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Vestbirk Hydroelectric Plant (Vandkraftværk)

Vestbirk Hydropower Plant is the obvious destination for an excursion, when looking for beautiful natural surroundings mixed with historic buildings. The waterpower station is one of the many exciting attractions at the river Gudenåen.

Vestbirk Hydropower Plant

Vestbirk Hydropower Plant is Denmark’s first alternative power plant, powered by waterpower. The station is located by the scenic river Gudenåen and is an exciting historical excursion destination for both walking and canoeing. 

The site is also known as the headquarters of the famous Danish Christmas TV broadcast ”Nissebanden på Grønland”.

However, the station is only open for guided tours.

You can read more about the history of the place at the poster exhibition that tells about the old mills and the waterpower station.

If you are on an excursion, you can easily bring your picnic baskets. There are tables and benches and also a shelter for 20 people where you can eat your lunch. There is also access to toilets.

Vestbirk Hydropower Plant is less than 1 km from ”The Uncovered Bridge” (Den Genfundne Bro) which is also a popular excursion destination.


Guided tours

 You have the opportunity to join a guided tour at Vestbirk Hydropower Plant. See here if guided tours are planned for


  • Vestbirk Hydropower Plant
  • The Uncovered Bridge (Den Genfundne Bro) and Vestbirk Hydropower Plant


For those travelling in canoe

At Vestbirk Hydropower Plant there are trolleys that you can use to move your canoe on land from the canal to the river Gudenåen.



There is a parking lot at Søbanke (between Vestbirk and Gammelstrup, where the canal runs from Vestbirk Lake.


The history of Vestbirk Hydropower Plant

In December 1924, Vestbirk opened a waterpower station. Alternative energy sources, such as waterpower to produce electricity, had become attractive. After World War 1 (1914-1918) there was no longer a supply of coal and diesel.

A huge amount of work was done to calculate the right fall on the water to power the turbines. 120 people were involved in the digging and construction work over a number of years. As a result, the 3 lakes Bredvad, Naldal and Vestbirk were formed.

The plant was built by architect Mikkel Thomsen and engineer Kr. Thomsen for the then newly founded company Horsens Omegns Forenede Vandkraftværk.

The hydropower plant is located where Vestbirk Yarn- and Knitwear Factory (Vestbirk Garn- og Trikotagefabrik) was built in 1852. The factory utilized waterpower until a fire in 1920.

In 1979 the plant and lakes were sold to the Danish Forest and Nature Agency, which still leases and operates the station and the areas. The station still sends 1.8 million kWh to the grid per year.