The Bielefeld Viaduct

The first viaduct

The first viaduct was built between 1844 and 1847 by the Köln-Minden Eisenbahn gesellschaft (the Cologne to Minden Railway Comany).

Its design followed the example of Roman aqueducts and required the use of 150,000 cubic metres of stone. Additionally, thousands of piles had to be driven into the marshy grounds to create a base for the concrete foundations.

During the construction, an event took place which became known as the 'Schildescher Viaduct Uproar'. The entire 2000 strong worksforce went on strike for better conditions and the authorities, unable to stop the distrurbance, had to use a battalion of fusiliers to quell the strike by force. 75 workmen were arrested and 23 imprisoned.

When it was finished in October 1847 the viaduct was 400 metres long, 10 metres wide, 20 meteres high and consisted of 28 arches. For many years it was the longest viaduct in the Prussian State.