DUISBURG, a town of Germany in the kingdom of Prussia, 15 m. by rail N. from Düsseldorf, between the Rhine and the Ruhr, with which rivers it communicates by a canal. It is an important railway centre. Pop. (1885) 47,519; (1900) 92,729; (1905), including many outlying townships then recently incorporated, 191,551. It has six Roman Catholic and six Protestant churches, among the latter the fine Gothic Salvatorkirche, of the 15th century. It is well furnished with schools, which include a school of machinery. Of modern erections, the concert hall, the law courts and a memorial fountain to the cartographer Gerhard Kremer (Mercator) are worthy of mention. There are important foundries, rolling mills for copper, steel and brass plates, chemical works, saw-milling, shipbuilding, tobacco, cotton, sugar, soap and other manufactures.
Duisburg was known to the Romans as Castrum Deutonis, and mentioned under the Frankish kings as Dispargum. In the 12th century it attained the rank of an imperial free town, but on being mortgaged in 1290 to Cleves it lost its privileges. At the beginning of the 17th century it was transferred to Brandenburg, and during the Thirty Years' War was alternately occupied by the Spaniards and the Dutch. In 1655 the elector Frederick William of Brandenburg founded here a Protestant university, which flourished until 1802.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)