Nibelungen Bridge Worms

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Coordinates: 49 ° 37 '53 "  N , 8 ° 22' 48"  E

Nibelungen Bridge Worms
Nibelungen Bridge Worms
Nibelungen Bridge, view from the southwest (May 2005)
Official name Nibelungen Bridge Worms
use Road bridge
Convicted Bundesstrasse 47
Crossing of Rhine
place Worms and Lampertheim-Rosengarten
Entertained by Federal and State of Rhineland-Palatinate
construction Prestressed concrete -
box girder bridge
overall length 744.00 m
width 14 m
Longest span 114.20 m
start of building 1951
completion 1953
opening April 30, 1953
planner Ulrich Finsterwalder (engineer), Gerd Lohmer (architect)
Nibelungen Bridge Worms (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Nibelungen Bridge Worms

The Nibelungen Bridge connects the Rhineland-Palatinate city ​​of Worms across the Rhine with the Hessian cities of Lampertheim and Bürstadt .

The bridge along the B 47 , here identical to Nibelungenstrasse and Siegfriedstrasse , is the only road bridge between Mannheim in the south and Mainz in the north. It was named after the Nibelungen saga and, with the Nibelung Tower, is a Worms sight.

After the ferry service near Worms has been documented since 858, the first ship bridge was built in 1855. The first permanent bridge over the Rhine from 1900 to 1945 was the Ernst Ludwig Bridge . The bridge, which was destroyed in the Second World War , was rebuilt from 1951 to 1953 as the Nibelungen Bridge (now called the "old" Nibelungen Bridge).

Due to the increased volume of traffic and the need for renovation, the "new" Nibelungen Bridge was built from 2005 to 2008 parallel to the "old" one. Since the renovation of the “old” bridge, which was completed in 2013 , the two lanes of the “old” bridge lead inwards and the two of the “new” outwards. Both bridges have combined pedestrian and cycle paths.

The old Nibelungen Bridge including the Nibelung Tower is a cultural monument under both the Hessian Monument Protection Act and the Rhineland-Palatinate monument law .

Geographical location

The Nibelungen Bridge is located directly to the east of the city of Worms and leads with the Nibelungen and Siegfriedstrasse holiday routes, which run here on the B 47 , over the Rhine to the Lampertheim district of Rosengarten and to the city of Bürstadt further east . The twin road bridge built between the Rhine kilometers 443 and 444 connects the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Rheinhessen in the west with the Hessian Ried in the east.

On the Rhineland-Palatinate side and thus west of the Nibelungen Bridge, the B 47 connects to the B 9 directly at the bridge . The Worms core city spreads west of the Rhine, to the northwest of the bridge is the municipal fairground, immediately to the north is the Rhine promenade with restaurants, a small park and Hagendenkmal, and a little south of the building is the “Floßhafen”. The Worms port railway runs under the western foreland bridge . On the Hessian side and thus east of the bridge, the B 47 connects to the B 44 near Bürstadt . To the east of the Rhine, the Maulbeeraue recreational area stretches along the river bank a little downstream, with an arm of the old Rhine that delimits it to the east .

The next road bridge up the Rhine is the Theodor-Heuss-Brücke on the A 6, located about eleven kilometers further south between Mannheim in the east and Frankenthal and Ludwigshafen am Rhein in the west . The next road bridge down the Rhine is the Weisenau Bridge built around 51 kilometers further north between Mainz in the west and Ginsheim-Gustavsburg in the east as part of the A 60 . About 2.3 km down the Rhine, the Nibelungen Railway and the Ried Railway cross the Rhine on the Rhine Bridge in Worms , the only railway bridge between Mannheim and Mainz.


City map from 1897 (detail): Above the port station of Worms, below the Rosengarten station, the Rhine still crosses the ship's bridge

The ferry service near Worms is documented for the first time in a document from the year 858, in which Ludwig the German confirmed the shipping rights of the Lorsch monastery . By the High Middle Ages at the latest , ferry rights were divided between various, mainly religious institutions, which used them to finance them. Nevertheless, the ferry system remained a municipal task, as documented by the municipal ferry regulations issued around 1400, which, in addition to the tariffs, also stipulated the order of translation and the operating times.

The first plans for a ship bridge as a more permanent form of the Rhine crossing date from 1720. They were initiated by Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg , the Bishop of Worms , who wanted to better reach his territories on the right bank of the Rhine. These plans were not implemented for unknown reasons. A second, very advanced project was thwarted in 1790 by the consequences of the French Revolution . Although the city then repeatedly suggested such projects, it took another 65 years before a ship bridge was built; A major obstacle to a faster construction was the complicated legal and ownership structure of the ferry service, which was not clarified until 1831 when it was sold to the Grand Duchy of Hesse . In 1842, the two Worms members in the estates of the Grand Duchy of Hesse , Wilhelm Valckenberg and Friedrich von Dörnberg , again applied for a ship bridge to be built. Although this application was approved in the same year, the Worms ship bridge could only be inaugurated on June 14, 1855.

