In the early Middle Ages it was a royal court of the Franks, first mentioned in writing in 883.
Duisburg is a result of numerous incorporations of surrounding towns and smaller cities. It is the fifteenth-largest city in Germany and the fifth-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, with 499 845 residents at the end of 2016. It is the central city of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area. The city is renowned for its steel industry. All blast furnaces in the Ruhr are now located in Duisburg. In 2000, 49% of all hot metal and 34.4% of all pig iron in Germany was produced here. It also has a large brewery, König. The University of Duisburg-Essen, with 39,000 students, ranks among the ten largest German universities.
Duisburg has an oceanic climate (Cfb).
The first syllable of the name of the city could go back to the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰeus-, meaning something like "wet area" or "flood plain". Duisburg therefore could mean "fortified place in the floodplain". Another interpretation assumes that the name is derived from the Old German "duis" which means "hill". Duisburg could mean something like "castle on the hill". Thus, a place on a hill overlooking the Rhine, that could refer to the area of the present Town Hall. Duisburggau (Diuspurgau) was also the name of the medieval Gau (country subdivision) on the Lower Rhine.