The Punt van Reide is located in the Dollard estuary region, where the fresh water of the Eems river mixes with the salt water of the Wadden Sea, making for a truly special venue. The Bezoekerscentrum Dollard is a wonderful starting point to explore the area, watch a film featuring the local countryside and spot the first birds of your day from the top of the building. This visitors centre is the perfect operating base for various trails and bicycle routes.
Due to their comparatively high altitude, the salt marshes in this area are fairly infrequently washed over by seawater. The uncommon convergence of fresh and salt water makes for a special habitat that suits an extraordinary variety of plants and animals. Sea aster has found a perfect niche here, while the area also provides Arctic stern, common tern and redshank with a nesting ground. In fact, the Dollard estuary functions as the Wadden Sea breeding ground. Pregnant seals swim along the Eems river towards the sandbanks near the coast to deliver their pups. Feel free to take position behind the viewing wall, where you can watch them from up close while leaving them undisturbed.
The Punt van Reide is also a place that carries visible traces from the past. Due to its strategic location, the area was of key importance during the Eighty Years’ War and World War II. In World War II, the Germans constructed a defence work on top of barracks in the water to defend the harbour of Emden. In 1943, they headed for higher ground and built the Batterij Fiemel, which became part of the Atlantikwall (Atlantic Wall); the line of defence along the entire western coast of Europe. While the greater number of the bunkers have been demolished, two were retained at Fiemel. One has been converted into overnight accommodation for bats, while the other is now an information point about one of the last Dutch areas to be liberated. The exhibition is accessible free of charge.