(ˈdyːsbʊɐ̯k) is a German
city in the western part of the Ruhr Area
) in North Rhine-Westphalia
. It is an independent metropolitan borough within Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf
. With the biggest inland harbour in Europe and its proximity to Düsseldorf International Airport
, Duisburg has become an important venue for commerce and steel production.
Today's city is a result of numerous incorporations of surrounding towns and smaller cities. It is the twelfth-largest city in Germany and the fifth-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia with 495,668 residents as of 31 December 2007. The city is renowned for its steel industry. There is still one coal mine in operation, but Duisburg has never been a coal-mining center to the same extent as other places in the Ruhr. All blast furnaces in the Ruhr are now located in Duisburg. 49% of all hot metal and 34.4% of all pig-iron in Germany is produced here (as of 2000). University of Duisburg-Essen, with 33,000 students, ranks among the 10 largest German universities.
Duisburg is located in the Lowland Rhine area at the confluence of the Rhine
rivers and near the outskirts of the Bergisches Land
. The city spreads along both sides of these rivers.
The following cities
border Duisburg (clockwise starting from north-east):
, Mülheim an der Ruhr
Since January 1, 1975 Duisburg is divided in seven disctricts or boroughs (Stadtbezirke) from the north to the south:
Latest archaeological studies show that today's market-place was already in use in the first century.
It has been the major central trading place of the city since the fifth century. The city itself was located at the "Hellweg
", an important medieval trade route, and at a ford
across the River Rhine. The Romans
already guarded the ford.
- 420 The Franks usurp the Roman settlement and re-colonisation of the old part of the town.
- 883 Normans conquer Duisburg and stay for the winter. First historic document mentioning Duisburg.
Due to the town's favourable geographic position a palatinate
was built and the town was soon granted the royal charter of a free city
. Duisburg became a member of the Hanseatic League
. Around 1000 the river Rhine moved westward from the city. This put an end to the city's development as a trading town and it soon grew into a quiet rural city.
The productions of cartographer Gerardus Mercator
and the foundation of a university in 1655 established the city's renown as "Educated Duisburg" ("Duisburgum Doctum").
The rise of tobacco and textile industries in the 18th century made Duisburg an industrial center. Big industrial companies such as iron and steel producing firms (Thyssen
) influenced the development of the city within the Prussian Rhine Province
Large housing areas near production sites were being built as workers and their families moved in.
- 1824 construction of the sulfuric acid factory Fr. W. Curtius. Beginning of the industry age in Duisburg.
- 1828 Franz Haniel builds a dockyard for steamships
- 1846 railroad line to Düsseldorf
- 1847 railroad line via Dortmund to Minden
- 1873 Duisburg becomes an independent city borough.
- 1904 Birth of the 100,000th resident (Ernst R. Straube)
- 1921 French Infantry occupy the city on 8 March to secure war reparation payments incurred during World War I.
- 1929 The city of Duisburg-Hamborn is renamed Duisburg.
- 1938 (November) The Nazis destroy the Jewish synagogue.
World War II
A major logistical center in the Ruhr and location of chemical, steel and iron industries, Duisburg was a primary target of Allied bombers
. As such, it is considered by some historians to be the single most heavily bombed German city by the Allies
during World War II
, with industrial areas and residential blocks targeted by Allied incendiary bombs.
On the night of 12–13 June 1941, British bombers dropped a total of 445 tons of bombs in and around Duisberg. Another British raid of 577 bombers destroyed the old city between 12–13 May 1943 with 1,599 tons of bombs. During the bombing raids, 96,000 people were made homeless with countless lives lost. In 1944 the city was again badly damaged as a total of 2,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the 22 May.
On 14 October, the tonnage amount was doubled to 2,018 tons when Halifax, Lancaster and Mosquito bombers appeared over Duisburg as part of Operation Hurricane. This daylight raid was followed by a night attack; over 24 hours about 9,000 tons of HE and incendaries had been dropped on Duisburg. Numerous similar attacks followed until the end of 1944.
In the last stages of the war in
Europe, the city was under artillery barrage from the 3 April 1945. On the 12 April 1945 military units of the U.S. 9th Army entered Duisburg. On 8 May 1945 the ADSEC Engineer Group A, led by Col. Helmer Swenholt, commanding officer of the 332nd Engineer General Service Regiment, constructed a railroad bridge between Duisburg and Rheinhausen across the Rhine River. This bridge was 860 meters long, and constructed in six days, fifteen hours and twenty minutes, a record time. This Bridge was named the "VictoryBridge".
