Duisburg is a German city in the western part of the Ruhr area (Ruhrgebiet) in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is a metropolitan borough with a population of just under 500,000. With the world’s biggest inland harbour and its proximity to Duesseldorf International Airport, Duisburg has become an important venue for commerce and steel production.
Contemporary Duisburg is a result of numerous incorporations of surrounding towns and smaller cities. It is the twelfth-largest city in Germany and the fifth-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The core city was founded in the 5th century AD as a marketplace on the Westphalian Hellweg trade route, a ford on the river Rhine and the border between the Frankish Empire and the Duchy of Saxons. Around 740 it became one of several royal courts of Francia, it was first mentioned in a chronicle dated 883 AD as one of the Rhenish places conquered by Normans. 16th-century cartographer Gerardus Mercator, creator of seminal globes and atlases as well as the Mercator projection still used in modern world maps, lived, worked and taught in Duisburg for forty years.
Since the late 19th century, the city is renowned for its steel industry, being Central Europe’s leading site in this sector. All seven blast furnaces in the Ruhr are now located in Duisburg, producing half of the pig iron and a third of the crude steel made in Germany. Coal-mining, on the other hand, has never played the big role it had in other places on the Ruhr. As Germany’s heavy industries have lost importance since the mid-20th century (due to the rise of plastics and relocation of production to low-wage countries), Duisburg had to go through a major structural transformation, losing tens of thousands of jobs in the steel mills while creating new ones in the services and logistics sectors.
Duisburg-Ruhrort, on the confluence of rivers Ruhr and Rhine, has long been and still is Europe’s biggest inland harbour. It has successfully kept up with the times, replacing its facilities for break bulk and dry bulk cargo in favour of container shipping and modern logistics infrastructure as well as minimising the average laytime of ships from more than a day to only a few hours. Duisburg also aims to be the terminal of a “New Silk Road”, offering direct freight train links from China.
The University of Duisburg-Essen, with 42,000 students, ranks among the 10 largest German universities.
- Düsseldorf International Airport (20 km (12 mi) south of Duisburg). Take the SkyTrain people mover to the airport’s long-distance train station and board any regional train going northwards – Duisburg Hauptbahnhof is the immediate next station, the trains take under 10 minutes to get there. You can also take the S1 S-Bahn train, with several stops on the way, taking c.a. 20 minutes. The journey is covered by the B-level fare of the local public transportation authority, VBB.
- Frankfurt Airport is Germany’s busiest airport with a wealth of short-haul and intercontinental connections. Direct high-speed trains take you from Frankfurt Airport to Duisburg Hauptbahnhof in c.a. 1.5h, departing frequently in daytime. Tickets can be had for EUR 29 if booked in advance with Deutsche Bahn, passengers of many airlines serving Frankfurt Airport can also take advantage of the Rail&Fly offer.
- Dortmund Airport. This airport to the east of Duisburg sees some regular service from several European airlines. To get to Duisburg, take the Airport Express bus (25 minutes, EUR 8.50 one way) and change to a Duisburg-bound train at Dortmund Hauptbahnhof. There are multiple trains every hour between both cities, including high-speed ICE and regional RE trains – both take between 30-40 minutes to cover the distance.
- Ryanair flies from some European destinations to Niederrhein Airport Weeze northwest of Duisburg, near the Dutch border. The only practical way to get from there to Duisburg is by ordering a minibus airport transfer, as there is no direct train connection.
Cheap Flights to Dusseldorf
|Origin||Departure at||Return at||Find tickets|
Travel by train to Duisburg
Duisburg Hauptbahnhof (central station). is the main junction of regional, nationwide and international railway lines. Deutsche Bahn offers hourly ICE high-speed trains from Berlin (under 4 hours), Hanover (2:15), Munich (5 hours) and Frankfurt (1:45). Moreover there are two-hourly ICEs from Amsterdam (2 hours), Stuttgart (under 3 hours), as well as intercity trains from Hamburg (3½ hours) and Bremen (2½ hours). Four times a day, the Thalys from Paris (4 hours) and Bruxelles (2½ hours) stops in Duisburg.
