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Fehmarn Sound Bridge

Coordinates: 54°24′05″N 11°06′45″E / 54.40139°N 11.11250°E / 54.40139; 11.11250
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Fehmarn Sound Bridge
Fehmarn Sound bridge seen from Wulfener Hals
Coordinates54°24′05″N 11°06′45″E / 54.40139°N 11.11250°E / 54.40139; 11.11250
CrossesFehmarn Sound
Official nameFehmarnsundbrücke (in German)
Total length963 m (3,159 ft 5 in)
Width21 m (68 ft 11 in)
Height67 m (219 ft 10 in)
Longest span248 m (813 ft 8 in)
Clearance above22 m (72 ft)
Opened30 April 1963
Fehmarn Sound Area

The Fehmarn Sound Bridge (German: Fehmarnsundbrücke) connects the German island of Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea with the German mainland near Großenbrode.[1]


The 963-metre-long (3,159 ft) crossing includes the 248-metre-long (814 ft) network arch bridge which carries road and rail over the 1,300-metre-wide (4,265 ft) Fehmarn Sound. Construction began in 1958 and the bridge was opened on April 30, 1963. The main span is 22 metres (72 ft) above the sea, which allows shipping to pass through. The bridge is constructed of steel and is 21 metres (70 ft) wide; 6 metres (20 ft) are used by Deutsche Bahn for a single rail track, part of the Lübeck–Puttgarden railway, the rest for a pedestrian walkway and two-lane roadway. The two steel arches, from which the central span is suspended by cables, are braced with steel cross-beams. The arches are 248 metres (810 ft) in length and reach 45 metres (150 ft) above the main deck of the bridge. The bridge was designed by engineers G. Fischer, T. Jahnke and P. Stein from the firm Gutehoffnungshütte Sterkrade AG, Oberhausen-Sterkrade. Architect Gerd Lohmer helped with the architectural design.

Panoramic image of the bridge as seen from southeast

In 2023 there is a renovation of the bridge. For example, all steel wires are replaced.[2]

Route and ferry changes[edit]

At the same time as the opening of the bridge, changes were made to ferry services. The previous ferry service to the island of Fehmarn was discontinued. The service from Großenbrode Quay, Germany to Gedser, Denmark, crossing both Fehmarn Sound and the Fehmarn Belt, was replaced with a new service from Puttgarden (on Fehmarn) to Rødby, Denmark crossing just the Fehmarn Belt. The new bridge and ferry changes brought about a substantial time saving for both road and rail traffic along the so-called Vogelfluglinie (literally "bird flight line") from Hamburg to Copenhagen.

Historic monument[edit]

The Fehmarn Sound bridge was declared a historic monument in 1999 by the State Office for Protection of Historical Monuments of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, and has since become a symbol of both Fehmarn and Schleswig-Holstein.

Cold War explosive charges[edit]

As the bridge was built during the Cold War, six explosive vaults were embedded below the approach road on the mainland side to be used in case of invasion. Their location is given away even today by six square asphalt patches. The vaults were connected to a control point about 1 km (0.6 mi) away in Heinrichsruh.


A Fehmarn Belt Tunnel is under construction between Denmark and Germany, with four lanes (2+2) and double track railway.[3] But according to the agreement between the two countries, the Fehmarn Sound bridge can remain as it is, one lane per direction and a single railway track.[4]

In December 2012 a study was published saying that the bridge could not cope with the increased railway and road traffic expected after the tunnel opening.[5]

In 2020 it was decided to build a four lane, double track railway Fehmarn Sound Tunnel to carry most of the increased traffic. However, the bridge will still remain in place for pedestrians and local road traffic.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Platzöder, Renate; Verlaan, Philomène A. (1996). The Baltic Sea: New Developments in National Policies and International Cooperation. p. 147. ISBN 9041103570.
  2. ^ Fehmarnsund: Deutsche Bahn bereitet Seil-Tausch vor
  3. ^ "Railway Gazette: Fehmarn Belt tunnel preferred". Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  4. ^ Aftalememorandum af 29. juni 2007[permanent dead link] (in Danish).
  5. ^ Curd Tönnemann (2012-12-21). "Gutachten: Fehmarnsundbrücke nicht belastbar genug". Lübecker Nachrichten. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  6. ^ "Decision on the New Fehmarn Sound Crossing: Construction of an Immersed Tunnel and Preservation of the Bridge - tunnel". www.tunnel-online.info. Retrieved 2023-02-14.

External links[edit]