Worms, Germany | C.1900

Photo Credit: Anda Lavrenti

The Nibelungenbrucke, or “Nibelungen Bridge”, stretches over the Rhine to connect the city of Worms to the Hessian cities of Lampertheim and Burstadt. Named after the ancient epic poem of the same name, this bridge is home to the Nibelung tower – a monumental structure that marks the entrance to the city of Worms. It was built in 1900 in accordance with plans drafted by architect Karl Hofmann.

As far back as 858 A.D., a ferry service transported passengers across the Rhine in the same location. The first plans for a more permanent form of crossing the Rhine did not come until 1720, when Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg, the bishop of Worms, sought an easier way to reach his territories separated by the river.

The first bridge over the Rhine was the steel truss, built in 1897 and inaugurated on March 26, 1900. The Ernst-Ludwig Bridge arched bridge, named after the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, was inaugurated the same year

The current roadway is modeled in the style of a tower from the former Mainz gate. Its round arch is decorated with ornaments by Augusto Varnesi, and the west side of the archway bears the inscription “Built 1897-1900 under the reign of Ernst-Ludwig the Grand Duke of Hesse and the Rhine”.

An organization of bridge guards once operated ticket booths at the road level and lived in apartments designated for them in the bridge house. Of the total of eight floors above the road, five are used today by the Association of Christian Scouts.

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