Moreover there is a wide range of frequently running local trains linking Duisburg with other cities in the Rhine-Ruhr region (VRR network), e.g. from Essen in 10–15 minutes, Düsseldorf in 15 minutes, Dortmund in 35–40 minutes.
Duisburg is part of the Ruhr’s very dense Highway network (located on the junctions of A3, A40, A42 and A59), which is however prone to traffic jams.
Flixbus serves Duisburg. Buses are usually comfortable enough but slower than trains if usually cheaper.
Duisburger Verkehrsgesellschaft AG (DVG) operates a network of four tram and 32 bus lines. The U79 tram is a joint venture of the Düsseldorf and the Duisburg transport company, linking both cities. Moreover, Duisburg is part of the S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr network operating urban rail both within the city and linking it with its neighbours Düsseldorf, Oberhausen, Mülheim and Essen. VRR combi-tickets are valid for all means of local transport (rail, tram, bus).
What to see and do
Inner Harbour (Innenhafen) with Museum Küppersmühle (left), Werhahnmühle (centre) and Explorado children’s museum (right)
- Salvatorkirche (Church of Our Saviour), Burgplatz (Tram 901 “Rathaus” or bus 929, 933 “Schwanentor”). Duisburg’s oldest church. A church has existed at this place since the 9th century, then being part of the Frankish royal court. It was rebuilt after burning down in the 13th century, the current Gothic-style building commissioned by the Order of Teutonic Knights being completed in 1415.
- Rathaus (City hall), Burgplatz 19 (opposite the Salvatorkirche). Located at the exact place of the former royal court, the present Renaissance revival building from 1902 has replaced several predecessor buildings. In front of it stands the 19th-century Mercator well, dedicated to the famous cartographer, one of the greatest Duisburgers of all times.
- Old Market archaeological zone, Alter Markt (behind the city hall). Findings from the earliest stages of Duisburg’s history
- Museum of Cultural and Local History (Kultur- und Stadthistorisches Museum Duisburg), Johannes-Corputius-Platz 1 (Tram 901, bus 929 or 933 “Schwanentor”). Monday: closed. Includes also the Mercator Treasury (a collection of globes an maps made by Gerhard Mercator, the inventor of the atlas) and a museum on the city of Königsberg.
- German Inland Waterways Museum (Museum der Deutschen Binnenschifffahrt), Apostelstraße 84 (Train “Duisburg-Ruhrort”, tram 901 “Ruhrort Bahnhof” or bus 907 “Binnenschifffahrtsmuseum”) , ✉ email@example.com. Tue-Sun 10AM-5PM. Located in Europe’s biggest inland harbour, the museum informs about the history and present of inland navigation, illustrated by several museum ships.
- Lehmbruck Museum, Friedrich-Wilhelm-Straße 40/Düsseldorfer Str. 51 (Kant-Park; 750 m from main station; bus 912, 921, 923, 924, 926, 929, 937, 939, 944, SB10, SB30 “Lehmbruck Museum”). Tue-Fri 12PM-5PM, Sat-Sun 11AM-5PM. Internationally reknowned collection of modern and contemporary art, especially statuary and sculptures. Admission €9, reduced €5.
- Museum Küppersmühle, Philosophenweg 55 (at the inner harbour; bus 934 “Hansegracht”). Centre for modern and contemporary art in a former brick warehouse at the inner harbour.
- Explorado Children’s Museum, Philosophenweg 23-25 (At the inner harbour; bus 934 “Hansegracht”). Tue-Thu 9AM-6PM, Fri-Sun and public holidays 10AM-7PM. Huge children’s museum with a “hands on—hearts on—mind on” concept, primarily designed for children aged four to twelve. There is a mix of fun activities, physical training and (subtle) learning on the history of grain processing in the inner harbour, archeology, building, communication and media. For younger children there is a pirate-themed area. Day ticket €16.50, reduced €12.50, afternoon ticket (Tue-Thu after 3PM, Fri after 4PM) or miniticket (one hour) €5, children under 4 years free.
