Altstadt - Old Town

Station area
Rathaus, Salvatorkirche, Town Hall, Church of Our Saviour, Altstadt, Burgplatz, Mercatorbrunnen, City Wall   Hauptbahnhof, Theater Duisburg, Koenigstrasse, City Palais, Koenigsgalerie, Forum Duisburg, Fernmeldeturm, Immanuel-Kant Park, Friedrich-Wilhelm-Strasse  

Inner Harbour
  Skylines and landmarks  

Schwanentor Bridge, Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen, City Wall, Five Boats, Trams, Canal, Ruhr


Fernmeldeturm, Hoist Haus, Targo Bank, Landesarchiv, Rathaus, Salvatorkirche, Schwanentor Bridge


Population: 496 000 (Rhine-Ruhr metro 11,3 million)
Tallest building: Hoist Haus (20 floors)
Tallest structure: STEAG Kraftwerk Walsum chimney (300m)
Area: 232.8 km²
Founded: City rights in 1279
Year visited: 2022 (July)


Duisburg is situated in the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Ruhr, in the densely populated Rhein-Ruhr industrial and metropolitan area. The city was one of Germany's most heavily bombed cities during World War II and thus only a few historical buildings remain. The city center is mostly filled with modernist buildings. Nine other cities border Duisburg, the largest one is Düsseldorf. Duisburg has the world's largest inland port, Innenhafen (Inner Harbour). It is situated right opposite the city center from the canal and is filled with refurbished former industrial buidlngs and new modern apartmant buildings, like the "Five Boats" office complex, designed by Nicholas Grimshaw.

The Rathaus (Town Hall) and the Salvatorkirche (Church of Our Saviour) are few of the buildings that remain today. They are situated next to each other at Burgplatz and are really beautiful. The Town Hall was built in 1903 in historic renaissance style, has a tower and Duisburg's coat of arms and the Salvatorkirche was built in 1316 in gothic style. The fountain Mercatorbrunnen is situated in front of the town hall.

The Theater Duisburg is a very beautiful white building in neo-classical style, one of two opera houses were performances are given by the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. It was built in 1912, destroyed during the bombings and rebuilt in 1950. Next is the Wyndham Duisburger Hof, a luxury hotel. They are situated near the pedestrian street, that goes from the central station to near the Inner Harbour; Königstrasse. Along Königstrasse are some large department stores, like Karstadt and TK Maxx and no less then three really modern and large shopping malls and entertainment complexes; City Palais, Königsgalerie and Forum Duisburg.

is a prominent moving bridge, that you pass from the city center to the Innenhafen. On the other city of the canal is the Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen, a spoky former granary tower without windows that were rebuilt to Germany's largest archive building!

Some parts of the old City Wall is intact. Duisburg has a really large Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) with 12 platforms and fountains in front of it, where people like to hang out. It was opened in 1846 but has been rebuilt in early modernist style, like many other German stations. A vintage advertizement for Duisburg's famous König Pilsner brand can be seen there. Immanuel-Kant Park is situated in the South part of the city center. Fernmeldeturm Duisburg is a 121m tall TV tower. Around the city center there are several modern tall office highrises, about 17-20 floors.


I visited Duisburg briefly on the way between Hannover and Köln in 2022. Duisburg is not known as a tourist city, but the city has a special meaning for me; in the 80s we stayed with my family at the Novotel in Duisburg, and this was the first time we spent in the city center of a big European city. I remember I thought that Duisburg was a really nice city, with for that time really modern trams (they still have the same trams) and a nice railway station, and was later surprised it is not known as pretty city. However, it is an okay city, the motto is "Duisburg ist echt" (Duisburg is genuine), not as posh, hip and modern or historically interesting as nearby Cologne and Düsseldorf but it has some nice places and buildings, but the air is so heavy it is sometimes hard to breath, because of pollution from industries, at least during my visit when it was about 37 degrees C. Since I visited on a Sunday evening, most stores were closed, but quite many people were out on the streets this hot day, and there are several outdoor seatings along the pedestrian streets.