The lac du Der Chantecoq (simply referred to, as lake of the Der) is the largest artificial lake in all Europe. It was built in the 1970s in an area where there were forests and marshlands. Three villages were destroyed when it was put in water. Originally the lake was designed to avoid floods in the Seine river basin, absorbing Autumn and Winter rains. The lake is emptied in early Autumn and fills itself naturally.
In Summer the lake is used for water activities, including sailing and fishing. But we mostly visit it in November or February as the low waters attract a huge amount of birds of all kinds - an unpredicted side effet that attracts dozens of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts (including us) every year.