Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge – Wilhelmshaven, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge

Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Once the longest swing bridge in Europe.  


Constructed between 1905 and 1907, this amazing twin swing bridge links the harbor area of Wilhelmshaven, Germany with the popular South Beach. It’s not the only route to the thin strip of land where South Beach is located, but it’s seen as the most direct and picturesque. South Beach is unique in Germany as it is the country’s only south-facing beach. The bridge, narrow by modern standards, operates a light controlled alternating one-way traffic system across its 522-foot span.

This immense bridge pivots around two massive bearings to allow the passage of ships. The origin of the bridge is related to the fact that Wilhelmshaven was once the headquarters of the Prussian and German navy. When constructed, it was considered the longest swing bridge in Europe and remains as such in Germany. Today, it mainly opens to allow cruise ships and historic tall-masted vessels to pass. The German navy still maintains a presence at the bridge 

The design was created by Ernst Troschel and constructed by the company MAN, nowadays better known as a truck manufacturer. The company was famous during the 19th and early 20th-centuries for its bridges and the Wuppertahl monorail. Since 2013, when a system of LED lights were added, the bridge looks exceptional at night. 

Know Before You Go

The area around the bridge houses the marine museum and other aspects related to the port's naval history. 

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December 9, 2020

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