Foto: Herbert LiedelThe small bridge at the water gate where the Pegnitz leaves the city is the oldest free-hanging suspension bridge in Germany. It was built by Johann Georg Kuppler in 1824 to replace an earlier (15th-16th century) covered footbridge. The mechanic (later, professor) Kuppler was also involved in developing the first German railroad (1835, between Nürnberg and Fürth).

The name "Kettensteg" refers to the links of chain with which the bridge was suspended from six pylons and massive abutments on both river banks. Since 1930, the bridge has been reinforced by iron girders and wooden posts; the original construction, however, remains intact.