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Coordinates: 51°26′05″N 6°45′45″E / 51.43472°N 6.76250°E / 51.43472; 6.76250
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Duisborg (Low German)
Duisburg Inner Harbour
Flag of Duisburg
Coat of arms of Duisburg
Location of Duisburg within NRW
Duisburg is located in Germany
Duisburg is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 51°26′05″N 6°45′45″E / 51.43472°N 6.76250°E / 51.43472; 6.76250
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionDüsseldorf
DistrictUrban district
Subdivisions7 boroughs, 46 suburbs
 • Lord mayor (2017–25) Sören Link[1] (SPD)
 • Governing partiesSPD / CDU[2]
 • City232.82 km2 (89.89 sq mi)
31 m (102 ft)
 • City502,211
 • Density2,200/km2 (5,600/sq mi)
 • Metro
8,711,712 (Rhineland)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes0203
Vehicle registrationDU

Duisburg (German: [ˈdyːsbʊʁk] ; Low German: Duisborg, pronounced [ˈdʏsbɔɐ̯χ]) is a city in the Ruhr metropolitan area of the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lying on the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr rivers in the center of the Rhine-Ruhr Region, Duisburg is the 5th largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia and the 15th-largest city in Germany.

In the Middle Ages, it was a city-state and a member of the Hanseatic League, and later became a major centre of the iron, steel, and chemicals industries. For this reason, it was heavily bombed in World War II. Today it boasts the world's largest inland port, with 21 docks and 40 kilometres of wharf.


Duisburg is a city in Germany's Rhineland, the fifth-largest city (after Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Essen) in the nation's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its 500,000 inhabitants make it Germany's 15th-largest city. Located at the confluence of the Rhine river and its tributary the Ruhr river, it lies in the west of the Ruhr urban area, Germany's largest, of which it is the third-largest city after Dortmund and Essen. The Ruhr itself lies within the larger Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, one of Europe's largest conurbations. The city lies on both sides of the Rhine, with the city centre and most boroughs on the river's right bank, and is the only city of the Rhine-Ruhr region lying on both the Rhine and Ruhr rivers. Duisburg is one of the largest cities in the Meuse-Rhenish (closely related to Dutch) dialect area and the largest in the Kleverlandish area (north of the Uerdingen Isogloss).

Duisburg has the world's largest inland port,[4] "Duisburg-Ruhrorter Häfen", in Duisburg-Ruhrort. Germany's third-largest and the Rhine-Ruhr region's main airport, Düsseldorf Airport, lies near the city, in Düsseldorf-Lohausen. With 42,747 students, the University of Duisburg-Essen is Germany's ninth-largest university. It has campuses in Essen and Duisburg, and a university hospital in Essen. Duisburg is a result of numerous incorporations of surrounding towns and smaller cities. The city is renowned for its steel industry. All blast furnaces in the Ruhr are now located in Duisburg. In 2000, 49% of all hot metal and 34.4% of all pig iron in Germany were produced here. It also has a large brewery, König. In the early Middle Ages, it was a royal court of the Franks, first mentioned in writing in 883.


Duisburg is in the Lowland Rhine area at the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr and near the outskirts of the Bergisches Land. The city spreads along both sides of these rivers.

Adjacent cities[edit]

The following cities border Duisburg (clockwise starting from the north-east): Oberhausen, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Ratingen, Düsseldorf, Meerbusch, Krefeld, Moers, Rheinberg, and Dinslaken.


Since 1 January 1975, Duisburg has been divided into seven districts or boroughs (Stadtbezirke) from north to south:[5]

Coat of arms of Duisburg at the town hall in Duisburg


Duisburg has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb).[6] On 25 July 2019, Duisburg recorded a temperature of 41.2 °C (106.2 °F), which is the highest temperature to have ever been recorded in Germany.[7]

Climate data for Duisburg
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 4
Daily mean °C (°F) 2
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 81.3
Source: weather.com[8]



The current Mayor of Duisburg is Sören Link of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), who was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2017.

