Hohenzollern Bridge

The Hohenzollern Bridge (German: Hohenzollernbrücke) is a bridge crossing the river Rhine in the German city of Cologne (German: Köln). It crosses the Rhine at kilometre 688.5. Originally, the bridge was both a railway and road bridge. However, after its destruction in 1945 and its subsequent reconstruction, it was only accessible to rail and pedestrian traffic.

It is the most heavily used railway bridge in Germany with more than 1,200 trains daily, connecting the Köln Hauptbahnhof and Köln Messe/Deutz stations.

History

The bridge was constructed between 1907 and 1911 after the demolition of old bridge, the Cathedral Bridge (Dombrücke). The Cathedral Bridge was unable to handle the increasing traffic in Cologne.[] The new bridge was named after the House of Hohenzollern, the rulers of Prussia and German Emperors. (At the time, Cologne formed part of the Prussian Rhine Province.)

The President of the Railway Directorate Cologne, Paul von Breitenbach started planning the construction and handed over this work to his successor Rudolf Schmidt in 1906. The railway engineer Fritz Beermann headed the project; under his direction Friedrich Dirksen worked out the designs. The construction of the Hohenzollern Bridge took place from 1907 to 1911; Kaiser Wilhelm II inaugurated it on 22 May 1911.

The bridge consisted of three adjacent bridge parts, each with three iron truss arches (passage openings) in the longitudinal direction to accommodate four railroad tracks and a road. Although the location of the bridge and of the railway station were already controversial in previous structures, the Hohenzollern Bridge adopted the orientation of the previous bridge on the central axis of the cathedral.

Four equestrian statues of Prussian kings and German emperors of the Hohenzollern family flank each ramp. The Cathedral Bridge was already adorned with the statues of Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia by sculptor Gustav Blaeser and Kaiser Wilhelm I by Friedrich Drake, which now stand on the right (east) bank of the Rhine (see pictures above). In addition sculptor Louis Tuaillon made the equestrian statues of Friedrich III and, during his lifetime, OF Wilhelm II, which were placed on the left (west) bank of the Rhine (see pictures below). The statues symbolize the era of Prussian rule in the Rhine Province.

The Hohenzollern Bridge functioned as one of the most important bridges in Germany during World War II (1939-1945); even consistent daily airstrikes did not badly damage it. On 6 March 1945 German military engineers blew up the bridge as Allied troops began their assault on Cologne.

After Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945, the bridge was initially made operational on a makeshift basis, but soon reconstruction began in earnest. By 8 May 1948 pedestrians could again use the Hohenzollern Bridge.

The (southern) road traffic decks were removed[] so that the bridge now only consisted of six individual bridge decks, built partly in their old form. The surviving portals and bridge towers were not repaired and were demolished in 1958. In 1959 reconstruction of the bridge was completed.

During the 1980s the bridge was renovated with two new tracks. A very small portion of the old road ramp on the Deutz side was preserved, together with cobblestones and tram tracks. The rest was removed in connection with the construction of the Kölntriangle development and converted into a pedestrian- and bike-path.

The Hohenzollern Bridge now regularly has over 1,200 trains pass through daily. The total length of the Hohenzollern Bridge is 409.19 meters (1,342.5 ft).

Since 2008 people have placed love padlocks on the fence between the footpath and the railway lines.

Listed in the following categories:
Post a comment
Tips & Hints
Arrange By:
Dimitris Kotsios
27 July 2014
Cool view here.. You can see the river and boats there! Behind you there are so many trains leave and go to Koelner Hbf (Train Station)! Also you can lock your love there with a padlock!
Rickard Jonsson
20 November 2016
A great view of the town and the river, check out all the padlocks, there must be millions
S Walrond
10 December 2018
Come at night and turn back to marvel at Dom Cathedral! Come with a lover to lock your love to the fence and see all the other romantic declarations
Thorsten Sterk
1 May 2016
Verbindendes Element zwischen Altstadt und Deutz. Sehenswert sind nicht nur die zahlreichen Liebesschlösser, sondern auch die Architektur der Brücke. Man beachte die Details.
Simon Manchmalderfieber
Gegen Abend in manchen klaren Sommernächten bekommt man eine wunderschöne Atmosphäre zu Gesicht. Ein Spaziergang über die Brücke, ein Päuschen am Rheinufer und man kann sehr schön entspannen!
Heiko Schomberg
15 January 2014
1.100 Eisenbahnen rollen pro Tag über die Hohenzollernbrücke. Und sie ist der Ort, für die sogenannten "Liebesschlösser". Und es sind wirklich ein paar diskrete dabei: http://bit.ly/1dPzKMF
Load more comments
foursquare.com
9.0/10
16,137 people have been here

Hotels nearby

See all hotels See all
Romantik Hotel im Wasserturm

starting $179

Mauritius Hotel & Therme

starting $88

Hotel Altera Pars

starting $98

Holiday Inn Express Cologne - City Centre

starting $114

Centro Hotel Ariane

starting $208

Adagio Koln City Aparthotel

starting $462

Recommended sights nearby

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Memorial to gay and lesbian victims of National Socialism

The Cologne memorial dedicated to Den schwulen und lesbischen Opfern

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Great St. Martin Church, Cologne

The Great Saint Martin' Church (Deutsch. Groß Sankt Martin, mostly

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Museum Ludwig

Museum Ludwig, located in Cologne, Germany, houses a collection of

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Lintgasse

Lintgasse is an alley (Deutsch. Gasse) in the Old town of Cologne,

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Romano-Germanic Museum

The Roman-Germanic Museum (RGM, in German: Römisch-Germanisches

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom, officially Hohe Domkirche St.

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Cologne City Hall

The City Hall (Deutsch. link=no|Rathaus) is a historical building in

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Wallraf-Richartz Museum

The Wallraf-Richartz Museum is one of the three major museums in

See all nearby places

Similar tourist attractions

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Dom Luís I Bridge

The Dom Luís I (or Luiz I) Bridge (português. Ponte Luís I or Luiz I)

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Osman Gazi Bridge

The Osman Gazi Bridge (Turkish: Osman Gazi Köprüsü) is a suspension br

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Suramadu Bridge

The Suramadu Bridge (Indonesian: Jembatan Suramadu), also known as the

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Galata Bridge

The Galata Bridge (in Turkish Galata Köprüsü) is a bridge that sp

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Rama IX Bridge

Rama IX Bridge is a bridge in Bangkok, Thailand over the Chao Phraya

See all similar places