Rhine promenade

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Rhine promenade
Tonhallenufer, Schlossufer, Rathausufer and Mannesmannufer
coat of arms
Street in Düsseldorf
Rhine promenade
Promenade on the town hall bank
Basic data
location Dusseldorf
District Old town , Carlstadt and harbor
Created from 1900
Newly designed 1995
Connecting roads Hofgartenufer, Stromstrasse
Cross streets Fritz-Roeber-Strasse, Reuterkaserne , Ritterstrasse , Altestadt , Zollstrasse , Rheinort, Schulstrasse, Bäckerstrasse, Thomasstrasse, Hubertusstrasse
Places Burgplatz , Johannes-Rau-Platz, Apolloplatz, Landtag square, Caritas-Platz
Buildings Schlossturm , Rheinturm , Mannesmannhochhaus , Landeshaus , Villa Horion , Landtag
User groups Pedestrian traffic , bicycle traffic , car traffic , public transport
Technical specifications
Street length 1.5 km

The Rheinuferpromenade is the name given to the designed banks of the Rhine at the level of Düsseldorf 's old town , Carlstadt and Hafen district. Other cities also have promenades along the Rhine; here it includes the streets Tonhallenufer , Schlossufer , Rathausufer and Mannesmannufer .

The promenade was created in the course of a bank shift around 1900. At that time, two levels were built. The lower one was used to handle shipping traffic and provided space for the necessary facilities. At that time there was already a promenade on the upper level. After the Second World War , the bank of the Rhine was redesigned for Bundesstraße 1 . A multi-lane street was built next to, and sometimes instead of, the promenade, which separated the city center from the Rhine through its barrier effect.

After the construction of the Rhine bank tunnel in the 1990s, during which the entire federal road was laid underground, the bank of the Rhine was redesigned according to the plans of the architects Niklaus Fritschi , Benedikt Stahl and Günter Baum. In 1995, two years after the tunnel was completed, the new promenade was celebrated by a million visitors with a big party. Since then it has been a popular excursion destination for Düsseldorf residents and tourists. The outside staircase at Burgplatz is often occupied by visitors to the old town. The KIT Museum has been located at the level of the former Mannesmann high- rise since 2007 . The new Apollo Varieté was built further south below the Rheinkniebrücke . The expansion as a promenade ends on the southern part of the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia .

The design of the Rhine promenade has received several awards, including 1998 with the German Urban Development Award .



Since the redesign of the banks of the Rhine, it has been called the Rheinuferpromenade . However, this is not an officially awarded and used street name . There are a total of four streets in the course of the Rheinuferpromenade, which essentially comprises the newly designed area above the Rheinufer tunnel.

Seen from the north, the promenade begins at the Tonhallenufer . The name refers to the Düsseldorf Tonhalle located north of the Oberkasseler Brücke . The castle bank adjoining it to the south is reminiscent of the Düsseldorf Castle, which used to be located at Burgplatz . This is followed by the Rathausufer with the Düsseldorf City Hall . On Mannesmannufer are located next to residential buildings several office buildings that until 2001 the management of the Düsseldorf tradition Konzernes Mannesmann housed. After it was taken over by Vodafone , Vodafone D2 GmbH was located there until 2012 .

Location and surroundings

The Rhine embankment promenade leads from the mouth of the Rheinufertunnel at the level of the Düsseldorf Art Academy building on Burgplatz, past Düsseldorf's old town and Carlstadt to the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament in the center of the government district . It passes the historical nucleus of the city in the area between the confluence of the streets Reuterkaserne , Ritterstraße , Altestadt and Burgplatz . The two districts of Altstadt and Carlstadt form the historic center of Düsseldorf, which was surrounded by city fortifications until the 19th century. Due to the preferred location on the Rhine, many historical and representative buildings are located along the Rhine promenade. In addition to the aforementioned art academy and the state parliament, these include two landmarks of the city, the castle tower and the St. Lambertus Church. Behind it are the town hall and, further south, the corporate headquarters of the former Mannesmann concern. A Ministry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Villa Horion , the former seat of the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister and former State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia. Many cultural institutions are also based here. These are the Apollo Varieté and KIT as well as the art academy gallery right on the banks of the Rhine . In the old town there are numerous other museums that are not far from the banks of the Rhine. Due to its exposed location on the banks of the Rhine, the promenade opens up spacious views of the urban landscape and the silhouette of the state capital. Therefore it plays a big role in tourism.