- Zoo Duisburg, Mülheimer Straße 273 (Tram 901, Bus 924 or 933 “Zoo”). Great collection of primates, dolphinarium and koala bears.
- Botanical Garden Kaiserberg, Schweizer Straße 24 (Bus 937 “Botanischer Garten”).
- Botanical Garden Hamborn, Fürst-Pückler-Straße 18 (Bus 908, 910, 917 “St.-Johannes-Hospital”).
- 11 Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord (LaPaDu), Emscherstrasse 71 (Tram 901, Bus 906 or 910 “Landschaftspark Nord”). 9AM-6PM Monday to Friday, Saturday to Sunday 11AM-6PM. Former ironworks complex which has been transformed to a park. Discover the cultural heritage of the Ruhr area Free.
- Tiger & Turtle, Heinrich-Hildebrand-Höhe, Angerpark, Duisburg-Angerhausen (Tram 903 “Tiger & Turtle”). Every day and night. Landmark and huge sculpture created during the 2010 Capital of Culture period of the Ruhr. It looks a lot like a rollercoster, but has no carts, instead you may walk on it. Illuminated at night. Free.
- DİTİB Merkez Mosque, Duisburg-Marxloh, Warbruckstraße 51 (Tram 903 “Heckmann” or bus 919 “Warbruckstr.”). Completed in 2008, held in a traditional Ottoman style, with 1200 places one of the largest masjids in Germany. In addition to being a house of worship, it also hosts a centre for encounter as well as a library and archive of Islamic documents.
What to do in Duisburg
- Boat trips on Duisport (Weisse Flotte Duisburg), “Schifferbörse” pier, Duisburg-Ruhrort, Gustav-Sander-Platz 1 (Tram 901, bus 905, 907, 911, 925 or 929 “Friedrichsplatz”). Europe’s largest inland harbour.
- Duisburg Opera (Deutsche Oper am Rhein), Neckarstraße 1 (Bus 934 “Stadttheater”).
- Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Duisburg Accents (Duisburger Akzente). Festival in March.
- Visit the Innenhafen (inner harbour), a formerly industrial plot converted and gentrified, for museums (listed above), restaurants, pubs and bars overlooking the river.
Walsumer Hof – a restaurant so old it is now heritage-protected!
- Poukhoun, Heerstraße 256 (Bus 937, 944 “Bethesda-Krankenhaus”). An inexpensive Laotian restaurant in a residential district that has had enough rave reviews to merit taking reservations.
- Mongo’s, Philosophenweg 17-18 (At the inner harbour; bus 934 or night bus NE4 “Hansegracht”). A Mongolian buffet restaurant – and a part of a bustling chain thereof to boot! – is perhaps the last thing you expect in Duisburg, but the terrace overlooking the Innenhafen and simply good food make it a pleasant surprise.
- The Innenhafen (inner harbour) also hosts Spanish, Italian, Asian and German restaurants overlooking the river.
- Enoteca La Trattoria, Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz 2 (Tram U79 or 903 “Steinsche Gasse” or bus 923, 924, 926, 929, 937, 939, SB10, SB30 or night bus NE1, NE2, NE4 “Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz”). An Italian restaurant with a sizeable wine cellar, popular with local businessmen and well-to-do, many of whom grew to be friends with its host, Massimo.
- Duisburg is the home of König Pilsener (KöPi), one of Germany’s best-selling mainstream beers. One can buy it in supermarket, kiosks and in almost every restaurant.
- Sinalco, a lemonade brand quite known throughout Germany (claiming to be the oldest brand of carbonated soft drinks in Europe) is produced in Duisburg.
- There are two small breweries producing their own beer: Webster Brauhaus and Brauhaus Urfels. Both of them have restaurants too.
- Finkenkrug, Sternbuschweg 71. Home to over 222 varieties of beer from all over the world.
- The Innenhafen (inner harbour) hosts a café, cocktail bar (Mississippi Queen), pubs (choose Diebels im Hafen for Alt, König Pilsener Wirtshaus Duisburg for Pils beer, but don’t worry – both serve other drinks and varieties of beer, too), and restaurants overlooking the river.