The most recent mayoral election was held on 24 September 2017, and the results were as follows:

Candidate Party Votes %
Sören Link Social Democratic Party 127,793 56.7
Gerhard Meyer Christian Democratic Union 57,815 25.7
Erkan Kocalar The Left 13,306 5.9
Thomas Wolters Free Democratic Party 12,776 5.7
Melanie Händelkes National Democratic Party 7,519 3.3
Yasar Durmus Independent 5,478 2.4
Valid votes 224,687 98.7
Invalid votes 3,009 1.3
Total 227,696 100.0
Electorate/voter turnout 365,646 62.3
Source: City of Duisburg

City council[edit]

Results of the 2020 city council election

The Duisburg city council (Duisburger Stadtrat) governs the city alongside the Mayor. The most recent city council election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows:

Party Votes % +/- Seats +/-
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 43,051 30.8 Decrease 10.1 32 Decrease 3
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 29,966 21.5 Decrease 3.3 22 Increase 1
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) 24,728 17.7 Increase 10.3 19 Increase 13
Alternative for Germany (AfD) 12,968 9.3 Increase 5.7 10 Increase 7
The Left (Die Linke) 7,714 5.5 Decrease 1.0 6 ±0
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 4,333 3.1 Increase 0.7 3 Increase 1
Young Duisburg (JUDU) 4,091 2.9 Increase 0.8 3 Increase 1
Human Environment Animal Protection (Tierschutz) 2,599 1.9 New 2 New
Duisburg Alternative List (DAL) 1,709 1.2 Increase 0.1 1 ±0
Die PARTEI (PARTEI) 1,596 1.1 New 1 New
We Shape Duisburg (WGD) 1,471 1.1 New 1 New
Socially Just Independent (SGU) 1,384 1.0 Increase 0.1 1 ±0
Solidarity for Duisburg (SfD) 958 0.7 New 1 New
BIG-Dergah 890 0.6 New 0 New
Civic Liberals (BL) 608 0.4 New 0 New
National Democratic Party (NPD) 550 0.4 Decrease 1.3 0 Decrease 1
Alliance Duisburg (Allianz) 377 0.3 New 0 New
Alliance for Duisburg (BfD) 290 0.2 New 0 New
Independent Gisela Schiffers 141 0.1 New 0 New
Digital Ecological Social (DOS) 83 0.1 New 0 New
Independent Marliese Lenz 57 0.0 New 0 New
Awakening Duisburg (Aufbruch Du) 41 0.0 New 0 New
Valid votes 139,605 98.9
Invalid votes 1,618 1.1
Total 141,223 100.0 102 Increase 18
Electorate/voter turnout 360,750 39.1 Decrease 1.4
Source: State Returning Officer

State Landtag[edit]

In the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia, Duisburg is divided between three constituencies: 61 Duisburg I (containing Süd district and most of Mitte), 62 Duisburg II (Walsum, Rheinhausen, and most of Homberg/Ruhrort/Baerl), and 63 Duisburg III (Hamborn, Meiderich/Beeck, and parts of Mitte and Homberg/Ruhrort/Baerl). After the 2022 North Rhine-Westphalia state election, all three constituencies were held by the SPD. Duisburg I was represented by Sarah Philipp, Duisburg II by Rainer Bischoff, and Duisburg III by Frank Börner.

Federal parliament[edit]

In the Bundestag, Duisburg is divided between two constituencies: 115 Duisburg I (Rheinhausen, Süd, and Mitte) and 116 Duisburg II (Walsum, Hamborn, Meidereich/Beeck, Homberg/Ruhrort/Baerl). In the 20th Bundestag, both are held by the SPD. Duisburg I is represented by President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas, and Duisburg II by Mahmut Özdemir.


The first syllable of the name of the city could go back to the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰeus-, meaning something like "wet area" or "flood plain".[citation needed] Duisburg therefore could mean "fortified place in the floodplain". Another interpretation assumes that the name is derived from the Old German "duis" which means "hill".[citation needed] Duisburg could mean something like "castle on the hill". Thus, a place on a hill overlooking the Rhine, that could refer to the area of the present Town Hall. Duisburggau (Diuspurgau) was also the name of the medieval Gau (country subdivision) on the Lower Rhine.

A legend recorded by Johannes Aventinus (fl. 1525) holds that Duisburg (along with Deutz, Cologne, Duisdorf in Bonn, and Doesburg in the Netherlands, all on the Rhine's right bank) was built by the namesake Tuisto, mythical progenitor of Germans, ca. 2395 BC. There is nothing to establish any historical basis for such an early founding of Duisburg, which would have made it among the earliest cities in Europe.

