One of the unique but underrated features of the city of Göttingen, Germany is the Leinekanal – a channel bringing water to the city center. Officially it is named Mühlengraben (mill moat) but no one in the city calls it like that. It was created in the 14th century by extending a small river called Gote. In medieval times it was used to transport wastewater out of the city and to operate mills like the Stockleffmühle or Odilienmühle. Later the water of the channel was also used for brewing beer.
Today it is simply a channel through the city where you can in some parts walk along and at some places you can sit next to the water. Sometimes it is used for duck races or canoe tours. But that’s all. You can’t find more information about it without going to the city archives. And it could be so wonderful create a walkway along the channel for the complete length – a project that couldn’t be realized yet.
The Mühlengraben or Leinekanal receives its water from the river Leine in the south of the city. Close to the Badeparadies Eiswiese and the Freibad am Brauweg the water is taken and passes the Walkemühle. It then floats a little bit hidden behind residential houses and factories before it enters the city centre underground near the Bismarckhäuschen and the Odilienmühle. Between the Groner-Tor-Straße and the Goetheallee, you can walk along the water on a path called Christian-Gottlob-Heyne-Ufer.
Near the Waageplatz and the Stockleffmühle there is now the Robert-Gernhardt-Platz on the area which was formerly the old city indoor pool. Now there is a terrace that leads down to the Leinekanal. Behind that the water floats into a tunnel and appears only behind the railway tracks. From there it runs back to the river Leine – the confluence is close to the Schützenplatz and the new sports arena. The best places along the water you can visit are:
- the Christian-Gottlob-Heyne-Ufer for a nice walk along the channel.
- the Odilienmühle with its restored water wheel and a bar inside.
- the area of the old brewery with a restaurant next to the water.
- the Café Hemer – a small coffee bar outside the city centre.
- the terrace near the Stockleffmühle.
Leinekanal / Mühlengraben