From a paradise for beach pirates to a haven for sand martins
In the Middle Ages, beach pirates would light beacons to lure ships onto the sand banks just off the coast and would then plunder them. Thankfully, these bleak times are long gone, in the 19th century, increasing numbers of summer visitors to the up-and-coming resort of Travemünde “discovered” the perfect excursion destination: the Hermannshöhe with its Seetempel gazebo.
The striated, sometimes towering cliffs of the Brodten steep coast stretch for 4 km. The whole area is known as the Brodtener Winkel and is a protected conservation area.
The Baltic Sea created the cliffs over the centuries – and the sea and wind still “nibble” away at the Brodten steep coast today. Up to a metre a year is eroded by the sea and washed up a couple of 100 m further down on the beaches of Travemünde or Priwall.
A bluff (“active cliff”) occurs when the sea has free rein. It is directly exposed to the might of the waves and is used as a breeding ground by the rare sand martins, which nest in holes in the cliff face.
Towards Niendorf the southern part of the cliff becomes a “passive cliff” – the erosion here has largely ceased and the former steep cliff edge has been “reconquered” by thick vegetation.
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