The viaduct: Facts and figures

When the viaduct was officially opened to traffic in 1897 it was generally regarded as a technological miracle. It spans the Müngsten valley at a height of 107 metres and runs for a length of 465 metres, reducing the distance from Solingen to Remscheid from 44 to about eight kilometres. 

As early as the 1880s both towns showed great interest in building the bridge. In 1990 the Prussian Parliament agreed to fund it to the tune of around 5,0000,000 Marks, and were delighted when they were presented with a considerably less expensive design. The final cost of the bridge was 2,640,000 Marks, less than half the calculated sum. The commission to construct the bridge was awarded to the “Maschinenbau-Aktien-Gesellschaft Nürnberg” (MAN). 

Assembling the viaduct was a complicated and pioneering process which set new standards for the future. First to be built were the six tower-like upright pillars which would bear the weight of the bridge. These were followed by the sections of the arches, starting on both sides and meeting absolutely precisely in the middle. The viaduct was officially opened in July 1897, around three and a half years after the groundbreaking ceremony.

The iron construction weighs 5000 tons and is held together by 934,456 rivets. Legend has it that one of these is made of gold – but it has still to be found.

At first the viaduct was called after Kaiser Wilhelm. In 1899 he even came to Solingen to admire it. After the First World War and the end of the monarchy, however, the Kaiser Wilhelm Viaduct was renamed the Müngsten Viaduct.

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