As well as growing sugar beet, many of the 96,458 inhabitants are involved in some way in the propagation, cultivation, processing, sale and distribution of the local “Heidekartoffeln” – heathland-grown potatoes. In addition to food production, other core sectors are health care management, tourism and engineering. Uelzen’s port on the Elbe branch canal is important to the region; it handles well over 200,000 tonnes of cargo every year.
Hundertwasser certainly left his mark on Uelzen. The town’s rail station was decorated by the Austrian artistic multi-talent Friedensreich Hundertwasser and is one of Germany’s most attractive. More than half a million visitors have been delighted by this unique and entrancing architecture project that helped transform Uelzen into a little gem on Lüneburg Heath.
Bad Bevensen, a spa with iodine and rock-salt-rich waters, the Diana Clinic and cardiovascular disease clinic, is the tourism and medical care centre of the district. More than 70,000 people visit on holiday and to take the waters and spa treatments every year.
The gently hilly flood plain in the Lüneburg Heath is ideal for cycling or walking. With historical monastic and convent buildings, the agricultural museum and Burg Bodenteich castle, there are also plenty of cultural attractions.