Pilot house Seemannshöft

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The pilot house Seemannshöft with nautical center (left), beacon Seemannshöft (right) and guard room in front of the tower.
North elevation
West view
Rear view

The Lotsenhaus Seemannshöft ( pilot station Seemannshöft ) is a brick building built in 1914 with a dominant signal and observation tower on the Seemannshöft at the entrance to the port of Hamburg . This is where the Hamburg port pilots , the ship reporting service , the Hamburg Ship Fasteners Working Group and the port's nautical headquarters are located.

The Seemannshöft is the tip of a narrow headland in the northwest of the Hamburg district of Waltershof between the Köhlfleet, a navigable tributary (→ Fleet ) of the Elbe, and the Elbe main stream. At the extreme tip of the headland is the Seemannshöft lighthouse .

The pilot house was built during the expansion of the port of Hamburg to the west. It was designed by the building director and head of structural engineering Fritz Schumacher and built according to his plans by the Office for Electricity and Harbor Construction . The building was intended to impressively mark the entrance to the port as the first landmark of the city. At the same time, it had to provide the necessary premises in order to be able to guarantee a pilot service around the clock.

The listed building was built entirely in brick. Fritz Schumacher considered a dark-jointed clinker building particularly suitable to give the Hamburg harbor a special character full of power and a North German character. He was of the opinion that the pilot house expresses this character very well. Schumacher identified himself with the building all his life.

"When individual lights flared up between the ships, the falling twilight began to dissolve all dissonances and the whole thing grew more and more into a breathing technical wonder, the desire awoke in me mightily to be able to put a solid mass into this indefinitely swaying structure, which loomed up like an imperturbable guardian. ”( Fritz Schumacher : stages of life. ).


At the beginning of the 20th century, the Port of Hamburg was expanded to include the area between the Köhlbrand and the Köhlfleet. At that time, the pilots observed the Elbe from their station and drove towards the approaching ships. The pilot station on the Lotsenhöft on Steinwerder could no longer fulfill its purpose in a port that was extended to the west. The Seemannshöft at the new port entrance was chosen as the location for a new pilot station. In 1913 and 1914 the Office for Electricity and Harbor Construction built the pilot station and completed it during the First World War .

Soldiers were stationed in the pilot station during the First World War. The seaman's school was then housed there. The port pilots moved into the building in 1925. The pilot house survived the Second World War almost undamaged.

In the 1950s, work began on building a land-based chain of radar systems along the Elbe to make travel safer when visibility is poor. The radar monitoring from land enabled the ships to enter and leave the port even in fog . Operations became safer and more economical for the shipping companies and the Port of Hamburg more competitive. The radar monitoring of the ship traffic was carried out from the pilot station Seemannhöft. The pilots carried a VHF radio with them and received their instructions from there. In the second half of 1953, Telefunken had installed a Decca port radar system at the Seemannshöft for testing purposes. The company received the order to build the world's first five-station radar image transmission chain in 1958. The first radar antenna was mounted on a steel tower at the Altona fishing port on June 21, 1960 , and another system was installed on the tower of the pilot house. The radar chain started operating on August 29, 1962. The investments for this amounted to 8.5 million D-Marks .


In the fall of 1960, the construction of the Köhlfleethafen began. By mid-1963, a harbor basin over 200 meters wide and 13 meters deep was dredged at the Seemannshöft , into which a central pier with an oil handling facility and berths for two oil tankers were built. The dredging of the harbor basin drastically changed the topography of the seaman's yard and gave it its current narrow shape. The marina , which was located there until 1960, was relocated to Wedel . Since then, the pilot house has only been accessible from the east via an embankment.

The number of large ships that, depending on the tide, can only call at the Port of Hamburg during high tide increased steadily in the 1970s. In order to better coordinate the traffic on the Elbe and in the port, a new building was built from 1975 to 1977 for 925,000 D-Mark east of the old pilot's house, which housed the traffic control center and the radar center. The existing radar systems were modernized between 1973 and 1976 and others were put into operation in order to be able to monitor the port seamlessly.

