This is the Corputius plan showing Duisburg in 1566. The walls displayed are still around 30% extant - the gates on the wall are
- the Schwanentor, at bottom centre (leading to the Schwanentor Bridge over the Dinkelsbach),
- the Kuhtor, at the opposite end of the town, where cattle were led out to feed on the pastures outside the city walls.
- the Stapeltor to the left
- the Marientor to the right, just in front of the Marienkirche (church)
The Dinkelsbach, flowing in the former bed of the Rhein can be seen coming in from top right, flowing close to two sides of the city walls.
Just to the left of the Marienkirche, you might be able to see a tower doubling as a windmill, a typical sight on city walls in this area.
Inside the city, the Burgplatz is very prominent with its Salvatorkirche - this is the location of the original setlement ('Burg' means castle, hence the source of the last part of 'Duisburg')
Johannes Corputius was a pupil of Mercator.
In early times, Duisburg lay at the Western end of the Hellweg, the main artery of the region which ran as far as Magdeburg on the River Elbe. Immediately further west of Duisburg, the towns of Essen, Wattenscheid, Bochum, Dortmund, and Unna came into being along the Hellweg. Further North, few towns existed until the valley of the Lippe (Recklingshausen and Kamen being exceptions). It is worth noting that in 1840, the largest town on the western section of the Hellweg was Soest (outside the Ruhr District), with a population of around 8,800.
Unfortunately, although Duisburg originally lay on the Rhein, the river changed course sometime between 1000-1200 leaving the town 'high and dry'. A decline set in which was only reversed with the introduction of the Industrial revolution. A new harbor was built connecting the city with the Rhein and over the years the growth in size of the city means that Duisburg does indeed lie on the Rhein again.
The name first appears in the records due to events in 883/4 when the Vikings occupied the town.
From 1290, it became a part of the Duchy of Kleve (Anne of Cleves was born in Dusseldorf) but in 1614, it came under the control of Brandenburg (the later Prussia).
In 1905 Duisburg was combined with Ruhrort (where most of the present-day harbor actually lies) and Meiderich. In 1929 a further fusion produced the town of Duisburg-Hamborn. In 1975, districts on the other side of the river (including Homberg and Rheinhausen) were incorporated At the same time, Walsum in the North was included