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Hackteufel and Neckar Shipping

Before the construction of the dam at Karlstor, a very wild section of the Neckar River was called „Hackteufel“ (Hacked Devil in German).This is located directly on the other side of the Neckar at the end of the lock weir.

Due to the narrowness of the valley at this point, the ship’s crew and the fishermen had their lives made difficult by currents and rocks. If a ship was lost, it was said that the „Hackteufel“ had pulled it down into the gurgling depths. As a reminder, the road along the Neckar between Karlstor and Alter Brücke still bears the name „Hackteufel“.

Around 1830, the strongly obstructing rocks at the Hackteufel and also at the Haarlaß were finally blown away.

Task: A Shipping story

Rivers have always been important for the transport of commercial goods. However, the important Rhine Navigation Act of 1831 and the Neckar Navigation Regulations of 1832, which followed, then allowed free passage on the Rhine and Neckar for all sailors and also brought considerable relief in the handling of water duties, which overall led to a significant upturn in shipping in general.

The increasing volume of shipping can be easily seen from two statistics which are only 15 years apart: According to these statistics, around 1830 there were about 226 skippers on the Neckar with 248 ships and a loading capacity of 100 to 2600 hundred hundredweight. Around 1845 there were already 335 skippers with about 798 vessels in the Neckar valley between Cannstatt and Mannheim. In addition to Mannheim in the lower Neckar valley, shipbuilding was also possible in Eberbach, Neckargemünd and in Neckarsteinach, where the Ebert shipyard has been in family ownership since 1738. Here it is important to note that it is the only shipyard in Hesse left today.

When was the last time you have been on a ship? Please, tell your shipping story to the other group members.

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