In the course of a lifetime, we visit countless sites and locations, many of which fade in our memory, however, not in this case. Visitors from the North and the South will remember Altenbeken, if they ever travelled across the 'Gate to the Egge Mountains' by rail. The 'Bekeviaduct' at the entrance to the village of Altenbeken is a symbol of its link to the railway. With a length of 482m, standing 35m in height and spanning 24 arches, this viaduct is deemed to be the largest sandstone bridge in Europe. More importantly, it is the landmark of Altenbeken. The Golden Viaduct decorates the community’s town crest and the stone Viaduct is the entrance to Altenbeken and the gate to the charming Egge Mountain Range. Every two years the Viaduct receives a truly grand reception. Tens of thousands of railway enthusiasts, adults and children alike, come from all over Germany and its neighbouring countries to take part in the Vivat Viaduct railway and cultural spectacular (01 to 03 July 2011).
Rambling enthusiasts greatly appreciated the opening of the 29 kilometres ‘Viaduct Rambling Route’. The German Rambling Association (Deutscher Wanderberband) classified this route as a ‘Quality Walking Route in Germany’ (Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland). This route is a perfect symbiosis of railway history and ‘wanderlust’. The name ‘Viaduct Rambling Route’ says it all; the route sets the scene for this true landmark of Altenbeken. “I believed I would find a golden bridge, seeing that such a tremendous amount of thalers have been spent!” the Prussian King, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, apparently sighed at the official opening ceremony of the Viaduct. Since December 2002, the Altenbeken Railway Viaduct has been considered as a “Golden Bridge” in the truest sense of the word. Since then, 20 of the 24 arches are illuminated at night creating a unique atmosphere all around.