Nowadays the Alter Elbtunnel is an attraction in Hamburg. A historic attraction that attracts hundreds of visitors every day.
When the old Elbtunnel, also called St. Pauli Elbtunnel, was opened in 1911, it was a technical sensation. Today it is a nostalgic and lovingly cultivated piece of Hamburg history – and already celebrated its 100th anniversary.
The distinctive square dome structure on the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken houses the machinery and the four large cars that transport people and vehicles since 1911 to a depth of almost 24 meters. After 426.5 meters under the Elbe and through two tiled tubes with a diameter of 6 meters, Steinwerder returns to the daylight.
By the way, the Elbtunnel is open all night, so a real go-home tip after every nightclub tour.
The Old Elbe Tunnel was the first river underpass on the continent – and became necessary because the growth of the Port of Hamburg increasingly shifted to the southern side of the Elbe and required an improved transport connection. It was built after the model of the Clyde Tunnel in Glasgow after plans for suspension railway, Trajekt and the high bridge had been discarded. During the Second World War, the shaft building of the Elbe Tunnel on the southern side of the Elbe was hit hard by the bombing. Many of the majolica with representations of aquatic animals and folk motifs have survived.
Since 2003, the Old Elbe Tunnel has been a listed building – and, on the occasion of its 100th birthday, is also honoured as the “Historic Landmark of Civil Engineering in Germany”. Numerous film crews have filmed down here, and this veteran tunnel has also been home to a successful world record of model railroaders. In addition, the St. Pauli Elbtunnel can also be rented for events. A slightly different idea for a walk: After crossing the tunnel, you can enjoy the incomparable panorama from the southern bank of the Elbe, with views of the harbour, the Michel and the “Rickmer Rickmers”.
Address: Bei den St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken / Sankt Pauli-Elbtunnel, 20457 Hamburg