June 5, 2017

3078 GERMANY (North Rhine-Westphalia) - Schwanentor Bridge in Duisburg

Located in the western part of the Ruhr Area, at the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers, Duisburg has the world's biggest inland harbor. Actually it is officially regarded as a seaport, because seagoing river vessels go to ports in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Until around 1000 AD, Duisburg was located on the banks of the Rhine, but after that, the river shifted its course westwards, and the town remained connected to the river only through a "dead" arm for the following 400 years. As a result, this previously important trading town declined into a small agricultural settlement.

It was only in the 19th century that an initiative to resurrect the connection to the Rhine proved successful. Initially, the Outer Harbour was dug from the Rhine in the west as far as the contemporary Marientor Bridge, to which an eastern extension was later built, the Inner Harbour. Early on, the timber industry established itself on the harbour, mining interest being a major customer for their products then, as modern production methods were able to reduce their space requirements, grain mills began to establish themselves in several locations. They conferred on the Inner Harbour the nickname "bread basket of the Ruhr district".

For over a hundred years during the high point of the Industrial Revolution, the Inner Harbour (Innenhafen) was the central harbour and trading point of the town. Since the mid 1960s, the importance of the harbour declined and it lay in a disused condition for 20 years, before plans for renovation were drawn up. This former industrial area has been fundamentally transformed, a process which started as a part of the International Building Exhibition Emscher Park (IBA) which ran from 1989 until 1999. it has developed into a nightlife district, dotted with countless restaurants and bars.

Schwanentor Bridge is one of three lift bridges in Duisburg, and crosses the Inner Harbour. It is used by pedestrians, cyclists, automobiles and trams. The passage height at medium normal water level and without lifting the platform is 5.50m. The bridge platform between the four square towers can be lifted about 10m. Ropes and counterweights are located in the towers. These are decorated with bricks, have pairs of windows arranged in pairs and a glazed upper floor. In one of the towers, a guard house is installed, which controls the lifting of the Swan Gate Bridge as well as of the Hump Bridge.

About the stamps
The stamps are part of the series Blumen, about which I wrote here.

Duisburg - Wikipedia
Duisburg Inner Harbour - Wikipedia
Schwanentorbrücke (germ) - Wikipedia

Sender: Jorn Hegner (direct swap)
Sent from Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia / Germany), on 20.05.2017 
Photo: Christoph Reinhard

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