Whatwould Cologne be without the Rhine? For people from Cologne this scenario is simply unimaginable. But also viewed from the outside, the Rhine is indispensable for the cathedral city.It has always beenof greatimportance for the city. Cologne is now one of the largest inland ports in Germany. The port has economically and politically secured an important and powerful position to the city.
At the end of the 19th Century a new port area near the Rhine island „Werthchen“ was developed in order to take the increased freight transport. Since its shoreline stabilisationthis area is called "Rheinauhafen".
Since the end of the wartheRheinauhafen has lost its original function and meaning. On an area of water and landof a total ofover 21 hectares a huge area developed which had to be exploited regarding the urbandevelopment. Since the early 90s the government has been working on a concept for the Rheinauhafen through architectural competitions and tenders. In 2001 the final development planhas been published. Since then a mixed usage of residential spaces, offices, restaurants and culture was emerged on this site in thelargest urban development project in Cologne. The last free building areas should be ready by 2013.
The Rheinauhafen is an architectural highlight and has long since become Cologne’s new landmark. A successful mixture of restored historic buildings such as the listed harbor „Siebengebirge“ - an old storage building with seven striking gables - and new architecture provide the special atmosphere of the Rheinauhafen. Especially the "crane houses" which were completed in 2008, are an architectural feature. With its shape, which is modeled on the old harbor cranes, they preserve the reference to the original function of the area - the harbor, which should never be forgotten in the course of this project.