BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 204

Photo taken in August 2022

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Over the next month, the Pic of the Week series will focus on the bridges we visited during our annual trip to the northernmost state in Germany, Schleswig-Holstein. Part of the trip had to do with collecting some photos of bridges for the book project on the Bridges of Schleswig-Holstein. Information on this and how you can contribute to the project can be found here. A facebook page on this project will appear sometime in the next month.

Our 204th Pic of the Week and the first in the series takes us to the town of Kappeln. The city of 9800 inhabitants is located at the easternmost tip of the penninsula of Angeln in the NE part of the state, located 40 kilometers east of Flensburg. It straddles the River Schlei, which is a large inlet stretching for over 60 kilometers before ending in Schleswig, located along the Motorway 7. The Schlei was once the main waterway going from the Baltic Sea towards the North Sea on the opposite side of the state. Canals and man-made water routes connected the river with another one, the Eider, at Rendsburg. The route was essential for the Vikings who lived in the region and especially along the Schlei as they had a key trading settlement in Haitabu- a museum devoted to that history can be found near Schleswig, bearing the same name. The Schlei was the predecessor to the Eider Canal that was built in the 17th Century and later the Baltic-North Sea Canal that replaced it in 1895, both of which had its eastern terminus in Kiel and not in Kappeln.

The Schlei has two bridges that exist: the Lindaunis Bridge and this one in Kappeln. The present-day structure is the larger of the two bridges, having been built in 2002. The bridge features a pair of double-leaf bascule designs, similar to the Herrenbrücke in Lübeck before it was torn down in 2006. Its predecessor was a continuous Warren pony truss bridge with a swing span. The bridge was built in 1927. Unlike the current structure, the swing bridge featured only two lanes and a sidewalk that was too narrow. Today’s draw bridges has four lanes plus additional lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. The swing bridge was the successor to Kappeln’s first structure, a pontoon bridge built in 1894.

The Kappeln Draw Bridge is one of the town’s biggest attractions, not only because of its white color, the tenant’s station and unique decoral designs. The spans open every hour thus allowing ships, yachts, sailboats, barges, clippers and even motorboats to cross. Residents and tourists have an opportunity to watch the parade of boats go past the open drawbridge spans for up to 10 minutes before closing again. The bridge even provides services to tourist ferries that travel along the Schlei between Schleswig and the Baltic Sea, providing visitors with a chance to see the beauty of the Schlei and its landscape, while experiencing the culture of those that live along the river. It’s a real treat to see the bridge open and watch the parade of boats on an hourly basis.

This photo was taken during the Handcraft Festival which took place next to the bridge along the harbor’s shoping area. The festival takes place during the summer and features many handcrafted goods, put together by locals. There was a wide array of products that were available to be sold, from bookmarker magnets to clothing, metal decorations for the wall to homemade licorice, wooden furniture to pottery. The market was an opportunity to have a look at the products and find something for the loved ones. Since the historic buildings and the Kappeln Drawbridge served as backdrops, it gave everyone a chance to experience what Kappeln has to offer, and with that, a grade of an A+ (1.0) for having it where they hosted it. The only caveat was the hot weather we had during our visit and the lack of trees the shopping area along the harbor had to offer, but this is something that city officials are probably aware of and are looking at options to “green-up” the area. Some shaded picnic areas are available but more shading will be needed, especially as the summers get hotter and hotter and we have to adapt to the new situation in order to survive.

You can find more photos of the Kappeln Drawbridge in the Chronicles Instagram page. Click here and you will find a few of this bridge. A tip for bridge fans but also those who want to witness and enjoy Schleswig-Holstein culture. 🙂

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