Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain: The Only Pedestrian Roller Coaster in the World

Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain: The Only Pedestrian Roller Coaster in the World

The Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain is a pedestrian roller coaster in Duisburg, Germany. The construction stands on top of a hill located in a former landfill that contains mining waste and slag metal from a zinc smelting company. The incredible pedestrian roller coaster sculpture was designed by the Hamburg-based designer duo Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth and although the original budget for the project was set at €1.4 million, the sculpture ended up costing €2 million to build.

The main structure is 45 meters high. It’s supported by 17 metal posts, consists of around 120 tons of galvanised steel, and has 249 steps. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to walk the entire route because navigating the loop would require the ability to defy gravity. So, although there are steps for the full 360°, both sides of the loop are blocked by a metal fence.

Why the unusual name? It designer Ulrich Genth puts it like this: “The roller coaster stands for acceleration and high speed of a tiger but the visitor has to explore it step by step like a turtle.”

Tiger and Turtle: The Only Pedestrian Roller Coaster in the World

The Only Pedestrian Roller Coaster in the World

Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain: The Only Pedestrian Roller Coaster in the World

My Opinion of the Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain

The Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain is a very impressive work of art and I love the fact that it’s a functional work of art. In that way, it reminds me of the Metropol Parasol in Seville. On the day I visited the weather was lovely and there was an incredible view from the top of the hill. Duisburg is a very industrialised area, so you can see a few chimneys and other signs of commercial enterprise, but there are also a lot of trees and it’s possible to see the Rhine. It’s a strange mix of man meets nature and there are plenty of benches available for people who wish to sit down and take it all in.

The view from the highest point of the pedestrian roller coaster is likely better still, but I have to admit I never climbed that high. I don’t like heights and decided not to push myself into walking the entire available route. It didn’t help matters when I noticed the steps are made of metal grids. I could see through them and down to the ground below. I hate grid-type steps. Had they been solid metal it’s possible I may have climbed higher, but I’ll never know. I didn’t feel the need to climb so high anyway. When I walked to the Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain all I wanted to do was see the sculpture and, as a bonus, I’d been treated to an incredible view.

I think everyone who visits Duisburg should try and see this German pedestrian roller coaster. It’s a free tourist attraction and you are not going to find something like this elsewhere. It may also be worth visiting at night because the entire sculpture is illuminated by small LEDs set into the handrails.

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