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Early morning view of the old Elbe tunnel from north to south


The Old Elbe Tunnel, or St. Pauli Elbtunnel (German: Alter Elbtunnel colloquially or St. Pauli Elbtunnel officially), runs under the Elbe River from Hamburgs St. Pauli Landing Stages to Steinwerder in the Port of Hamburg. During the 1870s the port area on the south side of the river started to grow, and the number of workers who needed to cross the river twice a day to get to and from work increased dramatically. The ferries that transported people back and forth couldn’t keep up with the increase, and they couldn’t run in bad weather, so this became a problem. The tunnel was finally approved in 1901, and construction was completed in September 1911. The tunnel has continually been modernized over the decades.

Vehicles are carried 24 meters (79 feet) down to the tiled tunnels by vehicle lifts. Today many people still use the tunnel to get to work, however it has also been a protected monument since 2003. On its 100th anniversary, it was named Historic Landmark of Civil Engineering in Germany. Numerous film crews have shot on location here, art exhibitions have been on display, and the tunnel can also be rented out for events. Walking through the tunnel to the south side of the river will provide you with an incredible view of the port and Hamburg’s skyline.

(Click the Photos to see them enlarged…)



The tunnel walls are decorated with glazed terra cotta ornaments displaying items related to the Elbe river. While mostly fish or crabs, a few show different items like litter and rats, too.

(Click the Photos to see them enlarged…)



© 2018 – Oliver Haas-Jensen, All Rights Reserved

Swiss expat, living in the green middle of Denmark since 1992. Family man, amateur photographer and editor of this site. I publish my photographic work from exploring my surroundings, travels and events i attend to in order to share it with the visitors of this site. Welcome to Olivers Film Roll.

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