A brief guide to all the 20 Stations
With its depot and workshop shed, the terminus of the suspension monorail in Vohwinkel is considerably larger than the other stations. Photographers often come here for the view from the platform of the narrow Kaiserstraße, into which the supports and rail have been squeezed. Original components of the supports and the monorail trains have been restored and are on display in the Schwebebahnpark at the terminus (Am Stationsgarten).
Equally eye-catching is the nearby imposing neo-Gothic town hall of Vohwinkel (1897–99; Rubensstraße 4). The trolleybus service to Solingen, like the suspension railway an unusual means of public transport, stops in front of the entrance to the town hall.
You could almost serve coffee and cake, so close does the monorail run to the houses in the Kaiserstraße. The suspension railway started running in 1901, but many of the buildings on the street are from a later date. Their inhabitants have found a way of getting along with Wuppertal’s poltergeist.
The Kaiserstraße and the Sonnborner Straße once merged imperceptibly, but in the 70s the Sonnborn autobahn intersection cut through this part of the city. A 485-metre section of the monorail had to be raised by 2.2 metres in order to pass over the intersection. The view from the trains of the tangle of motorway arms is impressive.
At the main church in Sonnborn (1922-26) the supports and rail make a turn over the wide road junction and take the suspension railway to the banks of the Wupper.
Wuppertal’s zoo dates from 1881, nestles among hills and is considered one of the most attractively landscaped zoos in Germany (Hubertusallee 30). From 1892 on, an area of imposing residences developed around it, and in 1924 the football stadium (Stadion am Zoo) was built (Hubertusallee 4). The massive Sonnborn railway viaduct to the north of the stadium is the only structure that passes over the suspension railway.
In 1863 Friedrich Bayer senior founded his paint factory in Wuppertal Heckinghausen. Three years later he moved the headquarters to Elberfeld. This plant, which covers a large area below the suspension monorail, is where the worldwide company Bayer originated.
Westende is one of a number of stations whose original structure was pulled down tobe replaced by a modern steel and glass construction designed by the architects Jaspert + Seffens in Cologne. This station is primarily the stop for the Bayer plant.
Arrenberg, once a working-class district, has for a number of years been developing into a popular and fashionable area. Its core is the former hospital (Sauerbruch-Klinik), part of which has been turned into residential accommodation known as the Arrenberg’sche Höfe. Some of the planned conversions to other uses of the factory buildings in Moritzstraße, where once the German company Elba produced ring binders, have already been completed.
Wuppertal has one of Germany’s largest areas of residences listed as historic buildings, namely the Briller Viertel, to the north of the monorail station. Those who once lived here include the poet Else Lasker-Schüler, the chemist Carl Duisberg, the conductor Hans Knappertsbusch and the former president of the Federal Republic of Germany Johannes Rau. Further east is the Ölberg with its listed apartment blocks, one of the city’s fashionable areas. At the foot of this hill are Luisenstraße and Friedrich-Ebert-Straße, a popular area for its restaurants, bars and shopping facilities around the church of St. Lawrence (Laurentiuskirche), built in the neo-classical style (1828-35).
The high-rise savings bank (Sparkasse) towers above the station Ohligsmühle, a modern construction built in 1982. Higher up on the Johannisberg stands the Historische Stadthalle, a magnificent concert hall much-praised for its acoustics and dating from 1900. The adjacent public indoor swimming pool reflects the architectural style of the 50s and is known as the Schwimmoper (swimming opera). This name stems from the fact that the people of Elberfeld wanted their own highlight when the opera house, which had been destroyed in the war, was rebuilt in Barmen.
Further to the east, the train passes through a large arch into the Köbo-Haus. This is where Elberfeld’s pedestrianized area begins, with its ornate “Fountain of Neptune” (Neptunbrunnen) in front of the former town hall of Elberfeld (1900, Neumarkt 10) and the Von der Heydt-Museum, highly-regarded far and wide (Turmhof 8). Döppersberg, to the south of the monorail station, is where Wuppertal’s main train station and a former administration building of the German railway system are to be found (Bahnhofstraße). This whole area is currently being redeveloped into a new gateway to the city. Regularly updated information on the progress of the redevelopment can be found on www.doeppersberg.de.
The trains run close to a former factory, the Baumsche Fabrik, a reminder of the times when Germany’s biggest trading centre for textiles was here on the Hofaue. At that time, postcards that were simply addressed “Hofaue” could be relied on to reach their addressee. The next station is Kluse, a modern steel and glass construction built in 1999.
The station Landgericht is modelled on the local (i.e. “bergisch”) style of half-timbered buildings. In order to meet modern requirements (including lifts), the old art nouveau structure was replaced by a new one that preserved the original design. Its visual effect is enhanced by the imposing façade of the Landgericht, one of the oldest law court buildings in Germany (1848–1854, Eiland 1).
As in the case of Landgericht, this is a reconstruction of the original station design.
Loher Brücke/Junior Uni
The station Loher Brücke offers the quickest access to the Junior Uni, an educational institution for children and young people that is unique in Germany (Am Brögel 31).
The opera house, built in 1905, was destroyed in the war and rebuilt between 1954 and 1965. It is the main venue for performances by the theatre company (Wuppertaler Bühnen), to which the world-famous Dance Theatre (Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch) belongs (Kurt-Drees-Straße 4). The Historical Centre (Historisches Zentrum) next door incorporates a residence owned by the family of Friedrich Engels and the Museum of Early Industrialization (Engelsstraße 10). The train station in Barmen, whose former entrance hall is used as an event location, completes this group of cultural heritage buildings. In 2014 a new small theatre was added, the “Theater am Engelsgarten”.
The Alter Markt is the gateway to the pedestrianized area in Barmen, where Wuppertal’s town hall (1908-21) is situated (Johannes-Rau-Platz). The former public indoor swimming pool (1881/82) behind the town hall is now the Wuppertaler Brauhaus (brewery) and one of Barmen’s most popular places to eat and drink.
Here too, the striking art nouveau station has been replaced by one modelled on the original building. This station provides the quickest access to the former hall of fame (Ruhmeshalle, 1900), now known as the Haus der Jugend (Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 4–6). This building houses a concert venue and the Kunsthalle, abranch of the Von der Heydt Museum.
The architectural landmark here is the onion dome of the old church in Wupperfeld (Alte Kirche Wupperfeld, 1779–85, Bredde 69). Not far away is the Immanuelskirche (1867–69), which has excellent acoustics and is highly regarded as a concert venue (Von-Eynern-Straße 73).
The terminus at the eastern end of the suspension monorail also has a large depot where the trains remain overnight.
for the suspension monorail and for buses can be obtained from the ticket machines at every station of the suspension monorail or in buses from the bus driver. You get full flexibility with the 24- and 48-HourTicket. Using that you and even additional persons can take the ride for 24 or 48 hours on bus or suspension railway in Wuppertal. Perfect for a daytrip or a visit to the city. Just select the amount of persons that will ride along. Kids under six years go free.