Roman period[edit]

Latest archaeological studies show that the present-day market-place was already in use in the first century. It has been the major central trading place of the city since the 5th century. The city itself was located at the "Hellweg", an important medieval trade route, and at a ford across the Rhine. The Romans already guarded the ford.

  • 420: The Franks usurp the Roman settlement and recolonize the old part of the town.
  • 883: The Normans conquer Duisburg and stay for the winter. First historic document mentioning Duisburg.

Middle Ages[edit]

Due to the town's favorable geographic position a palatinate was built and the town was soon granted the royal charter of a free city. Duisburg became a member of the Hanseatic League. Around 1000 the river Rhine moved westward from the city. This put an end to the city's development as a trading town and it soon grew into a quiet rural city.

Mercatorbrunnen ("Mercator fountain") in front of the town hall

The productions of cartographer Gerardus Mercator and the foundation of a university in 1655 established the city's renown as "Educated Duisburg" ("Duisburgum Doctum").

Industrial revolution[edit]

Binnenhafen in 1931

The rise of tobacco and textile industries in the 18th century made Duisburg an industrial center. Big industrial companies such as iron and steel producing firms (Thyssen and Krupp) influenced the development of the city within the Prussian Rhine Province. Large housing areas near production sites were being built as workers and their families moved in.

  • 1823 a district ("Landkreis") Duisburg is established including the cities of Essen and Mülheim an der Ruhr.
  • 1824 construction of the sulfuric acid factory Fr. W. Curtius; beginning of the industry age in Duisburg.
  • 1828 Franz Haniel builds a dockyard for steamships
  • 1846 railway line to Düsseldorf
  • 1847 railway line via Dortmund to Minden
  • 1873 Duisburg becomes an independent city borough.
  • 1904 Birth of the 100,000th resident (Ernst R. Straube)
  • 1921 French Infantry occupy the city on 8 March to secure war reparation payments incurred during World War I.
  • 1929 The city of Hamborn and Duisburg are joined together. The new city is given the name of Duisburg-Hamborn.
  • 1935 Duisburg-Hamborn is renamed Duisburg.
  • 1938 (November) The Nazis destroy the city's synagogue.

World War II[edit]

A major logistical center in the Ruhr and location of chemical, steel and iron industries, Duisburg was a primary target of Allied bombers. As such, it is considered by some historians[who?] to be the single most heavily bombed German city by the Allies during World War II, with industrial areas and residential blocks targeted by Allied incendiary bombs.

On the night of 12–13 June 1941, British bombers dropped a total of 445 tons of bombs in and around Duisburg. As part of the Battle of the Ruhr, another British raid of 577 bombers destroyed the old city between 12 and 13 May 1943 with 1,599 tons of bombs. During the bombing raids, 96,000 people were made homeless with countless lives lost.

In 1944 the city was again badly damaged as a total of 2,000 tons of bombs were dropped on 22 May. On 14 October, the tonnage was repeated with 2,018 tons when Halifax, Lancaster, and Mosquito bombers appeared over Duisburg as part of Operation Hurricane. This daylight raid was followed by a night attack; over 24 hours about 9,000 tons of HE and incendiaries had been dropped on Duisburg. Numerous similar attacks followed until the end of 1944.

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Duisburg in April 1945. The US 17th Airborne Division, acting as regular infantry and not in a parachute role, met only scattered resistance in the vicinity and captured the city on 12 April 1945.[9]

On 8 May 1945 the ADSEC Engineer Group A, led by Col. Helmer Swenholt, commanding officer of the 332nd Engineer General Service Regiment, constructed a railway bridge between Duisburg and Rheinhausen across the Rhine. It was 860 meters long, and constructed in six days, fifteen hours and twenty minutes, a record time. It was named the "Victory Bridge".[10]

Post-World War II period[edit]

Shrinking Duisburg: Abandoned buildings in the borough of Beeck

A total of 299 bombing raids had almost completely destroyed the historic cityscape. 80% of all residential buildings had been destroyed or partly damaged. Almost the whole of the city had to be rebuilt, and most historic landmarks had been lost.

