Once the sun comes out and the temperatures are getting bearable The Lakes (Danish: Søerne) is a place to go! The central location makes the five lakes on the western edge of the inner city a prime recreation area where Copenhageners go for a walk, run the 6,4 km loop or just sit down and watch the ducks and swans in the water. Originally the area of The Lakes was covered by a stream around the city. In the 16th century the first dams were built in order to use the water for watermills and improve the fortification of Copenhagen. Some of the lakes also served as a water reservoir until 1959. The Lakes as a recreational area were severely threatened by plans to built a four-lane motorway ring in the same place in the 1960s, but the idea was finally dropped and The Lakes became a protected area in 1966.