Cycle rickshaw

By moving the north-south car traffic into a tunnel, the areas along the Rhine promenade are now primarily reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. There are several possible uses for these. The areas of the promenade are completely available to pedestrians. For cyclists, there is a cycle path parallel to the plane tree avenue at the Oberer Werft.

A large part of the development area for motorized traffic leads along the development. This is available to residents and deliverers. The Düsseldorf Rheinbahn operates a bus line here, which connects the old town with the Medienhafen .

In the amount of Rheinkniebrücke There is a stop of the tram , which the Rhine promenade with the Düsseldorf Central connects. At the northern end, at the level of the Oberkasseler Brücke, is the Tonhalle / Ehrenhof underground station . Here you have the option of using the Düsseldorf light rail network . Cycle rickshaws , which run on the promenade especially in summer, are a special way of getting around.


Illustration of the city, which is still sealed off from the Rhine, at a festive theater with fireworks on the Rhine on the occasion of the wedding of Johann Wilhelm von Jülich-Kleve-Berg with Jakobe von Baden-Baden in 1585, engraving by Frans Hogenberg
The Düsseldorf harbor or Das Rheinwerft zu Düsseldorf , painting by Johann Velten , 1832
Bank of the Rhine in the area of ​​the citadel, 1838

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Düsseldorf Rhine front was redesigned in the course of moving the bank forward. Until then, the houses there stood directly on the banks of the Rhine. The frequent floods of the Rhine flooded cellars and entire buildings, which led to permanent damage to the fabric of the building and to uninhabitable houses. The block of houses on the former Krämerstrasse in front of the St. Lambertus Church , standing right on the banks of the Rhine, was demolished in 1898 to create a flood-free riverside road.

The newly created Untere Rheinwerft was expanded as a mooring for the needs of Rhine shipping. The Obere Rheinwerft facing the city, on the other hand, was designed as a representative promenade. The Düsselschlösschen was built at the level of Burgplatz . The wine bar housed in it developed into a popular meeting place in the old town.

The measures on the banks of the Rhine also extended to the area of ​​the Golzheimer Insel , the later Rheinpark Golzheim . Here, the site was prepared for the 1902 industrial and commercial exhibition in Düsseldorf .

Scene on the banks of the Rhine around 1900, postcard motif

In the years after the Second World War , the expansion of the road network began throughout the city. One measure of this was the expansion of Bundesstrasse 1 . As part of the construction work, the war-damaged Düsselschlösschen was demolished to widen the street.

For the next 40 years, the city center was structurally separated from the Rhine. The steadily growing traffic on the B1 caused the city to turn away from the river. At peak times, Bundesstraße 1 was used by up to 60,000 cars every day. To end this situation, the 1.9 km long Rheinuferstraße was moved underground. The trigger for this was the redesign of the Berger Hafen and the establishment of the state parliament , which was opened there in 1988. The B1 led over an elevated road directly past the state parliament building. The Rheinufertunnel was opened to traffic on December 15, 1993.

In order to finally bring the old town back to the Rhine after the tunnel was built, work began on designing the area that has now been freed up. The implemented design for this comes from the architects Niklaus Fritschi, B. Stahl and G. Baum. They were based on the historical design of the architect Johannes Radke from 1900. So the separation into an upper and a lower shipyard was retained. At the upper shipyard, 120 benches were set up and 600 plane trees were planted, which line an avenue. This separates a walkway and a bike path. The remaining elements of the historical bank design, such as the level clock or the large terraces, were incorporated into the plans.

The project to redesign the Rheinuferpromenade, which was completed in 1995, received a lot of attention in specialist circles. This is shown by the awards the project has received over the years. The design of the Rhine embankment promenade received first prize from the Washington Waterfront Center in the planning and construction phase in 1994.

