Up on a hill in Duisburg, Germany, a giant metal form seems to entice viewers to embark on an adventure. The structure, created by artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth, looks like a massive roller coaster. But instead of a fast-moving thrill ride, it is a curved sculpture made up of 249 steps. And those who want to experience the artwork must walk each step—except, of course, for the loop-the-loop!
At 722 feet long, the sculpture is one of the largest in Germany. It’s also an engineering accomplishment that took two years and 120 tons of steel to construct. To make the work safe for viewers, the artists had to carefully consider the angle of each stair. In total, the project cost $2.7 million. To reach the immersive artwork’s highest point, viewers must climb nearly 70 feet above the ground. There they can enjoy stunning views of the Rhine river valley below.
The artists named the sculpture Tiger & Turtle—Magic Mountain. The title represents the juxtaposition of the experience of riding a real roller coaster and that of walking Mutter and Genth’s sculpture. “The roller coaster stands for [the] acceleration and high speed of a tiger, but the visitor has to explore it step-by-step like a turtle,” Genth explains.
Since it opened, Tiger & Turtle—Magic Mountain has become a popular destination. “Roller coasters usually last about 30 seconds,” one visitor explains, “but this one took me 45 minutes.”