Really! And not as a replacement for church towers, which we have in large numbers, but as the ultimate identifying object. The Bayer Cross is to the people of Leverkusen what the Cathedral is to the people of Cologne and the Kö shopping mile is to the people of Düsseldorf. To this day, the Bayer Cross remains the largest neon sign in the world.
Today’s Bayer Cross was inaugurated on 2 September 1958. Two 120-metre-high tubular steel masts hold the huge grid. The cross has a diameter of 51 metres and bears 1,710 glass bulbs. The individual letters are legible even from as far away as five kilometres. Since 2009, the trademark has been shining in a new light: The 1,710 standard 40-watt light bulbs were phased out and replaced with innovative, energy-saving LEDs. A bayonet connection ensures a secure hold in the constantly moving ropes. To this day, the Bayer Cross is a reliable fixed point in the night sky of the region. With two exceptions: In the spring and autumn, the cross is switched off between 10pm and 4am. The reason is migrating birds returning from their winter quarters or starting their journey to warmer regions. They must not be confused by the light and diverted from their course, but should be able to migrate to their breeding colonies or winter quarters without being disturbed.