The Burgplatz, which was included in the design of the entire bank of the Rhine, was awarded first prize in the "Design of public spaces" category in a Deutsche Bank competition in 1996 . The Association of German Architects in North Rhine-Westphalia again awarded the design of the entire Rheinuferpromenade in 1997 as part of the “Good Buildings Award”. The round of awards to date was rounded off with the German Urban Development Prize (Walter Hesselbach Prize) supported by the Bank für Gemeinwirtschaft in 1998.


Canopy of leaves on the plane tree avenue on the banks of the town hall

The Rheinuferpromenade leads along the actual city center of Düsseldorf, consisting of the districts of Altstadt and Carlstadt. On its course from the mouth of the Rheinufertunnel at the level of the Düsseldorf Art Academy past Burgplatz, to the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament, it passes many sights and places in the history of the city .

Castle bank

The bank of the castle , named after the castle on Burgplatz , begins at the level of the Oberkassel bridge . The well-known Düsseldorf Art Academy is also located there . Professors from Wilhelm von Schadow to Joseph Beuys to Günther Uecker and Jörg Immendorff taught here . The mouth of the Rhine bank tunnel is at the level of the art academy building. A small chessboard-like area is laid out above this. Stone and turf alternate with each other as substrate materials. The typical design of the promenade begins parallel to the tunnel entrance. The Untere Rheinwerft is simply asphalted, while the Obere Rheinwerft invites you to stroll and sit down. Two paths are lined by an avenue of trimmed plane trees, which grow together to form a roof. Benches are located underneath at regular intervals. This path leads past the Reuterkaserne and is then accompanied by a large meadow. A children's playground had been created on the edge of this area, but it no longer exists. A sundial has been standing on the meadow since 2007, which shows the time as well as the date. It was donated by the Heimatverein Düsseldorfer Jonges on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the association.

In the further course, the Altestadt street meets the Rhine embankment promenade at Emilie-Schneider-Platz . There you will find the Baroque Joseph Chapel by the Venetian architect Matteo Alberti and the Gothic St. Lambertus basilica , which with its twisted church spire helps shape the city's panorama of the Rhine. It is also the oldest existing building in the city and was also the core of the original Dusseldorp settlement . Their existence is documented until the year 1159 (129 years before the city elevation of Düsseldorf). The tomb of Duke Wilhelm von Jülich-Kleve-Berg in the ambulatory of the hall church, designed in the style of the Italian High Renaissance, is particularly worth seeing .

Here, between the building of the former Theresienhospital and the former Düsselschlösschen on Burgplatz, where the Düssel flows into the Rhine, was the cradle of the Düsseldorf Radschläger .


View from the outside staircase to the Rhine and the skyline

Burgplatz follows the bank of the castle. Here the design of the upper shipyard with its avenue is interrupted. This turning point is underlined towards the Rhine by a flight of stairs , which is aligned with the Düsseldorf castle tower erected here . The tower is the last existing part of the former Düsseldorf Palace . The outside staircase is a popular meeting place and place to stay on sunny days. The shipping museum is housed in the castle tower itself . There is a restaurant in the dome.

The Burgplatz is also separated from the promenade by a “balcony”, the so-called bastion. This offers a view along the promenade to the south and north as well as the Oberkassel district on the other bank of the Rhine . The wall of the bastion was designed by the academy professor Hermann-Josef Kuhna and his students. The entire area of ​​320 square meters, including the paper baskets, was provided with an innumerable number of colored dots in 140 different shades.

At this point the river, which gave the city its name, the Düssel , flows into the Rhine. It is led west of the Burgplatz into a canal, which is led through the system of the Rhine bank tunnel. When the water is low, the introduction of the Düssel into the Rhine is visible.

At the level of the castle square is also located several investors of passenger ships that offer cruises on the Rhine.


