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Quick facts for kids
|Elevation||38 m (125 ft)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Düsseldorf is a German city. It lies on the east bank of the river Rhine. It is the capital of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Düsseldorf has about 580,000 inhabitants in an agglomeration of about 1.3 million people. The city has 1 international airport, a university and is the seat of a lot of international companies.
- Cartwheeler of Düsseldorf
- Culture and recreation
- Notable buildings
- Notable places
In the 7th or 8th century there was a fishing or farming settlement at the place where the little river Dussel (which gave the name to the city) flows into the Rhine. Kaiserswerth is the first part of the city to be mentioned in writing. This was in 1135. Kaiserswerth became part of Düsseldorf in 1927.
In 1186 the Counts of Berg got to rule Düsseldorf and they made it their residence in 1280. On 14th of August 1288 there was a great battle between the Archbishop of Cologne and the Duke of Limburg against the Duke of Brabant and the Count of Berg. The Duke of Brabant won and the Archbishop of Cologne became a prisoner of the Count of Berg. So he could not do anything against Düsseldorf getting the status of a city. So Düsseldorf became a city with full City Rights in 1288.
The Counts of Berg became more and more powerful and Düsseldorf became the capital of the Duchy of Berg-Mark-Kleve-Jülich in 1380. in 1680 the Dukes of Berg-Kleve-Mark-Jülich died out and after some struggles the Earls of Palatine (they were Prince-Electors) became the new rulers of Düsseldorf. The most important duke of this line was Johann Wilhelm II. (1690-1716), called Jan Wellem. After Johann Wilhelm the Dukes moved to their new seat in Heidelberg, because they also got to rule the Duchy of Bavaria.
Düsseldorf was almost completely destroyed in the World War II. In 1946 Düsseldorf became capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Düsseldorf lies at the centre of the Lower Rhine basin, where the delta of the Düssel flows into the Rhine. The city lies on the east side of the Rhine, except District 4 (Oberkassel, Niederkassel, Heerdt and Lörick). Across the Rhine, the city of Neuss stands on the delta of the Erft. Düsseldorf lies southwest of the Ruhr urban area, and in the middle of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.
Düsseldorf is built entirely on alluvium, mud, sand, clay and occasionally gravel. The highest point in Düsseldorf is the top of Sandberg in the far eastern part of the city (Hubbelrath borough) at 165 metres (541 ft). The lowest point is at the far northern end in Wittlaer borough where the Schwarzbach enters the Rhine, with an average elevation of 28 metres (92 ft).
Adjacent cities and districts
The following districts and cities border Düsseldorf (clockwise starting from the north): the City of Duisburg, the District of Mettmann (Ratingen, Mettmann, Erkrath, Hilden, Langenfeld, and Monheim), and the District of Neuss (Dormagen, Neuss, and Meerbusch).
Like the rest of the lower Rhineland, Düsseldorf experiences moderate winters with little snowfall and mild to warm summers. The average annual temperature is 10.6 °C (51 °F) with an average yearly precipitation of 797 millimetres (31 in). The dominant wind direction is from the west with velocities in the range of 3 to 4 m/s (7–9 mph), with gusts of 3.5 −4.8 m/s (8–10.7 mph). The wind is calm (defined as being under 2 m/s or 4.5 mph) about 35% of the time, more frequently at night and in the winter.
|Climate data for Düsseldorf (1990-2013)|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.5
|Average low °C (°F)||1.2
|Rainfall mm (inches)||61.1
Source 2: Sun = http://meteo-climat-bzh.dyndns.org]
|Ten largest groups of foreign residents|
With a population of 593,682 within the city boundaries (31 December 2012), Düsseldorf is Germany's seventh largest city. Its population surpassed the threshold of 100,000 inhabitants during the height of industrialisation in 1882, and peaked at just over 705,000 in 1962. The city then began to lose residents with many moving into neighbouring municipalities. However, since the late 1990s, the city's population has been slowly rising again.
