origins may not realize that these lakes were artificially created; they appear natural and seem to fit perfectly into their unspoiled surrounding hillsides, forests, and full beaches. Surrounding Brombachsee and throughout the Franconian Lake District is an impressive 932 miles (1,500 kilometers) of maintained cycling trails as well as a network of walking trails and paths that is well-kept and easy to navigate and follow. Four recreation centers are found around the lake, and sailboat slips number more than 1,000.

The five lakes in the Franconian Lake District include Brombachsee, Altmuhlsee (Altmuhl Lake), Rothsee (Roth Lake), Hahnenkammsee and Dennenloher See (Dennenloher Lake). Brombachsee is made up of three adjoining bodies of water, all artificially created: Great Brombach Lake (Grosser Brombachsee) covers 2,150 acres and occupies the entire eastern half of the lake. Small Brombach Lake (Kleiner Brombachsee) makes up the wide southwestern arm of Brombachsee, with an area of about 590 acres. Small Brombach Lake is the preferred location for water activities, with its accommodatingly placid waters. It is a very popular water sport destination for locals and travelers; along its large beaches, vacationers can be found swimming, sailing, fishing, boating, surfing, wind surfing, water skiing and paddle boating; really, most every water recreation is found here. Small Brombach Lake is also higher lying than Great Brombach Lake, and is divided from the main lake by a 59-foot (18-meter) dam. This is an auxiliary dam, or check dam, as is the one that separates Igelsbachsee from Great Brombach Lake. Igelsbachsee (or Igelsbachsperre) is the thinner northwestern arm of Brombachsee, with a 4-mile (6.4 kilometer) shoreline and water depths up to 38 feet (11.5 meters). It too is higher lying than Great Brombach Lake; a 52-foot (16-meter) dam separates the two lakes.

The MS Brombachsee, the biggest European Trimaran passenger ship, operates daily on Brombachsee. This large ship crosses the lake regularly and docks at five locations on Brombachsee. Touring the lake by boat is another popular and relaxing activity.

Spalt, the “Hops and Beer Town,” is found lakeside on Brombachsee and is considered to be the heart of the Franconian Lake District. The Old Town in Spalt boasts very old “hops houses” with roofs that were designed with gables that were used to dry and store the locally grown hops. Also preserved are remains of walls and towers from earlier eras, along with splendid architecture and unique buildings. This area is known for its lovely small-town feel, where taking a stroll allows sightseers to view ruins of the Benedictine abbey from which Spalt emerged around 800 A.D. Although Spalt has always been a tourism destination, its popularity has increased since the creation of the Franconian Lake District. Replete with a wide variety of outdoor activities and local and area attractions, this town is well loved by individual travelers as well as couples, families, those traveling with children and group tours of all sizes and ages. Nature lovers travel here for the serene backdrop and unspoiled new coastlines. Fossils are commonly found in the limestone in this region, most notably a recent discovery of archaeopteryx fossils. Amateur archaeologists find the area a wonderful destination for discovering bits of the past, even beyond these fossils. More than a dozen castles stand in the district, as do 26 palaces. Ruins of note include the Limes wall, which was once the boundary of the Roman Empire. The Hassberge Nature Reserve is a diverse attraction with its natural beauty, full woods, open fields, peaks and valleys–and its many vestiges of military roads and trade routes from ancient times.

Bavaria, the largest state in Germany, is known for its pride in traditional aspects of its culture. From food to costume to dance, visitors to Bavaria will have no trouble finding evidence of its deeply traditional roots. The area is known for its wine making, and its hearty foods are the perfect match for the local wines and beers served by its inhabitants with great respect and pride. The choices and novelty of the dishes are sure to delight everyone. Lovers of Octoberfests won’t be disappointed in this region.

Retirees who are interested in the quiet life along a serene lake should consider real estate in this region, which would make a wonderful retirement location. Although there are hotels and other kinds of lodging available in the area, including Spalt and other towns close by, visitors give high praise to the experience to be had in renting self-catering holiday lodging. Single-family homes that retain the authentic flavor of the Bavarian culture are available as vacation properties and summer holidays, as are apartments, small cottages, charming downtown apartments, and many variations beyond these. The history of the homes and area is preserved with great love and care, but visitors will also find the advantages of modern amenities in most available rentals.

Things to do at Brombachsee

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Ruins

Brombachsee Photo Gallery

Brombachsee Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Government of the Federal State of Bavaria

Surface Area: 3,138 acres

Shoreline Length: 11 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 310 feet

Maximum Depth: 105 feet

Water Volume: 2,838 acre-feet

Completion Year: 2000

Lake Area-Population: 5,200

Drainage Area: 242 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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