Where to stay in Duisburg
- City Hostel, Friedenstraße 85 (Tram U79 “Musfeldstraße”) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Dorm bed from €21.
- Mercure Hotel Duisburg City, Landfermannstraße 20 (350m from the main station).
Hotels Duisburg: Popularity
|Hotel||Stars||Discount||Price before and discount||Select dates|
|B&B Hotel Duisburg||★★|
|Hotel Am Sportpark||★★★|
|Ferrotel Duisburg - Partner of SORAT Hotels||★★★|
|Wyndham Duisburger Hof||★★★★|
|Hotel Landhaus Milser||★★★★|
|Hotel Conti Duisburg - Partner of SORAT Hotels||★★★★|
|ibis Duisburg Hauptbahnhof||★★|
- Mülheim an der Ruhr, 10 km to the east, the cities are effectively grown into each other (5 minutes by train)
- Oberhausen, 12 km to the northeast, the cities are effectively grown into each other (5 minutes by train)
- Essen, 20 km to the east (10–15 minutes by train)
- Krefeld, 20 km to the southwest (15–25 minutes by train)
- Düsseldorf, 25 km to the south (15 minutes by train)
Wirecard : How Jan Marsalek Friend Henry O’Sullivan became “Corinna Müller”
The Briton Henry O’Sullivan is regarded as the dazzling puller of many Wirecard deals and friend of Jan Marsalek and internal emails show how big his influence was in the company.
Henry O’Sullivan celebrated his 40th birthday in paradise. He invited lawyers, managers and high-ranking executives from Wirecard to the lonely dream island of Benguerra off the coast of the East African state of Mozambique. Board member Jan Marsalek and his girlfriend should also come.
As a souvenir, the host wanted: pens for the school children in town and champagne for the party weekend.
The luxury resort Azura Retreats, which O’Sullivan rented in November 2014, had cabins right on the beach, palm trees, and a beach. On arrival, the guests would have to wade through knee-deep water as the British businessman’s assistant warned a month before the celebration. That wasn’t a problem for Jan Marsalek. He preferred to travel by helicopter anyway, according to an email from his secretary.
The extravagant birthday plans reveal a lot about two of the central key figures in the Wirecard scandal. Jan Marsalek (40) and Henry O’Sullivan (46) are close confidants who worked together on big deals far away from the headquarters in Aschheim. Now the judiciary is asking whether millions have been diverted. Wirecard is insolvent and Marsalek is on the run.
O’Sullivan does not answer inquiries. At the beginning of 2020, he only wanted to talk to the examiners from KMPG and EY under certain conditions but then he was no longer available to them.
The beefy Brit was known for his dissolute lifestyle. In Singapore he often dined in a top restaurant on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, with a view over the harbor. To save time on business trips, he preferred to travel short distances by helicopter instead of taxi and in the meantime he lived on a yacht in Monaco.
Marsalek had O’Sullivan flown in in 2014 to celebrate with him at the Munich Oktoberfest. A year later they flew through South Africa in the Learjet 45XR. And when the Briton wanted to meet the Wirecard executive board in Jakarta in 2014, he asked an Indonesian employee by email about a hotel that would tolerate the “type of spring break business trips”.
Beyond its luxury life, only fragments of O’Sullivan’s businesses are known. The Briton did not hold an official position at Wirecard. Many consider him a “phantom” in the background, a member of the mysterious clique around Marsalek.
It was stored in the Wirecard address book with an external e-mail address for freelancers – his profile photo showed Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord: another bad joke by Jan Marsalek, as insiders suspect.
As much as O’Sullivan was on business trips, he was always careful to be discreet. This is also shown by an episode from spring 2020, when the Wirecard world was already falling apart and auditors examined the opaque third-party business for which Marsalek was responsible.
O’Sullivan was very knowledgeable about third party business and a strange company purchase in India in 2015. He was therefore a sought-after discussion partner for the annual auditors from EY and the special auditors from KPMG. O’Sullivan apparently managed to convince the supervisory board of a special protective measure.