A total of 109,883 of Düsseldorf's population are foreigners (31 December 2008), the majority of whom come from within Europe (81,742). The largest national minorities are Turks, Greeks, and Poles. Düsseldorf and its surroundings have the third-largest Japanese community in Europe and the largest in Germany (about 11,000 people). Düsseldorf has the third-largest Jewish community in Germany, with about 7,600 members.
Düsseldorf has become one of the top telecommunications centres in Germany. With two of the four big German providers of mobile frequencies, D2 Vodafone and E-Plus, Düsseldorf leads the German mobile phone market. There are many foreign information and communication technology companies in Düsseldorf such as Huawei, NTT, Ericsson, Nokia, and GTS.. There are 18 internet service providers located in the capital of North-Rhine Westphalia. There are two airlines with headquarters in the city: Eurowings and formerly independent LTU International.
Many of the internet companies in Düsseldorf have their roots in the world of advertising: there are 400 advertising agencies in Düsseldorf, among them three of the largest in Germany: BBDO Group and Publicis. A number of affiliates of foreign agencies deserve mention as well, such as Ogilvy & Mather, Dentsu, Hakuhodo, and DDB. There are also about 200 publishing houses in Düsseldorf. There are around 170 national and international financial institutions, and about 130 insurance agencies, and one of Germany's eight stock exchanges. Several other major companies have their headquarters in the city: Peek & Cloppenburg (fashion), L'Oréal Germany (Cosmetics and Beauty); Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (Branded Consumer Goods and Industrial technologies); Metro (wholesale, retail); Ergo (insurance), Esprit Holdings (fashion, headquarters in Ratingen near Düsseldorf), BASF Personal Care & Nutrition (formerly Cognis - chemicals, headquarter in Monheim near Düsseldorf, but production mainly in Düsseldorf).
Daimler AG builds the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter light commercial vehicles in Düsseldorf. Since the 1960s, there has been a strong relationship between the city and Japan. Many Japanese banks and corporations have their European headquarters in Düsseldorf – so many that Düsseldorf has the third largest Japanese community in Europe, after London and Paris.
The "Kö", which stands for Königsallee ("King's Avenue"), is a popular shopping destination. Some of the most reputed jewellery shops, designer labels, and galleries have their stores here. The Kö has among the highest rents for retail and office space in Germany.
Düsseldorf Airport, also referred to as Rhein-Ruhr Airport, is located eight kilometres (5.0 miles) from the city centre and can easily be reached by train or the S-Bahn urban railway. There is a long-distance train station served by regional and national services, which is linked to the airport by the SkyTrain, an automatic people mover. Another station situated under the terminal building carries the S-Bahn line (S11) to Düsseldorf Central Station, and to Cologne as well as a few selected night services. After Frankfurt and Munich, Düsseldorf International is Germany's third largest commercial airport, with 21,850,489 passengers annually (2014). The airport offers 180 destinations on 4 continents, and is served by 70 airlines. The airport buildings were partly destroyed by a devastating fire caused by welding works in 1996, killing 17 people. It was completely rebuilt and the Skytrain installed.
The city is a major hub in the Deutsche Bahn (DB) railway network. More than 1,000 trains stop in Düsseldorf daily. Düsseldorf Central Station at Konrad-Adenauer-Platz is located in Düsseldorf-Stadtmitte. Several Rhein-Ruhr S-Bahn lines connect Düsseldorf to other cities of Rhine-Ruhr. Local Düsseldorf Straßenbahn and light rail Düsseldorf Stadtbahn traffic, as well as local bus traffic, is carried out by the city-owned Rheinbahn which operates within the VRR public transport system. The light rail system also serves neighbouring cities and is partially operated underground. The Central Station and the Airport Station (Flughafen-Bahnhof) are connected to the national and European high-speed systems (Intercity/Eurocity, IC/EC and InterCityExpress).
In Düsseldorf there are 1320 officially licensed Taxis. According to the regulations, the cars are always in ivory colour. On the back window you always find a black number on a yellow patch. Credit card payment has to be accepted at the Taxi stands at Airport of Düsseldorf. The supply of taxis in Düsseldorf is over the German average. Two taxi organisations cover the market. "Taxi-Düsseldorf" offers more than 1180 cabs in different sizes for max. 8 Passengers. The smaller one is "Rhein-Taxi" with more than 120 cabs. It is obligatory to carry out any journeys to destinations in the city and directly neighbouring cities.
