Landing Bridges (Landungsbrücken)

 

The landing bridges in Hamburg ..

 

..are one of the many touristic attractions in Hamburg. Because of this transport hub many of the yearly tourists get to the Elbe. In close proximity there are located the ships for the smaller and bigger harbour tours and other tours and the transport services for the parts of Hamburg: Finkenwerder, Oevelgönne and Blankenese.

Sometimes there anchor bigger ships than guest ship at the landing bridges. Directly at the waterside there are located numerous restaurants and cafes which invite to linger as well as the many seats above the pontoons. In the eastern direction, directly at the transition to the station, there is the gauge tower. In its centre there is fixed in the wall a water level indicator which shows the actual water level till today. Here you can also spot the sailing ship Rickmer Rickmers which is attached to its permanent berth as well as the white and red bulk Cap San Diego which lies at the “Überseebrücke”.

 

 

Old Elbe Tunnel

In the westerly direction there is the entrance to the Old Elbe Tunnel. Built in 1911 it connected the mainland with Steinwerder, a place opposite to the landing bridges. At its time the building was hold as technic sensation as it was the first river tunnel on the European mainland. Since the year 2003 the Old Elbe Tunnel is under monumental protection but can still be used today.

 

The history of the landing bridges

The history of the landing bridges starts in the year 1839. There had to be established a pier for the bigger ships. As it was the case that at this time in Hamburg, without exception, there were only steamships which were fired with coal, there had to be found a place which just posed a risk of a minimal fire hazard for the city but also offered enough space to store a sufficient amount of coal. The landing bridges fulfilled these conditions. Almost one hundred years later, around 1907, the landing bridges were upstreamed on swimming pontoons to balance the tidal range from about 3,5 metres which the Elbe caused daily.

The pontoons are still connected to the mainland via bridges which angle changes depending on the water level. At the time between 1850 and 1934 around five million people left Germany via the landing bridges to find their own luck in all parts of the world.

 

In the time of the Nationalsozialismus many Jews flew

On the 13th of May 1939 the destiny of 900 refugees began here as well who wanted to rescue themselves on St.Louis in fear of the “Nazi force”, not knowing that they got into a cheap political trick. Having arrived at the target country Cuba, the entry was refused like other countries did as well. Just France, England and the Netherlands gave them refuge. The journey ended on the 17th of June 1939 in Antwerpen. Two third of the passengers got into the violence of the Nazis another time who murdered up to several hundreds of them.

A memorial plaque at the entry of the bridge three still reminds of this crime.

Our landing bridges tour

 

Within our landing brides tour you will get further information.