Rhine knee

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With Rheinknie some striking geographical curves are referred to the Rhein describes in its course.

Rhine knee in Basel

The knee of the Rhine in Basel

In Basel , the Rhine changes its direction of flow from east-west in a tapering curve by approx. 90 °, and then flows further north along the German - French border to the North Sea . Politically, the knee of the Rhine lies at the border triangle of Germany , Switzerland and France , which is why this region is also called RegioTriRhena .

The entire knee of the Rhine lies within the city of Basel, with the Kleinbasel district on the right bank of the Rhine . The city with the knee of the Rhine is the center of the RegioTriRhena , on the right bank of the Rhine the municipalities of Riehen and Bettingen also belong to the Rhine knee. Further north are the German towns of Lörrach and Weil am Rhein and the French towns of Huningue and Saint-Louis (where Coude du Rhin is called “Rhein-Elbogen”).

From a tectonical point of view, the Rheingraben ( Upper Rhine Plain ), which is the main element of the Basel earthquake area, lies north of the Basel knee bend .

To the formation

The knee of the Rhine has been formed since the end of the last ice age, the Würme Ice Age . At that time, the Rhine still flowed in a direct line from the Grenzacher Horn, over the districts of Riehen and Weil, to find its current bed between Friedlingen and Eimeldingen. The huge debris and gravel deposits of the Feldberg glacier in the Wiesental were transported from the meadow towards the Rhine after the glacier melted . In doing so, it formed a wide delta, which pushed the Rhine into its current knee. The Meadow estuary was located between Grenzacher Horn and Friedlingen for thousands of years and only looked for its current confluence near Kleinhüningen in the last 6000-2500 years. An old meadow arm that did not flow into Kleinhüningen was, for example, the Klybeck pond .

View from Basel Minster to the knee of the Rhine

Rhine knee near Bingen

Rhine knee near Bingen

At the transition from the Upper Rhine to the Middle Rhine near Bingen , the river coming from Mainz changes its course parallel to the northern ridge of the Rheingau Mountains in an east-southeast direction in a 90 ° bend to north-northwest. Here, to begin Koblenz -reaching breakthrough by the Rhenish Slate Mountains . The Binger Forest rises on the left bank of the Rhine knee . In the knee of the Rhine lies the Binger Loch - a bottleneck due to a quartzite reef running across the river . Because of this flow obstacle, not only the geographic course of the Rhine, but also its gradient profile, makes a huge kink. Above the Binger Loch between Mannheim and Bingen, the Rhine has a gradient of 10 cm per river kilometer. Below, between Bingen and Koblenz, the gradient is 65 cm per kilometer.

Rhine knee in Düsseldorf

Rheinknie Düsseldorf from a bird's eye view

In Düsseldorf , the Rhine describes a sharp curve near the port on the right bank of the Rhine , which contributes to the fact that the Oberkassel district on the opposite side almost looks like a peninsula. This arch, known as the Rheinknie , is spanned by the Rheinkniebrücke , which was released in 1969 . The Rheinturm , built from 1978 to 1982, and the building of the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament, completed in 1988, as the center of the North Rhine-Westphalian government district, lie on it . Before the Hammer Railway Bridge was completed in 1870, the Düsseldorf – Elberfeld railway line ended at Rheinknie station . On the opposite left bank of the Rhine was the Rheinstation Oberkassel , from which the travelers - after they had crossed over by ferry - could travel on over the railway line Oberkassel-Mönchengladbach to Neuss , Mönchengladbach and Aachen .


  • Eduard Golder: The meadow, a river and its history , Baudepartement Basel-Stadt, civil engineering office, 1991