The Ochsenweg also Heerweg (Danish: Hærvejen, Sakservejen or Adelvejen; Low German: Ossenpadd ), is a historical land on the Cimbrian peninsula of Viborg in Denmark to Wedel in Schleswig -Holstein.


Because of the competition from the ports and Elbübergänge the way on the last kilometers branched however. In early times the most important Elbe crossing was a ferry service from the Hetlinger Schanze on Lühesand to Lower Saxony. In the Middle Ages, Hamburg became the most important city on the lower Elbe. At the entry of the Oxen Trail in Hamburg area the ox duty was. Since the Danish rulers of Schleswig-Holstein trade rather wanted to draw in their own ports, had the Ox Trail also branches of Happiness town and Altona.

Striking is the routing near Flensburg and Schleswig / Hedeby: The main route led respectively by on the west ridge of the city, and the former route is now in Flensburg, the route of a bypass road. In addition there was from the northwest and southwest of branches in the port cities of the fjords. From Ochsenweg more highways ran off like the Angelbowege.


The origins of the Oxen Trail are probably in the Bronze Age. The road was mostly on the dry part of the two important natural landscapes of the Cimbrian peninsula, the Geest of the Baltic country back to the east and the Geestrand as access to marshland in the west. On long distances, he was following the watershed. The flowing from the Baltic Sea to the west peninsula fishing treene was easy to cross in their upper reaches. A major natural obstacle represented the Eider valley since the Eider is already quite wide to the east and the Ochsenweg had to cross its lower reaches. In Denmark, the trail runs in some areas still on the original route, so at Oksekær, and there exist a small bridges like the granite ashlar bridge Gejlå Bro of 1818.

The common-name, the Ancient Road from cattle trade, which was settled in this way. Until the 19th century cattle from Jutland and the Danish islands were driven to the mast areas in the North Sea marshes of the west coast of Schleswig -Holstein, East and West Friesland. There they were herded up for sale as fat cattle.

In the past often soft ground oxen were important as draft animals. Despite its Danish name Heerweg he was seldom roadmap of armies, there were from antiquity to the 19th century only a few invasions from Jutland or Schleswig to the south and only about three from Germany to the north. In the Middle Ages, he also served as part of the pilgrimage from Denmark to northern Spain.

The Altona- Kiel, Neumünster - Rendsburgsche and Rendsburg- Easter Ohrstedt - in the East: The End of the line for the cattle drive resulted in the railway construction until the end of the 19th century as railroads took over this task to a large extent the Ochsenwegtrassen following routes Flensburg- Fredericia - line, to the west the Marschbahn.

In the Middle Ages and the early modern period of Ochsenweg was also an important pilgrimage route that people from Northern Europe led in particular to Italy. He was also taken around 1500 by Erhard Etzlaub in his famous Romwege card.

Hærvejen was used late 20th century as a unifying symbol between Germans and Danes and now serves traditional marches and events in connection therewith.


Since 1998, the Army Road Biking Transversal with two variants between the Danish border near Flensburg and Wedel near Hamburg. Since some sections of the historic trail are now impassable, while others were the main street, historic and touristic development are not always identical. The very flat and therefore easily navigable bicycle path on the ridge of Schleswig -Holstein found north in Denmark as a continuation Hærvejsruten ( Heerweg route, national cycle route No. 3). The bike path is part of the D - Route 7, which in turn is part of the Euro Velo Route 3.