North Rhine-Westphalia has the densest network of autobahns in Germany and Düsseldorf is directly accessible via the A3, A44, A46, A52, A57, A59 and A524.
Cartwheeler of Düsseldorf
The Düsseldorf's cartwheeler (Radschläger in German) is the oldest tradition of Düsseldorf and became one of their famous landmarks. The symbol of the cartwheel is found on many souvenirs and various naming Düsseldorf again. This tradition was honoured in 1954 by the erection of a fountain, called Cartwheeler's Fountain, in Düsseldorf's Burgplatz.
Origin of the legend and history
The origin of the custom cannot be pinned down to a single historic event, but several stories have appeared around it.
The best known version is the battle of Worringen. Adolf VIII, Count of Berg, defeated the Archbishop of Cologne in this battle in 1288. As a result of the victory, Düsseldorf received city rights. According to the story, the custom stems from the population and especially the children running for joy and making cartwheels on the streets .
Another narrative style is about a wedding procession, in which the wedding carriage's wheel broke. To ward off the impending disaster, a boy jumped into a coach, and held the wheel. Whether the wedding was that of Jan Wellem and Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici or to the wedding of the Margravine Jakobea of Baden with Johann Wilhelm of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, is controversial. A further modification takes on these second wedding. The bride is supposed to have been very unhappy with her marriage, but the cartwheelers and their coach's skills would have made her laugh.
Late 19th century and early 20th century, many travelers came to the city for major exhibitions -the forerunners of today's fairs. The children discovered that cartwheels was a lucrative source of income, as the incoming bourgeois paid them up to a penny for what they thought was a "local and patriotic" symbol.
In 1945, after the war-evacuated Jan-Wellem monument was brought back to the city, not only torches and fanfare accompanied it, but also cartwheeling boys.
Cartwheels in Düsseldorf's cityscape
Cartwheelers are found in several fountains in the city. The best known is Radschlägerbrunnen (Cartwheeler Fountain) in the Burgplatz with Hans Müller-Schlösser's inscription "Radschläger wanted mer blieve as jeck et de Minschen och drieve" (roughly translated as "We want to cartwheel, how crazy is that people also drives"), created in 1954 by Alfred Zschorsch. Even street maintenance hole covers and door knockers of Saint Lambertus Church, designed by Friedrich Becker, who also created the cartwheelers in front of the Düsseldorf's shopping mall Schadow-Arkaden.
The tradition is notably kept alive by the Alde Düsseldorf civil society of 1920, who conducted the first cartwheeler competition on 17 October 1937. Since 1971, it was held annually by boys and girls in June on the Königsallee, and since 2006 on the Rheinwerft below the old town and has become an integral part in the Düsseldorf event program. More than 500 boys and girls participate each year.
Culture and recreation
Elector Jan Wellem and his wife Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici of Tuscany, were patrons of Düsseldorf's first significant cultural activities in the 17th and 18th centuries. Heinrich Heine, whose 200th birthday was celebrated in 1997 and who originally had a proposed memorial in the city dedicated to him; Clara and Robert Schumann; and as Felix Mendelssohn, are the most prominent artists related to the city, which is home to a distinguished Academy of Fine Arts.
The Düsseldorf cultural scene comprises traditional and avant-garde, classical and glamorous. The world-famous state art collection of North Rhine-Westphalia, the highly acclaimed Deutsche Oper am Rhein (opera), and the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus (theatre), artistic home of Gustaf Gründgens, are major elements of Düsseldorf's reputation as a centre of the fine arts.
Düsseldorf is well known for its Altbier, a hoppy beer which translates as old [style] beer, a reference to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast like British pale ales. Over time the Alt yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store or lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer. The name "altbier" first appeared in the 19th century to differentiate the beers of Düsseldorf from the new pale lager that was gaining a hold on Germany.
