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St. Pauli Elbtunnel

Underground thoroughfare for more than 100 years

The St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel is a Hamburg landmark, a tourist attraction and a protected historical monument.

First and foremost though, the tunnel is a beautiful, highly used short-cut from the St. Pauli Landing Stages to the port area / Steinwerder. Historical monument it may be, but even today it is still used by thousands of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as the quickest route under the Elbe.

The distinguishing features of our St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel

What the tunnel entrance building, with its copper-covered cupola, at the St. Pauli Landing Stages promises is more than fulfilled by the tunnel interior: the historical, manually operated goods lifts and the tiled twin tunnels with their relief decorations make this thoroughfare into something special and the St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel into our distinctive symbol.

The history of the tunnel: A stone's throw from the port

With the growth of the port on the south side of the Elbe starting in the 1870s, the number of workers having to cross the Elbe twice daily also started to increase.

Soon the small port ferries could no longer cope with the volume of people and, not only that, the ferry transport was too dependent on the weather.

A tunnel was the only sensible solution, however, it was only in 1901 that the Senate declared it was ready to pay for the expensive large project. Excavations started in July 1907 under the leadership of Otto von Stockhausen. The construction cost a total of 10.7 million gold marks, and over 4,400 workers participated. The tunnel's inauguration took place in September 1911.

The tunnel through history

During the Second World War, the St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel was used by lots of Hamburg's inhabitants as an air raid shelter, although the water could have flooded into the twin tunnels at any time during a bombing raid.
 

The copper covering of the tunnel building in St. Pauli was used to make armaments during the war. The building on the Steinwerder side originally also had a copper roof. It was severely damaged by bombing raids, and after the end of the war was rebuilt as a flat roof.

Over the decades, the St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel has been continually modernised. Thus for instance in the 1950s, modern fluorescent lighting and an additional ventilation system were installed, as more and more cars crossed through the tunnel. A comprehensive restoration programme has been in place for the St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel since 1995.

A port monument, as always

Today the St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel is much more than the everyday commuter route of many of Hamburg's inhabitants. It is also a tourist attraction, a stage for photo shoots and filming, and even a popular location for exhibitions and presentations.

 
So for example, the annual art exhibition, Elb-Art, at which national and international contemporary art is displayed in the twin tunnels, benefits from the unique atmosphere of the Elbe tunnel. The sporting event, the Elbtunnel Marathon even takes its name from the St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel.

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Office

openig hours: Mo. - Fr. 07:00 - 13:00
Beim Kraftwerk 4
20457 Hamburg
Phone: +49 (0) 40 42847-4742

Opening hours - Charges

More information about charges and opening times.