Since April 1977 the port pilots, the nautical operations office, the port radar center and the Hamburg Port Radio radio station have all been housed at the Seemannshöft.

The outer wall of the tower had leaked in the 1980s. Since the old masonry was bricked without a layer of air, work began on replacing the outer masonry of the tower at the end of the 1980s. By the summer of 1994, a new wall shell was placed in front of a narrow layer of air. During the renovation, a guard room built in the 1970s in front of the tower was torn down and replaced by a larger one.

Building description

The pilot house consists of a one-story wing with a loft (right), a two-story wing (front) and a 28 meter high tower.

The pilot house, which is aligned parallel to the course of the Elbe, consists of a one-story wing with a loft , another two-story wing and a 28 meter high signal and observation tower. The single-storey wing has a rectangular base area of 24 m × 16 m, the two-storey a square of 16 m × 16 m. Both wings form a rectangle from which the tower emerges with an equally square base area of ​​8 m × 8 m. To the ground floor of the tower around a covered runs on three free sides dealing . The building is made of red-brown brick and covered with black roof tiles. The new brick of the tower, which was renovated in the early 1990s, is a little redder than the original stone. The roof of the tower and the loggia are made of copper . The lattice windows framed in white on both wings of the building are flush with the outer walls . All basement windows were bricked up for flood protection reasons .

The pilot house currently houses office and conference rooms as well as a lounge in addition to the guard room . There are simply furnished bedrooms on the first floor.

Low wing of the building

The single-storey wing of the building had 13 rooms that were connected by a long hallway. It contained the offices of the harbor master , naval director and chief harbor master , a dining room, a coat rack, toilet as well as lounges and bedrooms for the pilots, machinists and launch crews . There were further pilot rooms in the attic. Four pilots each shared a room, a total of 72 pilots could be accommodated.

High wing of the building

In the higher wing of the building there is the entrance to the pilot house, a hallway that connects all parts of the building and a common staircase . Opposite the tower was a map room, on the walls of which an eleven meter long map of the entire port of Hamburg was attached. In order to be able to attach the map in full size, the room has been lowered by a few steps and the southern outer wall is round. Next to the map room was a lounge and a bedroom for the harbourmaster's assistants. On the second floor there were two large dormitories for 20  sailors .

Signal and observation tower

The photo shows a level of 0.60 meters above sea chart zero at the Seemannshöft when the water is running up (F).

The signal and observation tower had a large lounge for the harbor pilots on the ground floor, which is surrounded by an open gallery. From this gallery the pilots kept an eye out for ships coming up the Elbe. A small, glazed corner room adjoins the gallery, which offered the pilots protection in bad weather. In the 1970s, a rectangular guard room was built next to the gallery, in which the pilot work was coordinated. The guard room had been built with usability in mind and defaced the tower at its base. A new, larger, round guard room with a flat conical roof , built as part of the tower renovation, was formally developed from the loggia and is architecturally adapted to the building.

On the first floor on the level of the bedrooms there was a large washroom and bathroom. Above the first floor was on one of the buttresses of a pilot light mounted. A large tower clock with its clockwork is installed above it . The installation of a tower clock was already planned when the pilot's house was built, but it was only installed after the building was taken over. In place of the digits , openings had already been left in the masonry to accommodate the electrically illuminated digits. After the Second World War, the dial was replaced by a modern one, which has adorned the tower to the present day. Above the clock, a water level indicator shows the level of the Elbe at the Seemannshöft, clearly visible from afar. On the roof of the tower there is a viewing platform on which a radar system has been installed since the 1960s. A spiral staircase connects the higher floors of the tower with the staircase.

Level meter

The water level indicator in the tower of the pilot house shows the deviation of the water level of the Elbe from chart zero  (SKN) and the tides. A letter is displayed, “F” for high tide (running water) and “E” for low tide (running water), followed by two digits that indicate the level in decimeters. Black numbers indicate a water level above chart zero, a level below chart zero is shown with red numbers. The sea chart zero in the Port of Hamburg is 1.90 meters below sea ​​level  (NN). Until 2005, the level related to the mean low water , which until then had been map zero (KN).