Brewers in Düsseldorf used the pale malts that were used for the modern pale lagers, but retained the old ("alt") method of using warm fermenting yeasts. The first brewery to use the name Alt was Schumacher which opened in 1838. The founder, Mathias Schumacher, allowed the beer to mature in cool conditions in wooden casks for longer than normal, and laid the foundation for the modern alt – amber coloured and lagered. The result is a pale beer that has some of the lean dryness of a lager but with fruity notes as well.
There are five pub-breweries in Düsseldorf which brew Altbier on the premises: Füchschen, Schumacher, Schlüssel, Uerige and Brauerei Kürzer. Four of the five are in the historic centre of Düsseldorf (Altstadt); the other (Schumacher), between the Altstadt and Düsseldorf Central railway station (Hauptbahnhof), also maintains an establishment in the Altstadt, Im Goldenen Kessel, across the street from Schlüssel.
Each (except Brauerei Kürzer) produces a special, secret, seasonal "Sticke" version in small quantities, though the names vary: Schlüssel spells it "Stike", without the "c", while Schumacher calls its special beer "Latzenbier", meaning "slat beer", possibly because the kegs from which it was poured had been stored on raised shelves. Füchschen's seasonal is its Weihnachtsbier (Christmas beer), available in bottles starting mid-November, and served in the brewpub on Christmas Eve.
Music and nightlife
Since the 1950s the "Kom(m)ödchen" has been one of the most prominent political cabarets of Germany. The city's most famous contribution to the culture of modern popular music is beyond doubt the avant-garde electronic music band Kraftwerk. Formed by a few Düsseldorf-born musicians, Kraftwerk are internationally known as the most significant band in the history of post-war German music and as pioneers in electronic music.
Internationally known power metal band Warlock was formed in Düsseldorf in 1982. Their frontwoman, Doro Pesch, has had a successful solo career in Europe and Asia since Warlock ended. The punk band Die Toten Hosen, which is famous around the world, also the most popular singers in Germany Westernhagen and Heino come from Düsseldorf. The electronic act D.A.F. was formed in the city in 1978, as well as the electronic/industrial pioneers Die Krupps in 1980. The experimental post-punk group La Düsseldorf was named after the city, for which it paid with a legal case in the early 1980s. Another famous formation is Fehlfarben. Founded in the late 1970s by Peter Hein, Frank Fenstermacher, Kurt Dahlke and Michael Kemner.
Düsseldorf appears is several songs, including Düsseldorf by the British indie band Teleman and Wärst du doch in Düsseldorf geblieben by Danish singer Dorthe Kollo.
Düsseldorf, Germany is the fashion capital of Germany as it is a major cultural center for the art and fashion scenes. The fashionable clothes trend took root in this city before 1949. 1949 is the date of the first fashion show staged in Düsseldorf. Fashion trends have occurred as access to more elegant clothing for the general public has been a part of the culture for almost a century. Two times a year an event called the, “Voices of Fashion,” occurs and attracts many people to visit Düsseldorf to find the latest fashion items. There are famous designers that have made a name for themselves in Düsseldorf as well. Designers Sabine Schumacher, Peter O. Mahler, and Renate Harvan all design in Düsseldorf. To keep the creativity and passion for fashion alive in Düsseldorf everyday there are schools dedicated to fashion design in Düsseldorf as well. Akademie Mode and Design Institution, Design Department Academy, and Mode Design College are the three prominent fashion schools residing in Düsseldorf.
One of the biggest cultural events in Düsseldorf is the Karneval (also referred to as the "fifth season") which starts every year on 11 November at 11:11 a.m., and reaches its climax on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday), featuring a huge parade through the streets of Düsseldorf. Karneval ends on Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday).
Every Christmas, the city of Düsseldorf uses the city centre to host one of the largest Christmas gatherings in Germany. The Christmas festival occurs every year from 17 November until 23 December. This Christmas fest brings Düsseldorf a large portion of tourism every year as many people from nearby areas come to the city to drink mulled wine and hot chocolate and watch craftsman blow glass and create art. The event contains many small wooden buildings all clustered in the middle of the city for all the citizens to enjoy. The event, to many visitors, has an old European feel, but is very lively.
