The history of bayernhafen Nürnberg goes much further back than you would expect from today’s modern facility.

The vision of connecting the Main and the Danube with an artificial water route and therefore to make a continuous shipping route from the North Sea to the Black Sea across the whole of Europe a reality already existed in the 8th century.  

After various attempts to implement the project ended in failure, the plan only took on concrete form again in the 19th century. The idea of connecting Franconia and Upper Bavaria, as well as the Southern states of the German Federation, more closely with their Northern neighbours, for political and economic reasons, gave a stronger impetus to the planning of the artificial water route.    

In the year 1825, King Louis I contracted the construction of a canal connection.

In 1837, the construction works began on the 172 kilometre long route of the Louis-Danube-Main Canal. The canal, which then ran from Nuremberg to Bamberg, was completed in 1843.

During these intensive years of work, 101 locks, countless canal bridges, road and footpath overpasses, road underpasses, dams, clefts and culverts were built.

On the then 15.80-metre wide and 1.46-metre deep canal, ships of a length of up to 32 metres and a width of up to 4.45 metres with a maximum load capacity of 120 tons plied the route. Yet unfortunately this was not enough. Because due to the more progressive rail transport and the insufficient dimensions of the Louis-Danube-Main Canal, shipping traffic decreased rapidly.

The new Main-Danube Canal was, contrary to its predecessor, connected into the entire European water route network from the beginning. Furthermore, it was sufficiently kitted out with a water level width of 55 metres and 4 metres water depth, in order to provide a fully laden regular ship of up to 3,000 tons with a safe and profitable passage of up to eleven kilometres per hour. Today the canal facilitates countless connections along the water route.   

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