Kaltehofe Elbe Island Water Art

It is not far from Hamburg's city centre to the green gem in the Norderelbe, the Water Art on Kaltehofe island in the Rothenburgsort district. From here, Hamburg was supplied with clean and germ-free drinking water for almost 100 years from 1893 onwards. Since 2011, the museum, industrial monument and nature park have been inviting visitors to experience a part of the city's modern history as well as the diverse nature of the Elbe island.

The old filtration plant on the approx. 60 hectare Elbe island of Kaltehofe supplied Hamburg with clean drinking water for almost 100 years. Of the former 22 filter basins, which were about the size of a football field, 20 are still to be seen. Five of these basins belong to the area of Water Art, each of them equipped with two of 40 so-called slider houses, a characteristic feature of the plant. From here the workers controlled the inflow and outflow of water. The architect of the Kaltehofe buildings was Franz Andreas Meyer, who designed the Hamburg Speicherstadt. The cholera epidemic of 1892 accelerated the construction of the filtration plant, which finally went into operation a year later. A subsidiary of the newly founded Hamburg Institute of Hygiene was set up as well. To obtain drinking water, Elbe water and, from 1964, exclusively groundwater was purified by slow sand filtration. In 1990, the plant was shut down and the island was abandoned for many years. The Water Art opened in 2011 and, in addition to a nature and museum education programme, offers a variety of guided tours and workshops for all age groups.

Kaltehofe Elbe Island Water Art
Kaltehofe Hauptdeich 6-7
20539 Hamburg
+49 (0) 40 - 788849990

Recommended duration of visit:2 Hours
Duration of a guided tour:60 Minutes
Access for persons with disabilities:For details see website
Infrastructure for children:
Visitor centre on site:yes
Gift and book shop on site:yes

Area is free accessible Tuesday - Sunday 10am-5pm
Museum (charge) and cafe: opening hours differ - see website

  • Guided tours optional
  • Tours in other languages
  • Guided tours for children