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Excursion tips: Visitor centers along the Rhine

Fish climbing up stairs in the Rhine – this is what at both young and older explorers can experience in Passage 309, a visitor center in the French border region of Rheinau-Gambsheim near Karlsruhe. Alongside one of the largest fish ladders in Europe, the visitor center also has an exhibition located three meters below ground featuring information on this fish ladder, the straightening of the Rhine and the fish that live in the Rhine, such as wild salmon. The real show-stopper is an observation room with three glass windows, in which visitors can come – with a bit of luck - face to face with up to 30 different species of fish and see the fish ladder for themselves. Let’s get started! The main migration period for the Rhine fish lasts from April to June.

At Iffezheim ships ride lifts: Each year at the ship lift lock, visitors can see around 45,000 ships, from freighters to tourist steamers, traverse a weir in the Rhine. There is also a panel on the fish ladder in the Rhine here. Those who want to see Europe’s largest run-of-river hydroelectric power plant can register for a tour at EnBW. For more information, search for “Besichtigungen”.

The biodiversity of tropical and native rivers is the focus of the scientists at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, which focuses on natural history. The “Freshwater – Life in Flow” permanent exhibition provides visitors with the opportunity to discover over 60 living species in aquariums and marshland settings – and some of the surprising ways these animals adapt to their environments. 
More information on the numerous visitor centers along the Rhine from Switzerland to the North Sea can be found on the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) website.