Hohenzollern Bridge

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Hohenzollern Bridge
Hohenzollern bridge
Hohenzollern bridge
Carries Train and pedestrian traffic[1]
Crosses River Rhine[1]
Locale Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[1]
Owner Deutsche Bundesbahn
Design Tied arch bridge (1948)[1]
Material Concrete piers with steel superstructure[1]
Total length 409.19 metres (1,342.5 ft)[1]
Width 26.2 metres (86 ft) (deck, 1987)[1]
Longest span 167.75 metres (550.4 ft)[1]
Number of spans 118.88 metres (390.0 ft) - 167.75 metres (550.4 ft) - 122.56 metres (402.1 ft) (1987)[1]
Constructed by Krupp Maschinen- und Stahlbau (steel), Grün & Bilfinger and Heinrich Butzer (concrete) 1946
August Klönne and Stahlbau Albert Liesegang (steel), Philipp Holzmann AG (concrete) 1956
Hein, Lehmann & Co. and Krupp Industrietechnik GmbH and Thyssen Engineering GmbH (steel) 1986[1]
Construction begin 1946, 1956, 1986
Construction end 1948, 1959, 1987
Construction cost DM 14,000,000[1]
Coordinates 50°56′29″N 06°57′56″E / 50.94139°N 6.96556°E / 50.94139; 6.96556Coordinates: 50°56′29″N 06°57′56″E / 50.94139°N 6.96556°E / 50.94139; 6.96556
Hohenzollern Bridge is located in Germany
Hohenzollern Bridge
Hohenzollern Bridge
Hohenzollernbrücke Köln.jpg
Hohenzollern Bridge, with Cologne Cathedral and Museum Ludwig in the background
Crosses River Rhine
Locale Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[2]
Architect Franz Heinrich Schwechten (1911)[2]
Design Arch bridge with suspended deck (1911)[2]
Width 32.45 metres (106.5 ft) (deck)[2]
Longest span 167.75 metres (550.4 ft)[2]
Number of spans 118.88 metres (390.0 ft) - 167.75 metres (550.4 ft) - 122.56 metres (402.1 ft) (1911)[2]
Construction begin 1907
Construction end 1911
Preceded by Cathedral Bridge
Collapsed 6 March 1945[2]

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 street 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, connecting the Köln Hauptbahnhof and Köln Messe/Deutz stations.


The bridge was constructed between 1907 and 1911 after the old bridge, the Cathedral Bridge (Dombrücke), was demolished. The Cathedral Bridge was unable to handle the increasing traffic in Cologne.[citation needed] It was named after the House of Hohenzollern.

The Hohenzollern Bridge was one of the most important bridges in Germany during World War II; even under consistent daily airstrikes the bridge was not badly damaged. On 6 March 1945, German military engineers blew up the bridge when Allied troops began their assault on Cologne.

After the war, reconstruction was quickly organized; by 8 May 1948, the Hohenzollern Bridge was accessible by pedestrians again. Over the next eleven years the bridge was improved until by 1959 it was usable without any impairment. During the 1980s, the bridge was renovated with two new tracks. The Hohenzollern Bridge now regularly has over 1200 trains pass through daily.[3] The bridge is regarded as an important part of Cologne as it connects Cologne's central station with major European cities on the other side of the Rhine.

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.[4] Dutch band Nits dedicated a song to this in the song "Love Locks" from their 2012 album Malpensa.

The Hohenzollern Bridge (center) about six weeks after its destruction


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hohenzollernbrücke (1987) at Structurae
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Hohenzollernbrücke (1911) at Structurae
  3. ^ DB Bahn: Hauptbahnhof Köln – Drehkreuz des Westen (in German)
  4. ^ Stolarz, Sarah (February 9, 2009). "Cologne Gets a Lock on Love". Deutsche Welle. 

Hohenzoller Bridge at night
Hohenzollern Bridge (right) seen at night from the other side of the Rhine at Deutz.