Since April 1, 1977, the Seemannshöft pilot station has brought together the facilities for monitoring and coordinating safe and smooth ship traffic in the Port of Hamburg.

Port pilots

The pier for the pilot transfer boats is located in the Köhlfleethafen.

The first three port pilots were hired by the city of Hamburg on April 29, 1858. In 1889, one year after the opening of the free port , twelve pilots were employed. Their first office was at the Jonas Bastion in St. Pauli . The first pilot station went into operation in 1902 on the Lotsenhöft on Steinwerder. The pilots moved into the pilot house on the Seemannshöft in 1925. Until 1981 the port pilots were employees of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The Hamburg Harbor Pilots Association , a public corporation , was founded on July 1, 1981.

The area of ​​the port pilots covers the entire port of Hamburg and the Bille to the Billeschöpfwerk. It extends from Oortkaten, a district of Hamburg-Ochsenwerder , in the east to Tinsdal in the west. Pilots must take place for seagoing ships with a length of 90 meters or a width of more than 13 meters and all tanker . The ships are taken over by the Elbe pilots at Teufelsbrück . The pilot station has its own pier for the pilot transfer boats at the rear of the station in the Köhlfleethafen.

Ship reporting service

Main article: Ship reporting service

The Hamburg ship reporting service has been in the Seemannshöft pilot station since April 1984.

Nautical headquarters

Nautical headquarters.

The nautical center Seemannshöft is a branch of the Oberhafenamt . This traffic control center is housed in a flat new building to the east of the pilot house, which was built in the second half of the 1970s. Your employees monitor and control all shipping traffic on the Lower Elbe within the city of Hamburg (between Tinsdal and Oortkaten) and in the port. Down the river, the Brunsbüttel traffic center of the Hamburg waterways and shipping office and the Cuxhaven traffic center of the WSA Cuxhaven take over from the state border . The district headquarters of WSA Magdeburg is responsible upstream .

The area of ​​the Port of Hamburg is monitored by several land radar systems and an AIS land station . Ships calling at the port are recorded from the Elbe position in the German Bight via a radar chain along the Elbe by the nautical center and electronically accompanied to the berth. The skippers receive information on traffic routes and berths and are advised by the headquarters.

The current nautical center in the new building next to the pilot house officially started operations in June 1992. This was preceded by a three-year renovation of the facilities, the cost of which amounted to around 9.2 million Deutschmarks. Since then, the radar images of shipping traffic have been displayed on an electronic nautical chart together with other information. The establishment of a ship data network along the Elbe began in 1984. In July 1984, the radar monitoring system was converted to a daylight display system and the electronic storage and processing of ship data began. In the following year, the headquarters at Seemannhöft was networked with the traffic centers in Brunsbüttel and Cuxhaven .

Since February 16, 2009, the Port of Hamburg has had a nautical emergency center that can take over its tasks within thirty minutes if the center at the Seemannshöft fails.

The expansion of the nautical headquarters, which began in January 2012, as well as the modernization of the technical equipment and adaptation to the growing requirements were completed after a construction period of more than two years. - The new building was reopened on June 19, 2014 by the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) .

Web links

Commons : Lotsenstation Seemannshöft  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

supporting documents

Much of the information in this article comes from

  • Fritz Schumacher. Hamburg State Buildings 1909–1919 / 21. A monument preservation inventory. Hans Christians Verlag, Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-7672-1248-X , pp. 42-47.
  • Volkwin Marg, Reiner Schröder: Architecture in Hamburg since 1900. Junius Verlag, Hamburg 1993, ISBN 3-88506-206-2 , p. 69.
  • Manfred F. Fischer: Fritz Schumacher, buildings and planning in Hamburg: a city guide. Hans Christians Verlag, Hamburg 1994, ISBN 3-7672-1213-7 , p. 83.
  • Geneviève Wood: Schumacher's watch on the river. In: Hamburger Abendblatt, March 18, 2004.

