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Hammer Bridge and Göhl valley


The 'Hammer Bridge' crosses the Göhl, which rises at the Belgian-German border near Eynatten-Lichtenbusch and flows into the Meuse in the Netherlands near Meerssen. This impressive bridge is named 'Hammer' after the place where it was built. It was originally 220 metres long, almost 40 metres high and consisted of 17 two-storey brick-lined arches. Between 1841 and 1843, it was built with more than 8 million bricks and connected the railway line from Aachen to Cologne with Liège. That connection was the first cross-border railway line in Europe. On 10 May 1940 the bridge was blown up by Belgian border guards to stop German troops from moving in. Eight Belgian soldiers died in that action. After the Reichsbahn had repaired the bridge, it was destroyed for the second time during the Second World War, this time by German troops aiming to stop the progress of allied soldiers. After the end of the war, the Hammer Bridge was reconstructed from 1945 to 1948 as a steel bridge on the old stone foundations. In 1998, however, that structure had to make way for a new one, over which the high-speed train THALYS now runs at up to 160 km/h from Germany to Belgium and then on to France or England.


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Hammer Bridge and Göhl valley
4730 Raeren