Traditional meals in the region are Rheinischer Sauerbraten (a beef roast and sometimes horse marinated for a few days in vinegar and spices served with gravy and raisins) and Heaven and Earth (Himmel und Äd; black pudding with stewed apples mixed with mashed potatoes). In winter the people like to eat Muscheln Rheinischer Art (Rhenish-style mussels) as well as Reibekuchen (fried potato pancake served with apple sauce). Also a special meal: Düsseldorfer Senfrostbraten (Steaks roasted with Düsseldorf mustard on top).
The Rhine Metropolis is one of the most diverse areas in terms of culinary diversity. Düsseldorf, with the third largest Japanese community in Europe, not only provides a wide range of culinary cuisine but also has a solid foundation of Authentic Asian food in the city. Düsseldorf’s exceptional culinary cuisine has been recognized and visited by the Worldwide leading travel guide of Lonely Planet. Along with a broad range of diverse cultural cuisine, Düsseldorf is also home to various Michelin starred restaurants that are world renowned.
Alve Hahn - this dish is made from a half a double rye roll, which is another of the specialties of Düsseldorf, buttered, with a thick slice of aged Gouda cheese, onions, mustard, ground paprika and sour pickles.
Himmel un Aad - a dish of mashed potatoes and apples along with slices of blutwurst. Caramelized onions are usually served with this meal.
Reibekuchen is another famous dish from Düsseldorf; this dish is usually drizzled with Rübensyrup (beet syrup) and is served on pumpernickel slices along with applesauce
- Apollo (varieté, circus; shows do not require knowledge of German language)
- Capitol (musicals)
- Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Opera; Ballet)
- Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus; the theatre started with theatrical performances in 1585
- Düsseldorfer Marionetten-Theater
- ESPRIT Arena (Venue of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011)
- FFT – Forum Freies Theater (intimate theatre)
- Junges Theater in der Altstadt
- Klangraum (20th-century classical music)
- Kom(m)ödchen (Political cabaret)
- Komödie Düsseldorf
- Palais Wittgenstein
- Puppentheater an der Helmholtzstraße (puppetry)
- Seniorentheater in der Altstadt
- Tanzhaus NRW (theatre for dance)
- Tonhalle Düsseldorf (concert hall for classical music, jazz, pop, cabaret)
- Theater an der Kö
- Theater an der Luegallee
- Theateratelier Takelgarn
- Theater Flin
- Theater Glorreich
Museums, arts and history institutes, and other attractions
- Akademie-Galerie (exhibition space of the Art Academy Düsseldorf)
- Aquazoo-Löbbecke-Museum (aquarium and zoological museum)
- BRAUSE – Vereinsheim des Metzgerei Schnitzel Kunstvereins e.V.
- Film museum
- Filmstiftung NRW (NRW Film Foundation)
- Forum NRW
- Heinrich Heine Birth-house
- Hetjens Museum (German museum of ceramics)
- Imai – inter media art institute
- Institut Français Düsseldorf
- Institut für Kunstdokumentation und Szenografie (Institute for Art Documentation and Scenography)
- Julia Stoschek Collection (video art)
- KAI 10|Raum für Kunst
- Kulturbahnhof Eller
- Kunstarchiv Kaiserswerth (works of Bernd and Hilla Becher/Kahmen Collection)
- Kunst im Tunnel (KIT)
- Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Art Collection Northrhine-Westphalia) – K20 (Grabbeplatz) and K21 (Ständehaus)
- Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
- Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen (Society for the Promotion of the Fine Arts)
- Museum Kunst Palast
- Mahn- und Gedenkstätte für die Opfer des Nationalsozialmus (Memorial museum for victims of Nationalsocialism)
- Polnisches Institut Düsseldorf
- Puppentheater an der Helmholtzstraße
- Reinraum e.V. – Verein zur Förderung von Kunst und Kultur
- Rheinturm (Rhine Tower; highest building and landmark of Düsseldorf)
- St. Lambertuskirche
- Schiffahrt Museum
- Schloss Jägerhof
- Schloss und Park Benrath (Palace and park of Benrath)
- Stadtmuseum (City history museum)
- Statue of Jan Wellem
- Theatermuseum, Düsseldorf
- Triton Museum
- Zakk – cultural centre with concerts, readings, debates and party
Parks and gardens
- Botanischer Garten Düsseldorf, a modern botanical garden
- The Nordpark, with the Aquazoo
- The Südfriedhof (The South Cemetery)
- Rheinturm (TV tower) the city's landmark (1982: 234 m [ 768 ft ], since 2004: 240.50 m [ 789.0 ft ]), the lights on which comprise the world's largest digital clock.
