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“Bridge at Remagen”: No buyer for Second World War landmark on the Rhine

“Bridge at Remagen” : No buyer for Second World War landmark on the Rhine

No buyer has yet been found for a World War II landmark on the Rhine despite a bidding deadline. The two towers of the "Bridge at Remagen” were made world-famous in a movie of the same name.

Officials in Bonn informed the German Press Agency (dpa) that the bridge towers had not yet been sold although the Federal Railway real estate division continues its efforts to sell the property. The bridge towers are near Erpel on the right bank of the Rhine River, just south of Bonn. One sale had been planned to interested parties who wanted to establish a foundation for the towers but it fell through. An original deadline for bidders expired on July 1, 2018.

The two bridge towers are connected on the ground floor, they are a century old and are listed as historical monuments. Heating and water pipes are absent, the dark empty buildings are in need of renovation. Erpel's departing mayor, Cilly Adenauer (CDU), says the roofs have been renovated, but not the walls: "It is not unthinkable that parts of the facade will fall down.”

Edgar Neustein, chairman of the cultural association Ad Erpelle, explains that he tried to buy the bridge towers for art exhibitions together with an investor, planning for a foundation to be established, but gave up because of the structural and financial risks. Now the association is striving to establish a Rhineland-Palatinate state foundation for all four towers: The other two towers are on the opposite side of the Rhine in Remagen and house a museum. But it is currently closed due to inadequate fire protection.

In March 1945, Allied troops crossed the Rhine near Remagen for the first time during the Second World War. They made it across the bridge after an unsuccessful German blasting attempt. A few days later it collapsed. The U.S. film "The Bridge at Remagen" made the structure world-famous (it was released in 1969 starring George Segal).

(Orig. text: dpa; Translation: ck)