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Rathaus (town hall)

Brunsbüttel is a small town of some 12,500 (2018) people in Schleswig Holstein. Its main claims to fame are being the start (from the North Sea end) of the Kiel Canal and it being the site of the former nuclear power plant Brunsbüttel that was shut down in 2011 and whose demolition started in 2019 and is expected to take 15 years.


Brunsbüttel became an industrial area in the 1960s and 1970s. The ChemCoast Park Brunsbüttel is still the most important enterprise zone and with 2,000 ha also the largest industrial area in Schleswig-Holstein.


The earliest reference to the town is in a document dated 14 July 1286.

With the construction of the Kiel Canal (Kiel Canal) in 1911, the town was divided in two.

During the opening days of World War II, the British Royal Air Force carried out the second bombing of that war, targeting warships near the town.

Get in[edit]

There has been no passenger train service to Brunsbüttel since 1988.

By bus[edit]

  • 1 ZOB (Central bus stop). For schedules and fares check

Get around[edit]

Map of Brunsbüttel

As the Kiel Canal cuts right through town and there is no bridge usable for pedestrians (the B5 bridge is car-only) you'll need a ferry to cross the canal. Thanks to a decree by Wilhelm II all ferries are free of charge for pedestrians.


  • 1 Brunsbüttel Nuclear Power Plant (Kernkraftwerk Brunsbüttel), Otto-Hahn-Straße 1, +49 4852 89 20 10, . Call ahead for a guided tour. The former nuclear power plant was shut down in 2011 and is in the process of being dismantled "until only a green meadow remains" as the responsible people keep reiterating. What could possibly be seen at a demolition site? Find out by booking a tour. Brunsbüttel Nuclear Power Plant (Q704293) on Wikidata Brunsbüttel Nuclear Power Plant on Wikipedia
  • Lock system. Brunsbüttel has the largest lock system worldwide. In it, the ocean liners are channeled between the Elbe/North Sea and the Kiel Canal. The process can be viewed up close from a visitor area.
  • 2 Schleusenmuseum Atrium, Gustav-Meyer-Platz 2, +49 4852 885213, . 10:30-17:00. The Atrium lock museum next to the tourist office on the lock offers interesting display boards, ship models, landscape and functional models for technical objects, video films and historical exhibits around the Kiel Canal and the locks. (Q61063663) on Wikidata
  • 3 Heimatmuseum, Markt 4, +49 4852 7212. A variety of historical exhibits collected from Brunsbüttel and the surrounding area. These historical testimonials give an impression of life on the Elbe and North Sea in the past.
  • 4 Pauluskirche (Evangelical Lutheran Church), Kautzstrasse 11. A brick building that was built with art nouveau furnishings, but fell victim to a redesign of the church interior in 1956. The church was built in 1914/15. Empress Auguste Viktoria, the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II, donated an altar bible for the inauguration, and a votive ship hanging from the ceiling shows Brunsbüttel's connection to shipping. It was donated to the community by the pilot brotherhood in order to express the solidarity of this church with the Kiel Canal.
  • 5 Jakobuskirche (Evangelical Lutheran Church), Markt 22. It was built in 1678, burned down to the foundations in 1719 after a lightning strike, only the bare walls remained. The church got its characteristic barrel vault roof then. The Danish king Friedich IV had the beautiful altar of his castle church in Glückstadt transferred here. This altar carved entirely of oak from 1650 is unique in Germany. The baptismal font is a late baroque work, made of stone below, wood above.
  • 6 Maria sea star (Catholic Church), Bojestraße 36. It was built as a hall church in the typical red brick. It was inaugurated in 1930. After the Second World War, the number of Catholics grew considerably due to the influx of many displaced people and refugees. Instead of a tower, a pyramid-shaped roof rider was put on. The church has eleven pointed arch windows on the long sides, which depict scenes from the life of Mary. The windows were created during the last church renovation in 1979. A small pipe organ with five registers has been installed in the church since 1995.
  • 7 Brunsbüttel high bridge. Due to the flat landscape (marsh) there is a wonderful view for passengers in a car over large parts of Dithmarschen and Steinburg and, if visibility is good, over the Elbe to northern Lower Saxony. In the dark, the industrial facilities in Steinburg look very impressive. At 2831 m, the Brunsbüttel high bridge is the longest bridge over the Kiel Canal, making it one of the longest in Germany. The clear passage height for ships is 42 m, as with all high bridges over the Kiel Canal. The car bridge is not accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. Hochbrücke Brunsbüttel (Q1621700) on Wikidata
  • Market quarter. In the old market district around the Jakobuskirche, the historic center of Brunsbüttels, you can see many old, lovingly restored half-timbered houses with wonderfully decorated front doors.
  • Matthias Boie house. The half-timbered house was built in 1779 as the pastor's official residence. Named after the Vogt Mathias Boie (1600-53), it is one of the most beautiful half-timbered and middle-class houses in the country. Today it is the parish hall of Evangelical Lutheran Parish, the registry office and a nice café.



  • Wattolümpiade. A charity sports event on behalf of cancer patients. Sports are played on the mudflats exposed during low tide and include such events as association football and handball but also unique sports invented for the event. The 2020 edition scheduled for August 15 had to be cancelled due to the Corona pandemic. Wattolümpiade (Q1545918) on Wikidata






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