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LWL-Industriemuseum Schiffshebewerk Henrichenburg

LWL-Industriemuseum Schiffshebewerk Henrichenburg

LWL-Industriemuseum Schiffshebewerk Henrichenburg

The Henrichenburg ship lift has been the most spectacular building construction on the Dortmund-Ems canal since 1899.

At the end of the 1960s the gigantic elevation construction, once celebrated as a masterpiece of engineering, was decommissioned, restored in 1982 and then inaugurated in 1992 as a museum for waterways and inland waterway transport. From the bridge between the two main towers, visitors see the details of the steel construction and enjoy an overview across the highly interesting museum site. In the historic machine hall they find out how the canal and lifting facility were built. Unique in our collection are floating work equipment and historic ships lying in the surface water of the elevating facility. In the cargo space of the "Franz Christian" motorised cargo ship, an exhibition documents the lives and work of an inland waterway family 50 years ago.

The crowd cheered when Emperor William II ceremonially commissioned the Henrichenburg ship lifting works and thus also the Dortmund-Ems canal on 11 August 1899. The canal marked the start of constructing the waterway connection between the Rhein, Weser and Elbe. In the form of the ship lifting facility, the similarly far-reaching yet disputed Prussian prestige project gained a spectacular and internationally respected symbol. This is the reason why the Prussian state coat of arms was applied to its architecture.

It was not only the west German canals that were designed and constructed under Prussian management. On certain sections of the canals Prussia also implemented the towing, i.e. transport of the barges with tugs. The "Royal Towing Facility" was thus a royal Prussian towing operation between 1914 and 1921, also deemed a "monopoly". This was also clearly visible – until 1921 the chimneys of every steam towing vessel bore the Prussian Eagle in addition to the vehicle number.

How to get here


Am Hebewerk 26, 45731 Waltrop


How to get here

A 2 Oberhausen – Hanover / exit Castrop-Rauxel/Henrichenburg. Then follow signs to "Schiffshebewerk".


Public transport

Bus route 284/231 towards Brambauer – Waltrop – Recklinghausen to the Hebewerk bus stop (bus 284 leaves from Brambau traffic yard and changes its route number to 213 in Waltrop, Am Moselbach).


Visit website



Opening hours

Di-So 10-18 Uhr


Adults € 4
Groups of 16 people: € 3.50 per person
Children/young adults from 6 to 17 years and pupils € 2
Pupils when participating in museum-educational events (2 accompanying persons free) € 1.10
reduced € 2.50*
Family day ticket € 9
LWL-MuseumsCard is available
Combination tickets for industry museum and exhibition hall are available at the new gate

* recipients of running benefits in accordance with Sozialgesetzbuch II and XII, students (exception: "mature studies"), apprentices, performers of national voluntary services, dependants in voluntary social and ecological year, severely disabled persons from 80% (accompanying person free)

Eat and Drink

"Gastrobus" (open all year) and café "Schatzinsel" (summer months only)


The reconstructed Prussian royal coat of arms on the head of the old Henrichenburg ship elevating works

(1) Reconstructed Prussian royal coat of arms on the head of the old ship elevating works.

Historic photograph of the ship elevating facility construction, 1894-1899

(2) Historic photograph of the ship elevating facility construction, 1894-1899

Picture Credits

(1) LWL-Industriemueum/Martin Holtappels / (2) LWL-Industriemuesum