A sought-after discussion partner for EY and KPMG
O’Sullivan demanded at the end of April or beginning of March 2016 that his name should not be recorded in the “final report” or in any other correspondence with Wirecard. “These papers have a habit of appearing in public,” he wrote to an assistant at Marsalek. He assumes that “everything that is written will ultimately be read by others” and he therefore insists on being given a pseudonym.
This is how Mr. O’Sullivan became Mrs. Müller. On March 4, a legal advisor to the Supervisory Board wrote to Wirecard management: “As discussed yesterday, a code name should be used for all further e-mails and other references. Proposal: ‘Ms. Corinna Müller’. ”On the same day, EY agreed not to use the name in communication with Wirecard international.
According to supervisory board circles, however, it was clear: There should be no special treatment in the confidential internal audit report, and O’Sullivan’s real name would have been mentioned here.
But it did not get to that. According to the “Wall Street Journal”, the special auditor KPMG was cross: O’Sullivan had also made the condition of their auditors anonymous. When they refused, he refused to speak.
He could tell so much in the process. In the ten years before the bankruptcy alone, Wirecard acquired companies for 1.2 billion euros, according to insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé. In his report, Jaffé writes that the deals were one reason for the “enormous consumption of liquidity in recent years”. The public prosecutor is investigating former executives on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust.
O’Sullivan was involved in numerous Wirecard deals. His name is linked to one of the largest and most dubious deals the payment service provider has done in recent years: the takeover of the Indian Hermes group in 2015. Wirecard bought the companies from the Mauritius-registered fund Emerging Markets Investment Fund 1A (EMIF 1A) for 326 million euros. The amazing thing: the fund had only acquired the same company and assets a few months earlier for around 35 million euros and it is still not clear who was behind that deal
Marsalek stated in an interview with Handelsblatt at the beginning of 2020 that he had not checked the background. But insiders report that O’Sullivan and Marsalek were the ones who planned the deal and who ultimately benefited from it. In any case, the original Hermes sellers now feel cheated. They filed a lawsuit that revealed that it was O’Sullivan who negotiated the sale to the EMIF 1A fund for € 35 million.
The central figure in Senjo was also O’Sullivan, even if he did not hold an official position. A PR consultant for the British company stated in 2019 that her client worked for Senjo. That’s only half the story. In practice, O’Sullivan is said to have been the one in charge of Senjo. In Singapore, the authorities are now investigating for falsification of accounts in the vicinity of the group of companies.
How hard Marsalek worked internally at Wirecard for his party friend O’Sullivan is shown by a short-term lending business from 2016, which several Wirecard board members dealt with. Ascheimer Wirecard Bank AG granted Cottisford Holdings Ltd, a generous credit line of ten million euros from O’Sullivan, for which Wirecard AG guaranteed as internal emails and documents prove this.
“Today the supervisory board formally approved the loan retrospectively, but was not ‘amused’ about it,” wrote the then board member Rainer Wexeler of Wirecard Bank AG on March 2, 2016 to Marsalek. He complained that the panel had been poorly informed. Wexeler asked: “Can you please give me the private address of O’Sullivan and some key business data about his business, his connection to Wirecard AG, etc.?”
Wirecard Scandal claims another Victim – Heike Pauls from Commerzbank
It’s not even eight months since Germany’s number one payment service provider imploded: Wirecard had to admit in June 2020 that billions of euros never existed on the balance sheet. As a result, board members had to go to jail or disappeared without a trace. Since then, auditors have been distrusted, and the head of the BaFin supervisory authority has to look for a new job. The youngest victim is Heike Pauls of the German Commerzbank.
Up until a few weeks before the Wirecard scandal burst, several analysts in various banks believed in Wirecard. They unshakably believed that the annual financial statements for 2019, which had been postponed several times, would end well, some experts continued to insist on Wirecard price targets of 180 to 240 euros.
