City Views #80: The Creek under the City

This is not a sewer, but Mülheim’s Rumbach, a creek originating in the east in our neighbour city Essen, running underground right through the inner city before it enters the Ruhr. Back in 2008 when I took this photo just about 200 meters from where I live, it was discovered that the traffic on the street had damaged the underground tube and it had to be repaired by actually digging it up. Before, I had no idea that the creek was flowing only about two or three meters under the surface! In the near future, kilometers of underground brick work will have to be heavily renovated, which will also mean tearing up a lot of street. The Rumbach got its name not from something alcoholic, but because it used to rumble through the city when there were floods. Today it’s only a small creek even in the east of Mülheim where it runs overground, but it was actually one of the reasons the city got its name: there were a lot of mills at its banks in the 18th and 19th century.

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