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Construction on Dortmund's port which terminates the Dortmund-Ems Canal connecting Dortmund to the North Sea started in 1895. It was opened 1899 by Kaiser Wilhelm. The port was expanded in the 1920s and 1930s by adding new docks as well as on the administrative infrastructure. Today Dortmund Port is the biggest European canal port with 10 docks and a pier length of 11 km, though there is a gradual decline resulting from the extinction of the coal and steel industries in Dortmund.