Cologne Cable Car | Accidentally Wes Anderson

Cologne Cable Car

Accidentally Wes Anderson - Cologne Cable Car Enlarge

Cologne, Germany | C.1957

Photo Credit: Oliver Stolzenberg

The Cologne Cable Car, or Kolner Seilbahn in German, has transported millions of passengers over fifty years across the Rhine, one of Europe’s major rivers. Providing an alternative aerial mode of transportation in the city of Cologne allows commuters to see the city from a different angle. Operating daily from April through October, its 50 cabins can carry up to 2,000 persons per hour across a half-mile journey.

Opened in time for the biannual German horticultural show known as the Bundesgartenschau, the Cable Car connects exhibition sites at Rheinpark with sites on the other side of the river near the Cologne Zoo and the Flora/Botanical Garden. Its first guests were the President of Germany Theoder Heuss and Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

The Cable Car was closed and taken down in 1963 for a short period of time to account for land needed for a new Zoo Bridge. Upon reopening, its route was changed at the request of drivers who did not want the Cable Car to travel over the bridge. Consequently, the suspension tower was rerouted and the support was moved to a new location in Rhine Park. Within three years, the new cableway was open.

The cableway opened a new station, the Stadtbahn, at the Zoo in the 1970s. Clocking in over half a century of service, the Cable Car has transported 13.7 million people without accident, and is considered the safest means of transportation in Cologne. Starting in 2004, the Cable Car began offering night rides for special occasions.

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