Salvatorkirche and Rathaus, Burgplatz, Duisburg

The area around the Burgplatz is the location of the original castle (burg) and settlement, and is still recognizable on more modern plans via its circle-like form. When the castle was burnt down in a major fire in the town in 1283 it was never replaced. The Salvatorkirche, on the other hand, which was first mentioned in 893, is still there, having gone through much re-building and changes of style (for starters it was heavily damaged in the 1283 fire). Since the 14th century, the Rathaus has been located on the Burgplatz (although the current building dates only from 1902). Prior to the Second World the Liebfrauenkirche with its 100 meter tall spire was also a feature (although not strictly on the Platz itself). Between these buildings and the Inner Harbor is the Old Market Place which has recently become an area of great archaeological interest (set off apparently when they were building the underground tunnel for the adjacent tram).

The Salvatorkirche has gone through several styles during its existence, but notice on pre-war images (as below, with the Liebfrauenkirche to the right) that it has a spire which it doesn't have now. Less obviously, the Rathaus has also lost a bit of height from its main tower. In theses features they have a lot in common with Portsmouth Guildhall whose central tower is also shorter than it used to be because of the war.

Salvatorkirche and Liebfrauenkirche, Burgplatz, Duisburg, pre-war

Salvatorkirche, Duisburg, in baroque style Although built originally in Romanesque style, after the fire of 1283 the Salvatorkirche was re-built in stages in late gothic style with spire, as shown on the Corputius plan. After another fire, it received its present form, more or less, between 1479 and 1513, although in between it has displayed different appearances. In the 17th century (presumably because of another fire), the spire was replaced by a baroque mounting (as left), and in the early 20th century it was renovated in new gothic style. After large-scale destruction in the Second World War it was re-constructed in late Gothic style again (as below)

Some dates

  • 1254-1533, the church was administered by the Deutsche Ritterordern. Under them the church was re-built and became one of the most important gothic buildings in the area
  • The West tower was complted with a height of 112 meters, but it was burnt down in 1467, after the watchman had fallen asleep whilst in possession of a burning candle.
  • 1513, a replacemnet tower was completed, although much less tall. After another fire in 1684, the upper stages were rebuilt in baroque style
  • 1904 an eight-sided bell installation was added to the top of the tower, during general renovations of the church. This latter addition fell victim to the bombing of the Second World War.

Salvatorkirche, Duisburg, today
Burgplatz, Duisburg, pre-war