The Toelleturm stands at a height of 330 m above sea level, has a height of 26.25 meters and is located on the edge of the Barmer Forest , which belongs to the extensive park of the Barmer Anlagen , one of the largest private parks in Germany. The round Toelleturm from Beyenburger Grauwacke , which tapers towards the top, has a diameter of 7.70 meters at the base and 5.14 meters at the top. It is built with two shells. The space in between is formed by a Cyclops masonry made of uncut stone and undirected joints, partly open and without mortar. An outside staircase leads to a passage 7 meters above the plateau. 146 steps lead to the viewing platform, which can be reached via a spiral staircase. In the past, the border was not completely closed, but interrupted by holes. The facade was partially overgrown. A bronze plaque is placed above the entrance door to the interior space on the ground floor: "Toelleturm, built in 1888, renovated in 1990". Another dedication plaque bears the text:
"This observation tower was built in 1887 and donated to the property of the Barmer Beautification Association in memory of Ludwig Ernst Toelle, 1822–1886, by his family."
When the weather is suitable, the tower offers a remarkable panoramic view. Between Nützenberg ( Weyerbuschturm ) and Königshöhe ( Von-der-Heydt-Turm ) you can look west to the Rhine . In the north, the valley with the Wupper and the suspension railway is at the beholder's feet, plus the northern elevations, in the east Langerfeld and parts of Westphalia , in the south Remscheid and Radevormwald . The Toelleturm is owned by the Barmer Beautification Association and is open on Sundays and public holidays when the weather is nice.
The Toelleturm was donated by the children of the Unterbarmer textile manufacturer Ludwig-Ernst Toelle († 1886), who liked to go for a walk here; Construction began in 1887 and the official opening took place on April 29, 1888. During the Second World War , the observation tower served as an observation point for air surveillance and was equipped with an anti-aircraft gun . On the night of May 30, 1943, during the heavy air attack on Barmen by the British RAF Bomber Command, target marking cascades (so-called "Christmas trees") and the dropping of incendiary bombs were reported.
In 1949 it was banned due to the risk of collapse. After a call for donations and the sale of building blocks with a Toelleturm motif and panoramic maps, enough money was raised to enable extensive repairs. It reopened on September 3, 1950. 1961–1962 the tower was closed again for safety reasons. On March 11, 1965, in the absence of funds for the renovation, the demolition of the tower was discussed, but it was finally made stable in 1970 by the Barmer Beautification Association for 50,000 DM . In fact, however, the tower was an inaccessible ruin, for the preservation of which 150,000 DM were set. In 1977 a cordon around the tower was necessary to protect visitors from falling rocks. The building regulation office demanded reconstruction or demolition. The population spoke out in favor of the preservation of their landmark, and so the tower was finally renovated in 1978 with sponsorship funds, including the Stadtsparkasse Wuppertal with 120,000 DM, and reopened on July 4th, 1978.
In 1988 cracks appeared again and when the facade was knocked off, plaster and stones crumbled, so that the tower had to be closed again. The last general overhaul was partially not carried out properly and should have been more complex. The Bergische Universität was commissioned with an inventory and with the production of new construction drawings. In January 1989 the report was published, according to which a rescue would have cost around 600,000 DM, a demolition 400,000 DM and a new building 1,500,000 DM. The Barmer Beautification Association grew to a membership of 1,000 and collected almost a million DM through many campaigns by 1989, which made the extensive renovation work possible.
On August 11, 1990, the association celebrated the reopening of the Toelleturm with its members and donors.
General overhaul from 1990
Due to the two-shell construction , water could penetrate the masonry, the expansion of which loosened the masonry during frost and pushed it outwards. Cosmetic work through repeated grouting would not have eliminated the root cause, especially since the platform was not completely sealed. The analysis was only possible through core drilling and the inner masonry was visible and testable. According to experts, the inner shell with a thickness of 30 to 60 centimeters was intact and stable, so only the outer skin was completely renovated. The damaged outer wall was removed in sections by water pressure and a layer of shotcrete was applied as a moisture barrier. The tower was then given a casing and support made of reinforced concrete pipe . A good part of the demolished Beyenburger Grauwacke was reused as an external facing and supplemented with new stones. This front wall shell has a 24 centimeter thick rear ventilation. After completion, the tower had the same external dimensions as the new building. The renovation also included the exposure of the inner masonry, the removal of the roof hatch, reconstruction of the entire viewing platform, renewal of the external stairs and the perimeter, reworking of all iron parts, connections for electricity and water, as well as gardening around the tower.
Historic transport links
At the Toelleturm was the terminus of the Barmer Bergbahn , which opened on April 16, 1894 as the first double-track electric cogwheel railway in Germany , which was shut down and dismantled on July 4, 1959, despite fierce resistance from the population. Already on 10 January 1894. So a few weeks before the opening, the link from Toelleturm the stop was Ronsdorf -Ascheweg the Ronsdorf-Müngstener Railway opened to the public. The meter- gauge small train , which ran via Ronsdorf Stadtbahnhof and Gerstau to Müngsten , was electrified by June 1897 and, in addition to passenger traffic, which was only important in some sections, primarily served freight traffic to the metalworking companies in Morsbachtal . The line was later converted into a tram , but from 1938 it was shut down and dismantled in sections. On July 5, 1959, passenger traffic from the Toelleturm to Ronsdorf also ended.
- Entry in the Wuppertal monument list
- Toelleturm as a 3D model in SketchUp's 3D warehouse
- Barmer Beautification Association
- Barmen2008.de , Ludwig Ernst Toelle
- Wolfgang Mondorf: The Barmen district
- Toelleturm. In: Structurae
- According to the source Ludwig Ernst Toelle - His tower on the southern heights always reminds of the manufacturer , accessed in January 2011, the bronze plaque was called: "Toelleturm, built 1888, renewed 1978" - it may be that the plaque was renewed in 1990.