The Schwentine Estuary

Even before the large shipyards on the east bank in Kiel came into being, the smoking mill chimneys on the Schwentine estuary were announcing the start of industrialization. The idyllic landscape on this bank was to develop into one of Kiel’s most important industrial sites as the city grew.

Alexander Nay,
Alexander Nay, "Neumühlen, at the end of the Schwentine estuary", 1859

In 1876, Georg Howaldt built a yard for iron ship construction on the north bank, on the slope of the former Ballastberg. The 1884 Howaldt metal foundry is Kiel’s oldest industrial monument and the last evidence of the long tradition of shipbuilding on the Schwentine, which lasted until the HDW factory in Dietrichsdorf closed in 1983.

On the south bank, in the immediate vicinity of the new harbour built in 1904 for the Ellerbek fi shermen, the little Stocks & Kolbe shipyard was used to build coasters for the whole world, from Mozambique to Uruguay. Immediately adjacent to this were the premises of the A.C. Hansen shipping company, who ran the “Blaue Linie” between Neumühlen and Kiel. The naval dockyard’s torpedo workshop was built on this site in 1938. Today the fish market is here as well as the IFM-GEOMAR research institute. Maritime science is also to be found behind the façades of the former Anschütz factory. Albert Einstein was a frequent visitor to the Schwentine, and he developed the spherical compass here with Hermann Anschütz-Kaempfe. Such compasses were to be found on every ship’s bridge before satellite navigation was introduced.

Franz Korvan,
Franz Korvan, "Chr. Kolbe shipyard, Kiel", 1915

Pictorial material: Kieler Stadtarchiv, Stadt- und Schifffahrtsmuseum
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