From around 1880, 25 years after the ship's bridge was inaugurated, there was intense discussion about the construction of a permanent bridge. Decisive for this were the planning associated with the Rhine regulation , the Rhine flood of 1882 and the increasing labor demand of the Worms industry. The funds for the bridge were released in 1894/95 after intensive lobbying by the Worms MPs Cornelius Wilhelm von Heyl ( Reichstag and Land estates) and Nikolaus Andreas Reinhart (Land estates); construction began in May 1897.


Origin: Ernst Ludwig Bridge (1900 to 1945)

Ernst Ludwig Bridge
Ernst Ludwig Bridge
Ernst Ludwig Bridge, view from the east
(part of a postcard from 1902)
Official name Ernst Ludwig Bridge
Convicted Road from Worms to Lampertheim
Subjugated Rhine
place Worms and Lampertheim-Rosengarten
construction Arch bridge made of steel truss
overall length 774 m
width 10.5 m
Longest span 105.6 m
start of building 1897
completion 1900
opening March 26, 1900
closure March 20, 1945 (blown up in World War II )

The first Rhine bridge that was built near Worms was the steel framework , built from 1897 and inaugurated on March 26, 1900 - the Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke arched bridge , named after the Grand Duke of Hessen-Darmstadt as sovereign; In the same year the nearby Rhine Bridge Worms was inaugurated.

The 774 m long bridge had three two-hinged arches in the area of ​​the river crossing with widths of 94.4 m in the side panels and 105.6 m in the middle panel. It had an iron framework construction with an elevated track, which was built by the MAN Gustavsburg plant. The massive foreshore bridges, the pillars and the two neo-Romanesque gate towers were largely made of concrete by the Mannheim-based construction company Grün & Bilfinger oHG , based on a design by the former Worms city planning officer, Prof. Karl Hofmann .

Until the end of the 1920s, a bridge toll was levied for use of the Ernst Ludwig Bridge . For this purpose, cash desks were set up in the bridge towers. During the occupation of the Rhineland as part of the Versailles Peace Treaty , border and customs controls were also carried out here.

Before the Second World War , the tower hoods over the stairwells were removed from both bridge towers and replaced with concrete platforms, and during the war a total of four anti-aircraft guns were installed there to defend the bridge. On March 20, 1945, the bridge was blown up by the retreating Wehrmacht .

First or "old" Nibelungen Bridge (since 1953)

Demolition of the damaged east tower of the bridge in 1951
Western part of the Nibelungen Bridge under construction in 1952

On March 26, 1945, US pioneers of the 'US 85th Combat Engineers Division' built a pontoon bridge a few meters north (= downstream) of the destroyed bridge within 10 hours . US troops also built makeshift bridges over the Rhine in the south of Worms between Bobenheim-Roxheim and Frankenthal and in the north near Hamm am Rhein . Later a tow ferry was used. However, the temporary arrangement could only cover the most urgent needs. It was not until 1948 that the makeshift Rhine bridge in Worms , which at that time served as a rail and road bridge, became a permanent Rhine crossing in the Worms area.

Despite the recognizable need, the new construction of a road bridge did not become the focus of politics until autumn 1949 through a memorandum from the city of Worms. Since the founding of the states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, the new state border ran in the Rhine and thus also cut the future bridge. Negotiations between the states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate and the federal government began as early as the spring of 1950 . The ownership structure was shared between the two federal states in the ratio of 1 (Rhineland-Palatinate): 2 (Hesse). In autumn 1950, the preparatory work for the new building began. The heavily damaged eastern gate tower (on the right bank of the Rhine) above the carriageway was removed, the three-storey high base below the carriageway was preserved.

Construction began on the 744 m long road bridge in May 1951 and the inauguration took place on April 30, 1953. The historical eastern, 292 m long and the historical western, 137 m long foreland bridge, each with a vault bridge construction , were preserved. The 316 m long river bridge was "Germany's first large prestressed concrete cantilever bridge". The haunched , two-cell prestressed concrete -Hohlkasten construction has m a main span of 114.2 and was based on a design of Ulrich Finsterwalder and Gerd Lohmer in cantilever on the caissons built the previous bridge.

The "old" Nibelungen Bridge was not able to cope with the increase in traffic between 1953 and 2005, which is why it was heavily overloaded at peak times and was in need of renovation in the meantime. It was closed to traffic from September 16, 2008, when the renovation of the “new” bridge that was built in parallel was opened to traffic, until September 12, 2013.

On April 3, 2019, the Worms State Office for Mobility announced that it would start planning a replacement for the old Nibelungen Bridge. The new construction of the river bridge from the 1950s is Template: future / in 5 yearsplanned from 2025 , the older ramps and the Nibelung tower are to be retained.