Beginning in the mid-1960s, the decline of Duisburg's steel and mining industry caused a significant loss of residents. While in 1975 approximately 590,000 people were living in Duisburg, the number had shrunk to 518,000 in 1985.

Duisburg celebrated its 1100th anniversary in 1983. The city's population recovered a little in the following years, up to 537,000 in 1992. It declined to 488,000 in 2011. On 19 July 2004, it was hit by a tornado. The municipal theater and parts of the city center were damaged. The city hosted the 7th World Games in 2005. In 2010, 21 people died because of a mass panic at the Love Parade; over 500 people were injured.


In 2010, Duisburg had a population of 489,600, a slight decrease since 2006.

Historical population
Population size may be affected by changes in administrative divisions. source:[11][circular reference]

Duisburg has one of the highest proportions of Muslims in Germany, with the city's Muslim population at approximately 15%, or 71,000 residents, as of 2011.[12]

Population structure of non-German residents:[13]

Rank Nationality Population (31 December 2022)[14]
1  Turkey 33,768
2  Bulgaria 12,143
3  Syria 9,423
4  Ukraine 9,068
5  Romania 8,853
6  Poland 5,423
7  Italy 3,805
8  Serbia 2,488
9  Greece 2,381
10  Croatia 2,044
11  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,944
12  North Macedonia 1,489
13  Kosovo 1,445
14  Netherlands 1,427
15  Spain 1,272
16  Morocco 1,249
17  Malaysia 4

Turkish community[edit]

Duisburg is home to 85,000 people of Turkish origin.[15] Other estimates suggest that the Turkish population is as large as 100,000.[16][17][18] The neighborhood of Marxloh is a majority Muslim neighborhood, with over 54% of residents not having German citizenship as of 2018.[19] Marxloh has experienced significant unemployment, poverty[20] and high crime rates.[21][22][23] [24] The Wall Street Journal has referred to Marxloh as "Germany's quintessential Muslim ghetto."[25] The new Merkez Mosque, one of the largest Muslim places of worship in Western Europe, was built with help by the way of contribution of 3.2 million euro from the EU and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.[26] Asiye Nur Fettahoğlu, a Turkish-German actress, was born in Duisburg on 12 November 1980.[27]


Watershed of the Rhine

Duisburg Port[edit]

Duisburg-Ruhrorter Häfen[28] is the city's inland port. It is officially regarded as a seaport because seagoing river vessels go to ports in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Numerous docks are mostly located at the mouth of the Ruhr where it joins the Rhine.

Each year more than 40 million tonnes of various goods are handled with more than 20,000 ships calling at the port. The public harbour facilities stretch across an area of 7.4 square kilometres (2.9 sq mi). There are 21 docks covering an area of 1.8 km2 (0.7 sq mi) and 40 kilometres (25 miles) of wharf. The area of the Logport Logistic Center Duisburg stretches across an area of 2.65 km2 (1.02 sq mi). With 2.5 million TEU it is also the largest inland container port, based on 2011 figures.[29] A number of companies run their own private docks and 114 million tonnes of goods yearly (2010) are handled in Duisburg in total.


Duisburg is served by several autobahns, with 3 east–west routes and 2 north–south routes. A3 forms a bypass east of the city and mostly serves through traffic. A59 runs parallel to A3 and serves the city from north to south with 14 interchanges, much more than most other cities in the Ruhr area. The A40 and A42 are two east–west routes that serve central and northern Duisburg. Autobahn A40 also serves major through traffic from the Netherlands to Berlin and points east. A short spur, A524 serves southern Duisburg. Most Autobahns have six lanes or are upgraded to six lanes (A59).

Apart from the autobahns, no Bundesstraßen serve the city directly. B8 runs through the city, but uses A59's alignment. B288 runs in the extreme south of the city, and serves traffic to and from Krefeld. Several bridges span the Rhine, most prominently the A40 and A42 bridges, but also the L287 suspension bridge and the L237 arch bridge, a three-lane bridge with 2 lanes per peak direction with dynamic lane usage.

Public transport[edit]

Duisburg Hauptbahnhof is served by the InterCityExpress and InterCity long-distance network of the Deutsche Bahn, in addition line S1 of the S-Bahn line connects Duisburg with other cities of the Rhine-Ruhr area.