- The Gehry buildings in the Düsseldorf media harbour (see picture above).
- The Colorium, an 18-storey tower designed by Alsop and Partners, also in the Düsseldorf media harbour.
- The Benrather Schloss (Benrath palace).
- The Grupello-Haus probably designed by the Italian architect Matteo Alberti in 1706 for Duke Johann Wilhelm.
- The Wilhem Marx House of 1922/24: at twelve storeys high, it was Germany's first high-rise building.
- The Stahlhof of 1906, the administrative centre of Germany's steel economy until 1945.
- The Stummhaus of 1925, another early German high-rise building.
- Gerresheim Basilica.
- St Suitbertus Basilica.
- DRV Tower, 120-metre-high (394 ft) tower constructed in 1978.
- GAP 15, an 85-metre-high (279 ft) building constructed in 2005 near Königsallee.
- ARAG-Tower, at 131 m (430 ft) in height, it is Düsseldorf's highest office building; designed by Sir Norman Foster.
- Eight bridges span the Rhine at Düsseldorf; they, too, are city landmarks.
- Eastern pylon of Reisholz Rhine Powerline Crossing, an electricity pylon under whose legs runs a rail.
- Kö (Königsallee), a shopping street with luxuries shops
- Schloss Benrath, rococo castle
- Altstadt (Düsseldorf), literally "old town", the historic town centre. Nowadays Düsseldorf's entertainment district with hundreds of pubs and restaurants, and proverbially known by Germans as "the longest bar in the world".
- Düsseldorf-Hafen, the harbour is a modern build district
- Kaiserswerth, historical district with the ruined castle of Barbarossa Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
- Hofgarten, old city park
The ISS-Dome, an ice hockey stadium opened in 2006
Düsseldorf's football team Fortuna Düsseldorf won the 1933 German championship, the German Cup in 1979 and 1980, and were finalists in the European Cup Winners Cup in 1979. After 15 years in lower leagues they were promoted following a play-off win over Hertha Berlin in 2012. As of 2014[update], they are back in the second division of German soccer. Their new stadium, the Esprit arena, opened in January 2005 and has a capacity of 54,500. Düsseldorf was one of nine host cities for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, and the Rochusclub Düsseldorf has hosted the tennis World Team Cup from 1978 till 2012. Düsseldorf also held the Grand Départ for the Tour de France in July 2017.
Other sports in Düsseldorf are ice hockey (the Düsseldorfer EG which play in the new ISS-Dome) and American football. The Düsseldorf Panther are one of the most successful teams in Germany with six German Bowl titles and the Eurobowl victory in 1995. In addition the Junior-Team is the most successful youth department in Germany with fifteen Junior Bowl victories. Rhine Fire Düsseldorf was an established team of the NFL Europe and won the World Bowl two times in 1998 and 2000. Düsseldorf has a successful rugby union team (Düsseldorf Dragons), who play in the regional NRW league and consistently finish with a top-three position.
Table tennis is also played (Borussia Düsseldorf – the most successful team in Germany with Timo Boll), as are handball (HSG Düsseldorf), basketball (Düsseldorf Giants), baseball (Düsseldorf Senators) and dancing (Rot-Weiß Düsseldorf). Düsseldorf also has a Cricket team, the Düsseldorf Blackcaps, who play in the regional NRW league.
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