Level clock at the level of Zollstrasse

The town hall embankment connects to the Burgplatz to the south . Here the promenade runs along the town hall complex . The promenade first leads along the former Düsseldorf School of Applied Arts , where today a.o. the academy gallery is housed. Works by professors from the Düsseldorf Art Academy are exhibited there. This is followed by a part of the building from the 1980s with a restaurant on the ground floor, where the first internet café in Düsseldorf was opened in 1996, "G @ rden". In the branching off Zollstrasse , which leads to the market square , there is still older building fabric. The Düsseldorf Carnival Museum and the restaurant "En de Canon", which were mentioned in a document as early as 1663, are located here.

The level clock is located on the Rhine side at this point. It shows the current water level of the Rhine and the time. It dates from the time the promenade was first designed at the beginning of the 20th century.

Behind it is the development on the edge of the old port. It was designed from 1988 to 1994 according to plans by Albert Speer & Partner . It is an interpretation of the previous situation. The old port was located at this point until around 1800, with the citadel to the south . Today there is a basin filled with water again, but it has no direct connection with the Rhine. To emphasize the character of the port, an eel chokker was anchored here in 1996 . The surrounding buildings on the north side have arcades and commercial use on the ground floor. The buildings facing the Rhine are raised compared to the rest of the development in order to stage the "port entrance". The bank has a level connection to the Lower Rheinwerft of the promenade. The Obere Werft is managed at this point over a bridge that was opened in 1994.

The development on the southern side of the Old Harbor houses two Düsseldorf museums along the Schulstrasse branching off here. The Hetjens Museum is nicknamed the German Ceramic Museum . This institute, which was founded in 1909, is considered the most universal of its kind with its extensive collection of ceramics. Next to it is the Düsseldorf Film Museum . This was founded with the completion of the old port and its current building. It provides an overview of the development of the film and is often the location of temporary exhibitions.

The Untere Werft is used as a catering mile along the entire length of the town hall bank. The necessary operating rooms are housed in the casemates below the upper shipyard. Fixed sun protection roofs are arranged in front of it. The spectrum of the offers ranges from an ice cream parlor to bars and beer garden-like establishments to a fish fast-food restaurant.

In the further course of the Rheinuferpromenade, the further bank development follows up to Bäckerstraße.


Mannesmann high-rise (left), Landeshaus (center) and Villa Horion (right)
View of the Mannesmannufer
Bergerufer with Landeshaus and Villa Horion with a view of Haroldstrasse (1912)

The adjoining Mannesmannufer (formerly Bergerufer) is dominated by the administrative buildings of the former Mannesmann Group, one of the largest German industrial companies at the time. Its headquarters were located in the monumental-looking Mannesmann-Haus until 2001 and the Mannesmann high-rise built in the 1950s . After the Mannesmann group was broken up by the British Vodafone group, the European headquarters of the mobile communications company Vodafone was located on the banks of the Rhine until the end of 2012, so that there was brief mention of the Vodafone high-rise.

It is now the seat of the NRW Ministry of Economics . The state house next to it became the official seat of Prime Minister Armin Laschet in 2017.

The area in front of the high-rise is marked by a change in the pavement. The avenue that characterizes the Rhine promenade is also interrupted at this point. So the view is free, you can see the skyscraper from the left bank of the Rhine and vice versa. This break in design forms a focal point along the Rhine front, analogous to Burgplatz to the north and the Old Harbor. In contrast to the two aforementioned, which are characterized by the receding of the buildings, here is the only distinctive structural elevation along this section of the bank. As a result, all three locations are particularly staged to the outside.

An exhibition house for contemporary art was opened directly before that in 2007. The Museum Kunst im Tunnel is abbreviated as KIT. In the basement it uses what are known as residual tunnels, which were created during the construction of the Rhine bank tunnel. The museum entrance and a restaurant are located on the upper floor.

The design of the lower shipyard is also changing along the Mannemannufer. From there, this runs narrower along the Rhine, which from this point flows out with an arch from the so-called Rhine knee . The resulting wider area in the middle is designed as a meadow area. Instead of the previous high wall, the height difference is absorbed by this meadow. On sunny days it is a popular place to stay and play.


View from the Rheinturm to the promenade

Adjacent to the ministry building is the Villa Horion , the seat of the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia from 1961 to 1999, today the House of Parliamentary History .