The Duisburg Stadtbahn, the Duisburg tramway network, and a bus system, all operated by the Duisburger Verkehrsgesellschaft, provide local services. Stadtbahn line U79, the so-called "D-Bahn" ("D-Line"), connects to the neighbouring city of Düsseldorf and is operated jointly with the Rheinbahn of Düsseldorf. All S-Bahn, Stadtbahn, and bus lines operate under the umbrella of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr.


There are several newspapers reporting on local events and politics, including the Westdeutsche Allgemeine (WAZ), the Neue Ruhr Zeitung (NRZ) and the Rheinische Post (RP). The local radio station "Radio Duisburg" was the first local radio broadcaster in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It started broadcasting in 1990. There is a local television station ("STUDIO 47"), which was the first local station to broadcast in North Rhine-Westphalia. It started broadcasting in 2006. In its Duisburg studios the WDR produces a local programme for the city of Duisburg and the Lower Rhine region north of Düsseldorf. WDR is part of the German television and radio network ARD.


Duisburg hosts a comprehensive range of cultural facilities and events. A highlight is the annual "Duisburger Akzente",[30] a festival focusing on modern social, political and cultural topics.

Besides Düsseldorf Duisburg is a residence of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, one of the major opera houses in Germany. The Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra is one of Germany's orchestras with an international reputation.

Due to its history as a harbour city and a trade and industrial center, Duisburg offers a variety of architectural places of interest, such as the German Inland Waterways Museum. Buildings vary from old churches such as St. Johann Baptist in Duisburg-Hamborn, which was built in 900, to modern age buildings such as Micro-Electronic-Centrum in Duisburg-Neudorf, built in 1995. Another subject of interest is the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord[31] an abandoned industrial complex open to the public and an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage. The city center contains the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum,[32] the municipal theatre[33] and the shopping street known as the "fountain mile".

The city also contains two botanical gardens, the Botanischer Garten Duisburg-Hamborn and the Botanischer Garten Kaiserberg, as well as a number of municipal parks.

On 24 July 2010, 21 people were killed and hundreds injured in the city during the Love Parade disaster.[34] The Love Parade was an electronic dance music festival and technoparade.


Club Sport League Venue
MSV Duisburg Football 3. Liga MSV-Arena
Rhein Fire American football European League of Football (ELF) MSV-Arena
Füchse Duisburg Ice hockey Oberliga (3rd District League) PreZero Rheinlandhalle
MSV-Duisburg Women's football Women's Bundesliga MSV-Arena
Duisburg Dockers Baseball, American football Landesliga II (2nd District League) Schwelgernstadion
Amateur SC Duisburg Water polo Deutsche Wasserball-Liga (1st Water Polo League) Schwimmstadion and club pool
Club Raffelberg Hockey Regionalliga West (3rd Hockey League) Kalkweg

Duisburg is involved in many kinds of sports. Nevertheless, most important for its inhabitants is the local football club MSV Duisburg. Recently, with the new MSV Arena the city received a brand new sports stadium for various kinds of sports such as football and American football. During the summer months of 2005 the World Games took place in Duisburg. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Duisburg was the stage for preparation of the Portuguese team and the residence of the Italian football team, who won the cup in the final match against France. Duisburg is also known for its Rhein-Ruhr-Marathon, its rowing and canoeing regattas and the world championships that take place there regularly. Other popular sports are ice hockey, basketball, American football, water polo, and field hockey.

Notable people[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Duisburg is twinned with:[35]


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  11. ^ Link
  12. ^ "Muslime in Deutschland 2011 – Landkreise – Karte (Islam-Karte)". Kartenseite (in German). 2017-04-05. Retrieved 2023-10-25.
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  15. ^ "50 Jahre Deutsch-Türkisches Anwerbeabkommen | 50 jähriges Jubiläum zum Anwerbeabkommen der Türkei und der BRD". 50jahre.wir-sind-du.de (in German). Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  16. ^ "TGRT Haber &raquo Haberler &raquo Dünya &raquo Almanya'nın en büyük camisine yoğun ilgi". Tgrthaber.com. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
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External links[edit]

Media related to Duisburg at Wikimedia Commons

Duisburg travel guide from Wikivoyage