The fountain route
Duisburg city centre boasts the beauty of seven fountains along a route spanning about one kilometre. The “Brunnenmeile” fountain route is the brainchild of Brunswick architect Hartmut Rüdiger and realized between 1983 and 1993.
In the context of planning the Königsstrasse boulevard in 1978, a central road in downtown Duisburg, Hartmut Rüdiger devised the idea of setting up fountains on Königsstrasse at all the points where side-streets fed into the central boulevard. The fountains thus mark the junctions and are clearly visible from all directions. For Rüdiger, the fountains symbolize the elixir of life while at the same time providing individual creative and artistic monuments. Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle were specifically invited to take part, while a competition was held for the other fountains. In the process, great importance was attached to ensuring a mix of abstract and figurative styles such that the fountains were compelling attractions as sculptures even when there was no water flowing. Work realizing the fountain mile initiated by Rüdiger finally commenced in downtown Duisburg 15 years later. In total seven fountains were erected, all of which are the property of the City of Duisburg.
From east to west, the following fountains are now installed on Königsstrasse and Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz:
- André Volten, “Fountain”, stainless steel, 1983
- Otmar Alt, “Water Mill”, bronze, 1986
- Ulf Hegewald, “Cityscape”, reddish-brown ceramics on concrete, 1991/93
- Niki de Saint Phalle & Jean Tinguely, “Lifesaver”, polyester, paint on a Teflon coating, steel pedestal, 1989-93
- Thomas Virnich, “Ship Masks”, steel and brick on cement, 1991-3
- Wasa Marjanov, “Sculpture for Duisburg”, water sculpture, stainless steel, 1992
The sculpture “Hommage à Mercator“ from Friedrich Werthmann (steel, 1963 and 1993) was removed due to constructional projects concerning the “Brunnenmeile“ and is now set up again in front of the Sparkasse on Kuhlenwall.