St. Pauli of the West
“Sometimes, the streets are narrow, and sometimes, the streets are almost double the width in the next residential district, like small avenues. Here, you can travel around as though the whole zone were a huge park. You enter different areas like in a zoo, where the kangaroos are in one section, the pandas in another, and the donkeys somewhere else.” This is how the Duisburg songwriter Tom Liwa described his home town. [LINK TO EXCURSUS TOM LIWA]. This applies to the unique district of Ruhrort in particular. It is located in the place where the Ruhr flows into the mighty Rhine, and where what is probably the largest inland port in the world begins. It is a place unlike any other in Germany. All around the Neumarkt square there are traditional seamen’s pubs, such as the “Zum Anker”, and there is a “Bank für Schifffahrt”, a bank for shipping, as well as a shipman’s children’s home. Old-style steamboats chug up and down the canal. In many places, the impressive building façades are still a witness to the fact that this used to be a seat of wealth. Around 1900, Ruhrort was the gateway to the Ruhr region, with a high density of traders and millionaires. The contact between these businessmen and the shipmen from Germany and Holland meant that right through to the 1960s, the district became the “St. Pauli of the West”, with more than 100 bars, entertainment venues and red light bars.
Neumarkt, 47119 Duisburg