In addition, the following individual references are cited:

  1. Hamburg Monument Protection Office (ed.): List of monuments in accordance with Section 6 (1) Hamburg Monument Protection Act of April 5, 2013, (HmbGVBl. P. 142) Excerpt for the Hamburg-Mitte district. As of May 1, 2013. p. 245.
  2. Fritz Schumacher: stages of life. Memories of a builder. 3rd chapter, 1st section. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1935, p. 303.
  3. Radar panorama of the port of Hamburg. Dense network for the port and the Lower Elbe / business card of the fast port. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 249, October 24, 1953, p. 4.
  4. a b Radar chain for the benefit of international shipping. Safe through the harbor in the future in fog. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 202, August 30, 1962, p. 6.
  5. Radar stations ordered. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 67, March 20, 1958, p. 5.
  6. First radar tower installed at the fishing port. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 143, June 22, 1960, p. 6. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
  7. New oil port for Hamburg. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 127, June 4, 1963, p. 16.
  8. Thirteen meters depth in the harbor for super tankers. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 259, November 4, 1960, p. 1.
  9. Even safer to Hamburg on the Elbe. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 72, March 26, 1975. P. 34.
  10. Radar station on Kattwyk. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 268, November 15, 1973, p. 5.
  11. ↑ Complete surveillance soon. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 235, October 9, 1975, p. 3.
  12. Hamburg's radar center goes into operation. All port pilots under one roof. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 77, April 1, 1977, p. 36.
  13. The mailbox answers. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 282, December 4, 1954, p. 39.
  14. New nautical chart zero in Hamburg. In: Hamburg Magazin . Dumrath & Fassnacht, Hamburg. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  15. Eigel Wiese: Ship reporting service and pilots. In: Schümann's Hamburger. The Hamburg volumes. The harbor. Volume 8. Klaus Schümann Verlag, Hamburg 2005, p. 47.
  16. § 1. In: Law on the harbor pilotage (Hafenlotsgesetz). 19 January 1981.
  17. § 1 area of ​​application. In: Port Traffic and Shipping Act. 3 July 1979.
  18. § 5 Obligation to accept the port pilot service. In: Hafenlotsordnung. 23 September 2008.
  19. This is where the port pilots start. In: Hamburger Abendblatt, April 27, 2005.
  20. ^ Port Journal. In: Hamburger Abendblatt, March 26, 1984, p. 21.
  21. Guard at the entrance to the port. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 206, September 5, 1981, p. 10.
  22. Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Guide Germany , Appendix to Messages for Seafarers 31, August 5, 2016, ISBN 978-3-86987-722-8 .
  23. Exchange pages for the VTS Guide Germany 2016 , Nachrichten für Seefahrer 47/2017.
  24. Maritime Shipping: Reporting Regulations for Sea Ships , Hamburg Port Authority, accessed on August 2, 2018.
  25. a b Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration: Handbuch Binnenschifffahrtsfunk, Regionaler Teil Deutschland 2018 ( Memento of the original dated August 2, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , P. 50ff. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.fvt.wsv.de
  26. Verkehrszentrale Brunsbüttel , Waterways and Shipping Office Hamburg , accessed on July 9, 2018.
  27. Verkehrszentrale , Wasserstraßen- und Schifffahrtsamt Cuxhaven , accessed on July 9, 2018.
  28. Safety on the ship ... Magdeburgers watch over German waterways , Volksstimme, January 4, 2014.
  29. a b Hamburg Port Authority (ed.): Oberhafenamt. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  30. a b The port is becoming safer. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 223, September 22, 1984, p. 10.
  31. More security in the port: radar in color. In: Hamburger Abendblatt No. 124, May 29, 1992, p. 10.
  32. Hamburg Port Authority (ed.): Ships land safely in the port of Hamburg even in an emergency. Press release February 16, 2009.
  33. Hamburger Port Authority - New Nautical Headquarters opened in the Port of Hamburg - Hamburg - Hamburger Abendblatt - from September 14, 2014
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on September 24, 2009 .

Coordinates: 53 ° 32 '23.6 "  N , 9 ° 52' 44.9"  E