The square in front of the building - formerly Horionplatz , named after the politician Johannes Horion - was renamed Johannes-Rau- Platz in 2006 after the longstanding Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia . A statue by Rau commemorates the Prime Minister and later Federal President .

The square does not belong directly to the Rhine promenade, but represents the transition to the urban spaces of the government district behind it .


Immediately further south is Apolloplatz . This is below the Rheinkniebrücke . In the course of the design of the Rhine promenade, a theater building was built at this point. This is where the Apollo Varieté is housed, which is run by the founder of Circus Roncalli , Bernhard Paul . The name of the new vaudeville is in the tradition of the earlier Apollo Theater at the southern end of Königsallee . A tram stop for the Düsseldorf tram is located under the Rheinkniebrücke in the direction of the city center . There you have the option to go to Königsallee or to the main train station .

Landtag square

From the Rheinkniebrücke the promenade continues to the Landtag square . It leads past the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and slowly rises in height. The state parliament building consists of a structuralist composition of several nested ring segments and cylinders. The focal point is the entrance area, which is accessed via the square in front of it. The plane tree avenue of the promenade ends at the level of this square at the cast iron sculpture " Tzaphon " by the Israeli sculptor Dani Karavan . To the meadow area opposite, which forms part of the Rheinpark Bilk, the height difference is overcome by a staircase with wide steps suitable for sitting, which leads the architecture of the parliament building, developed from circular shapes, into the green areas. The route continues south in the direction of the Rheinturm and the Medienhafen that begins there .


Wave motif in the Art Nouveau lattice of a historical staircase and in the blue concrete pavement
Asphalted surface and railing at the Untere Rheinwerft

The design of the Rheinuferpromenade that exists today is based on a competition entry by the architects Niklaus Fritschi, Benedikt Stahl and Günter Baum in 1991. They included the conceptual remnants of the old Rheinpromenade from the beginning of the 20th century.

The most important element of their design is the two-row avenue of trimmed plane trees on a sidewalk with a water-bound ceiling . The avenue is framed by two fixed strips of basalt-blue concrete blocks , which is a walkway on the largely preserved terrace parapet from the beginning of the 20th century, the other than a cycle path on the side of the avenue facing away from the river. The concrete blocks have the shape of a wave and are intended to quote the movements of the Rhine, its meanders and water waves .

The avenue of trimmed plane trees, a design element of French garden art that can look back on a long tradition on squares and promenades in the Rhineland, leads across the entire front of the Rhine, starting at the ramp of the Rhine bank tunnel at the level of the Oberkasseler Bridge and ending at the Landtag square. It is interrupted at Burgplatz to underline its opening to the Rhine, at the Old Harbor, where a bridge is part of the promenade, and in the area of ​​the Mannesmann high-rise. These interruptions are a staging of the respective building situation.

Between Oberkasseler and Rheinkniebrücke , a second, lower level runs in front of the so-called Upper Werfft , on which the plane tree avenue is located, the Untere Werfft . Although the structural design here strives for a simple and restrained ambience - the floor is paved , the quay wall on the Rhine is secured by a discreet steel railing - the image of the Lower Werfft is characterized by the mostly colorful hustle and bustle on the flagged ship piers and in the restaurants, which are located under an elongated one Extend the awning roof and under large parasols parallel to the bank of the town hall.

The elements that were taken over from the earlier design of the Rhine promenade include the historical level clock opposite Zollstrasse, the viewing platform at Schulstrasse and individual stairs with forged Art Nouveau railings. The outside staircase in front of the castle tower and the adjoining bastion on Burgplatz were added.


Fireworks on Japan Day as seen from the Rhine promenade

Due to the central and exposed location in the city center directly on the Rhine, the Rhine promenade is often the location of regional and supraregional festivals and events.

One of the annual events is the Düsseldorf Marathon , which takes place in May . The runners come via Johannes-Rau-Platz to the banks of the Rhine and reach the finish line at the Untere Rheinwerft. The area behind it up to Burgplatz serves as a recreation zone for the runners. The Obere Rheinwerft is lined with spectators at the finish line.