Post war period
A total of 299 bombing raids had almost completely destroyed the historic cityscape. 80% of all residential buildings had been destroyed or partly damaged. Almost the whole of the city had to be rebuilt, and most historic landmarks had been lost.
Duisburg celebrated its 1100th anniversary in 1983. On 19 July 2004 it was hit by a tornado. The municipal theatre and parts of the city center were damaged.
The city hosted the 7th World Games in 2005.
Turks in Duisburg
Duisburg is home to sixty thousand Turkish Muslims. The new Merkez Mosque, the largest Muslim place of worship in North Rhine-Westphalia, is being built with a contribution of 3.2 million Euros from the EU and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Turks began arriving as "guest workers" in Duisberg in the 1960s, typically work in physically difficult, low paying jobs, and typically have have limited German language skills.
Economy and infrastructure
is the largest inland port
in the world. It is officially regarded as a "seaport" because sea-going river vessels go to ports in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Numerous docks are mostly located at the mouth of Ruhr
river where it joins the Rhine
Each year more than 40 million tonnes of various goods are handled with more than 20,000 ships calling at the port. The public harbor facilities stretch across an area of 7.4 km². There are 21 docks covering an area of 1.8 km² and 40 km of wharf. The area of the Logport Logistic Center Duisburg stretches across an area of 2.65 km². A number of companies run their own private docks and 70 million tonnes of goods yearly are handled in Duisburg on average.
Road and rail
Duisburg is connected to the German Autobahn
system. Five such roads extend through the city area or pass it. Duisburg main station is serviced by the InterCityExpress
long-distance network of the Deutsche Bahn
, in addition there is the inter-urban S-Bahn
line connecting Duisburg with other cities of the Rhine-Ruhr
light rail and a bus system, both operated by the Duisburger Verkehrsgesellschaft
provide local traffic. The Stadtbahn line U79, the so-called D-Bahn
, is a connection to the neighbouring city of Düsseldorf
and serviced in joint operation with the Rheinbahn
of Düsseldorf. All S-Bahn, Stadtbahn and bus lines operate under the umbrella of the VRR
There are several newspapers reporting on local events and politics, including the "Westdeutsche Allgemeine
" (WAZ), the "Neue Ruhr Zeitung" (NRZ) and the "Rheinische Post
The local radio station "Radio Duisburg" was the first local radio broadcaster in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia. It started broadcasting in 1990.
There is a local TV station ("STUDIO 47"), which was the first local station to broadcast in North Rhine-Westphalia
. It started broadcasting in 2006.
In its Duisburg studions the WDR
produces a local programme for the city of Duisburg and the lower rhine region north of Düsseldorf. WDR is part of the German TV and radio network ARD
Duisburg hosts a comprehensive range of cultural facilities and events. A highlight is the annual "Duisburger Akzente"
, a festival focusing on modern social, political and cultural topics.
Besides Düsseldorf Duisburg is a residence of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, one of the major opera houses in Germany. The Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra is one of Germany's orchestras with an international reputation.
Thanks to its history as a harbor city and a trade and industrial center Duisburg offers a variety of architectural places of interest. The spectrum goes from old churches such as "St Johann Baptist" in Duisburg-Hamborn, which was built in 900, to modern age buildings like Micro-Electronic-Centrum in Duisburg-Neudorf, built in 1995.
Another subject of interest is the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord an abandoned industrial complex open to the public and an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage.
The city center locates the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum , the municipal theatre and the shopping street known as "fountain mile".
Duisburg is involved in many kinds of sports. Nevertheless, most important for its inhabitants is the local football club MSV Duisburg. Recently, with the new MSV Arena the city received a brand new sports stadium for various kinds of sports such as football and American football.
During the summer months of 2005 the World Games took place in Duisburg. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Duisburg was the stage for preparation of the Portuguese team and the residence of the Italian football team, who won the cup in the final match against France.
Duisburg is also known for its rowing and canoeing regattas and the world championships that take place there regularly. Other popular sports are icehockey, baseball, American football, water polo and hockey.
Upcoming sports events
The World Games 2013 are scheduled for Duisburg and Düsseldorf. The World Games 2013: Duisburg & Duesseldorf
Duisburg's twin cities are:
- Calais, France
- Portsmouth, United Kingdom
- Vilnius, Lithuania
- Wuhan, People's Republic of China
- Gaziantep, Turkey
- Perm, Russia
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Lomé, Togo
- Bergen, Norway
- Kauniainen, Finland
- Teheran, Iran