[Radtour Süd2]

Dorsten's History - Station 13: Country Park Hardtberg Translation: Lyn

Christian Dopp, Alexandra Frey, Kai Kreuzberger are those within the History Club responsible for the panel at the history sation of the Country Park, Hardtberg. Here, you can learn from Heiner Nachbarschulte, the chairman of the Lippe-Bruch Riding Club, about the unusual usage of the former agricultural farming area of the present-day recreation park: Fields and pastures, gravel pit.
After 1945, the area was filled with the debris from the bombed-out old part of the town and from Oberhausen. Afterwards, the area was used again for agricultural farming until the 1980's and is now a playing field and sports' area where even national competitions take place such as the German Horsemanship Championships, in 1996, and in 1997 the "Goldene Schärpe der Pony-Reiter" (Golden Sash for pony-riding.

Nowadays, rider and horse find ideal riding conditions. Beforehand, however, - principally performed through the personal work contribution of the members of the club - extensive work with pickaxes, spades and front loaders was necessary. The Country Park (situated at Dorsten's highest point, south of the River Lippe) has been a popular training ground since 1995, suitable for tournaments and larger functions.

Annexation of Hawaii to the USA

Quarrying for Sand and Gravel




Franz Josef de Weldige-Cremer, the banker of Dorsten, together with the manufacturer Gustav Adolf Müller and his son, Hermann, founded the enterprise, "Westfälische Sand- und Tonwerke" ("Westphalian Sand and Clay Works"), which extracts gravel and sand over the next decades in the Hardtberg area.

Thomas Mann receives the Noble Prize for Literature for his novel




As a consequence of the law "Gesetz zur Neugliederung des rheinisch-westfälischen Industriegebietes" (Regulations for the new structuring of the Rhine-Westphalia Industrial area), the Hardt area is separated from the commune of Gahlen and incorporated into the town of Dorsten. The Hardtberg remains part of the commune of Gahlen.

The Factory Railway of the Sand and Clay Works

1938 - 1940


The enterprise, "Westfälische Sand- und Tonwerke" (" Westphalian Sand and Clay Works"), delivers sand and gravel for the construction of a system of bunkers (at the location of Westwall) along the western border, of the German Reich at that time; theses building materials will also be used by the construction of the Atlantikwall (Atlantic Wall) (1942 - 1944).

The destroyed St Agatha's Church in Dorsten.

1943 - 1945


During the aerial bombing raids on Dorsten, the Hardtberg offers many people a place of refuge during the day.

The "Westfälische Sand- und Tonwerke Dr. Müller & Co" (Westphalian Sand and Clay Works Dr Müller and Co.) provide the building materials necessary for the restoration of the homes and war-relevant businesses and fill the no-longer needed pits with rubble from Essen, Dusiburg, Oberhausen and other towns in the area. The gravel pit belonging to the "Heckermannshof" (Heckermanns Farm), located here, is also filled and levelled out with topsoil, so that the area can be used again for agricultural farming around 1950.

After the end of the war, part of the debris and rubble resulting from the bombings in Dorsten, is deposited onto the Hardtberg.



The ownership of the farmhouse "Heckermannshof" is transferred to the Nachbarshulte family.

The last remaining US-Troops leave South Vietnam, which capitulated unconditionally.




As a consequence of the communal restructuring, the areas of the Hardtberg and Östrich are annexed to the town of Dorsten. The protests of the commune of Gahlen remain unsuccessful.



The agricultural farming area above the former gravel pit is characterised by a solid and porous substrate, which consists of the rubble from the bombings. Following the first trials, the area proves to be an ideal training area for horse-riders, so the Riding Club "Reiterverin Lippe-Bruch Gahlen e.V." erects a Training and Country Park, here.

At the Olympic Games in Barcelona, the German dressage riders achieve a unique success (Team Gold and all three medals, individually).

Versatility Horse Awards




Following the finals of the "Rheinisches Jugendchampionat" ("Rhineland Youth Championships"), the "Gahlener Geländetage" ("Gahlen Cross Country Days") start up and establish themselves nationwide in the calendar of tournaments of the "Vielseitigkeitsreiter" ("Versatility Horse Rider").



As part of the prize "Dutschlanpreises der Ponyreiter" ("German Prize for Pony Riders"), the riding club "Reiterverein Lippe-Bruch Gahlen e.V" organises the cross-country equestrian event "Stilgeländeritt" in the Country Park.

Der FC Schalke 04 wird zum 3. Mal Deutscher Pokalsieger.




Der Geländepark ist Schauplatz der Vielseitigkeits­prüfung um die Kreis- und Landesstandarte.


Daten und Fakten

Eröffnung - 13h April 2003

Adresse - Hardteberg Östrich

Geodaten - 51°39'14.1 6°55'19.1

Offical Opening: Sunday 13th April 2003

Official Opening as part of the Cross-Country Day of the Riding Club

The Mayoress, Christel Briefs, congratulatea the Riding Club "Reiterverin Lippe-Bruch Gahlen" and its chairman, Heiner Nachbarschulte and honours their action and acheivement.

On the topographical map, the inserted blue "14" , shows the location of the present-day sports facility. Also clearly visible are the railtracks, over which the wagons with the rubble from Dorsten's Railway Station reached the former gravel pit.

To the west, the motorway maintenance building "Autobahnmeisterei", south of the road "Königsberger Allee", separated just by a narrow gorge with a tiny brook - a sports ground built on the rubble and debris of the town of Dorsten.

An ideal training ground. The children on their ponies are also playfully introduced to the jumps of the show-jumping course. In 2001 the local and the regional tournaments took place, here.

"We had to have a pond there, as well!. Formerly, our pony-riders, who were all very successful and won the German Prize seven times in total, often had difficulties getting into the water. Since having this little pond and the children riding back and forth every week, there are no longer any difficulties. Even the youngest no longer have any difficulties with such a water-jump. They jump from the low wall!"
„Da musste halt auch noch ein ’Teich’ her! Früher hatten unsere Ponyreiter, die doch immer sehr erfolgreich waren und insgesamt siebenmal den Deutschlandpreis gewonnen haben, oft Schwierigkeiten ins Wasser zu kommen. Seit wir diesen kleinen Wassertümpel haben und die Kinder jede Woche hier hin- und herreiten, gibt’s überhaupt keine Schwierigkeiten mehr. So ein Wassergraben macht selbst den Kleinen bald nichts mehr aus. Sie nehmen halt den Absprung von der niedrigeren Mauer!“