Radschläger (Cartwheeler) sculpture

Markstraße 9,  40213 Düsseldorf

Radschläger (cartwheeler) sculptures can be found all over Düsseldorf, but the copper-coloured cartwheeler by the Düsseldorf artist Ulli Maier is the best known. 

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No other sculpture is as prominent as the two-metre work of art in front of the Uerige brewery in the Altstadt (Old Town). In 2001, artists produced over a hundred different cartwheelers as part of the “Radschläger-Kunst” (cartwheeler art) project and these were distributed all across the city. The Uerige brewery cartwheeler is only temporarily dismantled during the Carnival. That is when every square metre in front of the brewery is used for the celebration. How did the Radschläger (cartwheeler) become a landmark of Düsseldorf? In 1288, Count Adolf from Düsseldorf defeated the archbishop of Cologne after six years of bitter succession disputes and finally received the city rights of Düsseldorf. Legend has it that adults and children were so overjoyed that they ran onto the streets and cartwheeled euphorically. Later, Düsseldorf became a trade fair city and more and more tourists came to the city, and children and teenagers performed cartwheels on the streets to make some money. What is unbelievable today: It was not until 1971 that girls were allowed to take part in the annual cartwheel competition between the schools of Düsseldorf. The traditional sport has been taking place every June since 1937 at the “Unteren Werft” (“Lower Shipyard”) on the banks of the Rhine. Today, the girls regularly beat the boys and the Japanese International School has already entered the winners´ lists.