Route of industrial culture - Duisburg: city and port

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Museum Küppersmühle
Hansegracht, one of the three new canals at Duisburg's inner harbor
Garden of Remembrance with a small part of the Jewish Community Center
Ruhrschleuse and Ruhrwehr
Swan Gate Bridge
Bridge towers of the Friedrich-Ebert-Brücke
Oscar Huber, a museum ship belonging to the German Inland Shipping Museum
Lower main tower of the Meiderich lock
Fireworks in Duisburg-Ruhrort
Rhine orange at the mouth of the Ruhr
Inland Shipping Museum
Remnants of the tower on the city wall of Duisburg

Duisburg: City and Harbor is the name of the themed route No. 1 of the Route of Industrial Culture , which leads through Duisburg , the inner harbor , the Ruhrort district , the Duisburg-Ruhrorter ports and some nearby places on the Rhine and Ruhr.

Themed route

The themed route follows the history of the port. It consists of two locally connected areas: Tour 1 (with 26 stations) can be accessed on foot around the inner harbor, Tour 2 (16 stations) also on foot on the Vinckekanal and in Ruhrort itself. Tour 3 (11 stations) also shows the distinctive points in the port basin of Ruhrort, on the Ruhr and on the Rhine. The connection between all tours is the harbor tour with exit points at the inner harbor, Ruhrort and other points.


Today Duisburg has the largest inland port in Europe. It was created through the merger of the inner harbor with the Ruhrort harbor area, when both ended their competition in 1905. At the same time, the cities of Duisburg, Ruhrort and Meiderich also united.

In the High Middle Ages, the Rhine flowed directly past the position of the inner harbor at the then Franconian royal court, until it moved its bed further west between 1120 and 1130 as a result of extraordinary floods. Before the dead arm of the Rhine silted up, it was navigable for a while. In 1407 Duisburg was accepted into the Hanseatic League - also because of its trading power. The old customs post and the city wall are evidence of the older history.

At the Schwanentor - one of four former Duisburg city gates - there was a lake fed by the Ruhr in 1665, which was expanded into a harbor basin. From here there was regular ferry traffic to Holland, the Börtschifffahrt . Duisburg became a transshipment point for ores and other goods. In front of the Duisburg city wall, students from the Gerhard Mercator University, after whom the Philosophenweg at the inner harbor is named today, strolled. But Ruhrort is located directly on the Rhine and over time has always had more sales than the less accessible lake outside the city gates.

In 1825 this should be taken into account by relocating the main tax office to Ruhrort. The Duisburg merchants then founded the Rheinkanal-Aktien-Verein. After merging with the Ruhr Canal-Aktien-Verein, a canal connection from the Rhine to the customs port was built in several stages from 1828 to 1844. The outer harbor via Marientor to Schwanentor was born.

Coal, ore, wood and grain were the most important commodities. The inner harbor with the collection and turning point Holzhafen was built, various Ruhr canals and harbor basins in the Ruhrort area were excavated, some of them closed again and filled. Accidents were also the order of the day, wood yards burned down, there were dust explosions in granaries and the two world wars destroyed bridges and buildings.

After 1960 an intensive process of rationalization and structural change took place, as a result of which the inner harbor was transformed into a service and residential area and the Ruhrorter harbors into a modern and highly automated inland port. For the inner harbor, the master plan by Sir Norman Foster and Partners (London), Kaiser Bautechnik (Duisburg), the State Development Company NRW (LEG) and Düsseldorf / Treuhandstelle GmbH (Essen) was responsible for this from 1990. The first stage of expansion of the plan took place as part of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Emscher Park , and in the following years through individual orders. The Ruhrorter ports were regularly adapted to the requirements of the market by the Duisburg-Ruhrorter Hafengesellschaft, today duisport Duisburger Hafen AG. Apart from a museum and a few preserved houses, there are not many witnesses of the port's history here, but port life takes place live there today.

Around the inner harbor, the Ruhrorter harbors, the Rhine and the Ruhr, other points are also part of this themed route. Bridges and locks, works of art and islands, other remains and new buildings show the eventful history.

Tour 1: Inner Harbor Harbor Path

Tour 2: Ruhrort Harbor Path

Tour 3: Scenes of the port and shipping between Duisburg and Ruhrort



  • Dagmar Bungardt, Gudrun Escher: Duisburg: City and Harbor (theme route 1 of the “Route of Industrial Culture”) , brochure, publisher: Regionalverband Ruhr, 2nd edition, Essen, 2007, ISBN 3-932165-60-8
  • Norbert Schinner, Reinhold Trapp: Rhein-Ruhr Hafen Duisburg , text in German, English and French, Wohlfarth-Verlag, May 2001, ISBN 3-87463-171-0
  • Barbara Fischer, Walter Buschmann , Christoph Machat: Monuments in the Rhineland, Vol. 6/1: City of Duisburg , publisher: Rheinisches Amt für Denkmalpflege, Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, January 2008, ISBN 3-88462-242-0
  • Franz Haniel (editor): Oortszeit, urban development in Duisburg-Ruhrort , brochure, Wasmuth Ernst Verlag, July 2002, ISBN 3-8030-0400-4
  • Ulrike Laufer, Csaba Peter Rakoczy: The Duisburg Inner Harbor on Foot: Three Miles of Art and Culture , Bachem-Verlag, March 2006, ISBN 3-7616-1980-4

Web links

Commons : Route der Industriekultur 01 - Duisburg: Stadt und Hafen  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files