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The old Schwentine bridges between Wellingdorf and Neumühlen-Dietrichsdorf

There were settlements on the north and south banks of the Schwentine estuary as early as the 14th century. The people in Wellingdorf, Neumühlen and Dietrichsdorf lived mainly in fishermen’s and peasants’ cottages. Later, a permanent Schwentine crossing was built between Wellingdorf and Neumühlen-Dietrichsdorf, presumably serving as a trade route between the two settlements. There were mills around the Schwentine estuary for over 700 years.

Langesche mill with Schwentine bridge and Kornwasser mill around 1870
Langesche mill with Schwentine bridge and
Kornwasser mill around 1870

View of the Schwentine bridge around 1963
View of the Schwentine bridge around 1963


In 1799, a fire destroyed the old Wellingdorf watermill on the south bank of the Schwentine, so the Danish king Christian VII commissioned state architect Johann Adam Richter to construct a causeway with more robust bridges in brick and granite. Two granite block bridges were built as barrel vaults with segmental arches. The construction year, 1800, can still be read on the keystone on the east side of the south bridge’s barrel vault.

There is a weathered royal monogram on the west side keystone. The north bridge was about 5.3 metres wide with a span of 7.3 metres. The second bridge was constructed by the same method. It was ten centimetres narrower, and its span about 60 centimetres less. The carriageway was originally paved in granite slabs, but over the years large paving areas were covered with a layer of asphalt. Footpaths were added at the side of the bridges in the 1950s. This meant that the original structure disappeared almost completely.

The bridges have been listed as ancient monuments since 1993.

The old Schwentine bridges before full refurbishment in 2008
The old Schwentine bridges before full refurbishment in 2008

Pictorial material: Kieler Stadtarchiv, Stadt- und Schifffahrtsmuseum and Udo Weißel

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