Parallel construction of the "new" Nibelungen Bridge (since 2008)

Bundesstrasse 47 New Nibelungen Bridge Worms
New Nibelungen Bridge Worms
New Nibelungen Bridge
Convicted Bundesstrasse 47
Crossing of Rhine
place Worms and Lampertheim-Rosengarten
Entertained by Federal and State of Rhineland-Palatinate
construction Prestressed concrete -
box girder bridge
overall length 744.30 m
width 16.75 m
Longest span 114.20 m
building-costs 16 million euros
start of building May 4, 2005
completion 2008
opening September 12, 2008

Due to the strong increase in traffic and the considerable need for renovation of the "old" Nibelungen Bridge, the foundation stone for the second, parallel Rhine bridge was laid a few meters upstream on May 4th, 2005. The “new” Nibelungen Bridge was, just like the “old” bridge, built using a cantilever and has the same spans. Construction supervision and management was the responsibility of the Rhineland-Palatinate Mobility Agency .

The new bridge was inaugurated on September 12, 2008 by the Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Kurt Beck , Federal Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee , the Transport Ministers of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, Hendrik Hering and Alois Rhiel , and the Mayor of Worms Michael Kissel , as part of a bridge festival. After the festival, the renovation of the "old" Nibelungen Bridge began in mid-September 2008, for which the State of Hesse is responsible. For this purpose, all traffic was relocated to the new Rhine crossing.

Since September 12, 2013, four lanes have been available for crossing the Rhine. The “old” Nibelungen Bridge is used by traffic going into town and on the “new” one going out of town.

Nibelung Tower

The 53 m high gate tower of the Nibelungen Bridge on the left bank of the Rhine is known as the Nibelung Tower. Originally it was used as living space, since July 1976 it has served as a hostel , which was expanded and operated by the scouts of the Association of Christian Scouts and Boy Scouts . Five of the eight floors above the carriageway are in use today. The Rhine quality station Worms for water monitoring is housed on the three floors below the carriageway in the tower base . The furnishings also include a new building that was added directly to the base of the tower between 1993 and 1995.

The building inscription is on the west side of the archway: Built 1897–1900 under the government of Ernst-Ludwig's Grand Duke of Hesse and the Rhine . Above it, the small coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Hesse is depicted as a sandstone relief. Above it is the gilded dial of the tower clock. The original mechanical movement was exchanged for a radio movement; it is stored in the Landesbetrieb Mobility Rhineland-Palatinate (LBM) in Worms. The coats of arms of the three provincial capitals of the Grand Duchy are also placed below the slate helmet in red sandstone: Mainz for Rheinhessen , Darmstadt for Starkenburg and Giessen for Upper Hesse . On the east side of the keystone of the arch is decorated with a crowned with a wine crown grimace . The coat of arms of Worms is above the tower clock, which is also attached to this side.


  • Friedrich Maria Illert : The Nibelungen Bridge in Worms am Rhein: Festschrift for the inauguration and handover of the new road bridge over the Rhine on April 30, 1953 . City of Worms, Worms 1953
  • State Office for Mobility, Worms Office, and Worms City Archives (ed.): The new Rhine bridge in Worms: commemorative publication on its completion in 2008 . Worms-Verlag, Worms 2008. ISBN 978-3-936118-34-6
  • Jutta Mößer: Old stories tell us a lot of wonderful things ... [Nibelungenlied] . In: Monument Preservation and Cultural History 1/2014, p. 26 f.
  • Eberhard Pelke: The Refurbishing of the Nibelungen Bridge Worms, Germany. In: Anton Steffen (Ed.): Large Structures and Infrastructures for Environmentally Constrained and Urbanized Areas. IABSE Symposium Venice, September 2010 . IABSE Reports Volume 97 (2010). Zurich 2010. ISBN 978-385-74812-2-2 . Pp. 312-314. ( online )

Web links

Commons : Nibelungenbrücke Worms  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Worms Nibelungen Bridge: The "old" Rhine bridge will be opened to traffic on Thursday without a major celebration ( memento of the original from September 13, 2013 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. September 10, 2013 - By Johannes Götzen @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ A b c Landesbetrieb Mobility, Worms Office, and Worms City Archives (ed.): The new Rhine bridge in Worms: Commemorative publication on its completion in 2008. Worms-Verlag, Worms 2008. ISBN 978-3-936118-34-6 . P. 11ff
  3. ^ Georg Mertens: The German bridge building in the XIX. Century. VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1984, ISBN 3-18-400647-6 , p. 72
  4.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. dated March 27, 2013@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  5. Mößer: We are told in old stories , p. 26.
  6. Chronology of the bridge construction ( Memento of the original dated May 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. On the renovation see: Mößer: Us is in old stories .
  8. B 47 - City of Worms - New Nibelungen Bridge planned from 2025 Press release of the LBM Worms from April 3, 2019
  9. Fanfares for high-profile visitors from Berlin - City gives Federal Transport Minister Tiefensee "large station" at the inauguration ceremony . In: Wormser Zeitung . September 13, 2008 ( ).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  10. Renovation of the old Rhine bridge in Worms (B47) ( Memento of the original from March 1, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on the website of the Hessian road and traffic administration @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. ^ History of the Rhine quality station. Hessian State Office for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology, accessed on November 23, 2017 .