Japan Day takes place a few weeks later . At this meeting festival, the Japanese community of Düsseldorf presents its culture on various stages and stands along the Rhine promenade and on Burgplatz. The one-day event concludes with a large Japanese fireworks display . A total of around one million visitors visit the events each year.

Cross-Country World Cup 2006

In addition to several smaller fireworks, there will be another big one on the last Friday of the “ Biggest Fair on the Rhine ” on the Oberkasseler Rheinwiesen in the second half of July . Most of the spectators can be found in the old town on the opposite side of the Rhine, the Rhine promenade. Here also is presented annually to 14 July around, the French national holiday, with a gastronomic line booths and stalls the France Festival organized.

The end of a year of events from 2002 to 2011 was the start of the cross-country skiing world cup on the banks of the Rhine . A cross-country skiing route was built from Burgplatz to the level of the Old Harbor. The snow for this was delivered from the nearby ski hall in Neuss .

In addition to these regular events, there are also many irregular festivals on the banks of the Rhine. As part of the Düsseldorf application for the 2012 Olympic Games, the Olympic Day was celebrated, on which the Düsseldorf sports institutions and clubs presented themselves to the public with various activities.

In addition to the 50th anniversary in 1996, the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia was celebrated on the banks of the Rhine in Düsseldorf in 2006, this year as part of the newly proclaimed NRW Day . The regions and institutions of the country presented themselves in large tents, set up at the lower shipyard, and at other stands. On the occasion of these celebrations, the so-called Lied für NRW was premiered on the stage at Burgplatz .

Extension of the Rhine promenade

An extension of the promenade to the north has been discussed since around 2008. The banks of the Rhine between the Oberkasseler Brücke and the Rheinpark Golzheim could be rebuilt to around 650 m with the aim of connecting the existing promenade, the courtyard , the Rhine terrace and the historic Rhine garden with an avenue of trimmed plane trees and creating a "museum bank" . This could “close the gap in the green belt around the city center”. According to the architect Niklaus Fritschi , a square and another flight of stairs to the lower shipyard should be created here at the level of the Ehrenhof transverse axis at the Ulanendenkmal , at the “contact point of the court garden towards the Rhine”.

Additional information

Rathausufer at night

See also


Web links

Commons : Rheinuferpromenade  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ "View of the Düsseldorf Rheinwerft from the north. In the background on the right the silhouette of the Neuss Minster. View from the old castle building in Düsseldorf upstream. In the foreground on the right the mouth of the Düssel in the Rhine and the massive quay, up to the old crane, which can no longer be seen in the picture. Behind the ruins of the former Thomas Bastion; the row of poplars in the south is probably identical to those on Berger Allee. […] “ - Wend von Kalnein (ed.): Die Düsseldorfer Malerschule , Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 1979, ISBN 3-8053-0409-9 , cat.-no. 262, p. 494 f.
  2. a b Heike Becker-Baumann: The redesign of the banks of the Rhine , in: Harald Frater, Günther Glebe, Clemens von Looz-Corswarem, Birgit Montag, Helmut Schneider, Dorothea Wiktorin: The Düsseldorf Atlas - history and present of the state capital in the map . Grupello Verlag, Düsseldorf 2002, p. 56f
  3. Prize winners - German Urban Development Award 2020. Accessed on July 24, 2021 (German).
  4. Cabinet meets for the first time in the Landeshaus | The state portal Wir in NRW. November 7, 2017, accessed July 24, 2021 .
  5. Company. Retrieved July 24, 2021 .
  6. ^ SID: No cross-country skiing world cup in Düsseldorf. Handelsblatt v. December 3, 2011. Last accessed on July 18, 2013 ( Memento from October 12, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Interview with Niklaus Fritschi: “The court of honor needs a dignified ambience on the Rhine” . Article from February 15, 2014 in the portal rp-online.de , accessed on February 15, 2014
  8. Promenade is to grow by 650 meters . Article from February 15, 2014 in the portal rp-online.de , accessed on February 15, 2014

Coordinates: 51 ° 13 ′ 25.3 ″  N , 6 ° 46 ′ 9.3 ″  E