One of the bravest supporters of the scandal group was Heike Pauls from Commerzbank. The analyst was always loyal to Wirecard: She dismissed critical reports about the payment processor as false reports and even a few weeks before the collapse she issued a buy recommendation with a price target of 230 euros for the Wirecard share.
As the Spiegel reported, Pauls had in the meantime also provided the management of the payment processor with sensitive information that it had collected specifically on the capital market. In January Commerzbank had already restructured the research department and relieved the analyst of her duties, now the announcement was made:
“Commerzbank has terminated the employment relationship.”
The Wirecard scandal is far from being dealt with. Further personnel consequences in various economic areas could follow. Extensive claims for damages by investors against the insolvent payment service provider are also examined and the the Wirecard share remains taboo for any investors.
Wirecard Committee – Doubts about Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s Credibility
Didn’t Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg tell the whole truth when he appeared as a witness on the Wirecard investigative committee? Internal documents that are available to the ARD studio fuel the suspicion. The SPD accuses him of having lied to the committee and in the opposition too, doubts about its credibility are growing.
In December Guttenberg was asked about his role in the Wirecard scandal in the Bundestag. It was also about an article that the former CSU minister published in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” at the end of March 2020. The topic: The role of short sales in the Corona crisis. At the time, Wirecard was targeted by shortsellers, i.e. stock exchange traders who bet on falling prices for a company and Guttenberg had argued against such short sales in the article.
Mail to ex-Wirecard boss Markus Braun
Guttenberg apparently did not want to draw a direct connection to his work for Wirecard, but there are doubts about this representation.
An email to the then Wirecard boss Markus Braun, however, indicates that Guttenberg could very well have had the now insolvent DAX group in mind when he wrote the text for the FAZ.
In this email of March 20, 2020, the Managing Director of the communications company Edelman, Rüdiger Assion, proposed a “Short Selling Action Plan” to the Wirecard boss. Among other things, this contained the suggestion that Guttenberg could write a guest commentary on the subject of short sales in the newspapers FAZ or “Die Welt”. An argumentation paper with key messages is also attached to the mail. Just six days later, exactly such a guest comment appears in the FAZ. Guttenberg’s argumentation shows clear similarities with the line proposed in the argumentation paper.
SPD speaks of a lie
The SPD chairman in the Wirecard committee, Zimmermann, therefore accuses Guttenberg of not telling the truth on the witness stand. Zimmermann told the ARD city studio: “He (Guttenberg’s note by the editor) lied to the investigative committee and tried to set the wrong track when he denied arguing for a ban on short sales in the interests of Wirecard. A real surprise is this lack of honesty not with him. ” Now it must be clarified whether Guttenberg deliberately wanted to mislead the investigative committee.
CDU defends Guttenberg
Guttenberg is defended by the CDU. The MP Matthias Hauer said that the SPD should primarily devote itself to the question of why the BaFin, supervised by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, imposed the short sale ban on Wirecard. “This should certainly contribute more to the explanation of Wirecard than an article in the name of an ex-politician on the subject in the FAZ.”
But doubts about Guttenberg’s credibility are also growing among the opposition. The chairman of the Greens, Danyal Bayaz, said that Guttenberg’s remarks on his opinion contribution had already been implausible in the committee of inquiry. “Apparently it was part of the advisory service to specifically win over public opinion for a renewed ban on short selling.” That does not cast a good light on Guttenberg’s honesty.
The Linke chairman in the committee, Fabio de Masi, can imagine summoning the former Federal Minister again: “If Mr. Guttenberg was Baron Münchhausen and had said the untruth in front of the committee of inquiry, this would also be criminally relevant, (…) the question is then whether his other statements that he had met the Chancellor privately are also untrue. “
Myanmar4 weeks ago
A Textbook Example of Authoritarian Rule in Myanmar
Myanmar4 weeks ago
Chinese Embassy Makes Contact With Myanmar’s Shadow Government
Myanmar3 weeks ago
UN Official Warns of Syria-Style Conflict in Myanmar, Urges Immediate Int’l Action
Myanmar3 weeks ago
Six Civilians Killed in Protest-Related Clash With Myanmar Regime’s Troops