One of my favorite cities in the world, Dusseldorf, Germany is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. As the primary economic center of Germany, that has been rated one of the top 5 places to live in the world. The 2007 Mercer HR Consulting survey of cities with the highest quality of life ranked Dusseldorf fifth worldwide and first in Germany. Located along the historic Rhine River with one of the higher population densities in Germany; it is renown for its events, fashion, culture, and trade fairs. While in 2006 it only had 581,858 residents; it is in the heart of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area that has over 10 million inhabitants alone. Every July the city attracts more than 4.5 million people for the Größte Kirmes am Rhein fair. A very historic city with exemplary history as early as the Roman Empire. During the expansion of the Roman Empire, it is here that a few Germanic tribes clung on to their marshy territory off the eastern banks of the Rhine River in the area where Dusseldorf resides. Beginning in the 7th centuries, odd farming and fishing settlements were built in this area where the small river Düssel flows into the Rhine. It was from such settlements that the city of Düsseldorf grew.
The first written mention of the town of Düsseldorf (Dusseldorp) dates back to 1135. In 1186 it came under the rule of the Berg which was taken over by the counts of Berg who moved their seat to this region and town in 1280. 14 August 1288 was when the sovereign Count Adolf V of Berg granted the village on the banks of the Dussel the Town priveleges. This unfolded a bloody struggle for power between the Archbishop of Cologne and the count of Berg which culminated in the Battle of Worringen. As Cologne’s forces were wiped out, Dusseldorf was elevated to a city. It is here where the custom of “turning cartwheels” is credited to the children of Dusseldorf because the children upon hearing that the city was victorious, they did these “flips” in celebration. The two cities became rivals, much of which lasts today commercially. It was under the Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa that the small town of Kaiserswerth, lying to the North of Düsseldorf, became a well fortified outpost, where soldiers kept their watchful eyes over every movement on the Rhine. It is this area that eventually became a suburb of Düsseldorf in 1929.
A market square was built here on the banks of the Rhine, fortified by city walls in all four directions. Dusseldorf became quite popular under the leadership of Johann Wilhelm II (r. 1690-1716) in the 18th century, also known to his people as Jan Wellem. Greatly influenced by his wife Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, the art lover designed a vast art gallery with a huge selection of paintings and sculptures that were housed in the Stadtschloss (city castle). Destruction and poverty struck Düsseldorf after the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon made Berg a Grand Duchy and Düsseldorf its capital. J. C. C. Devaranne, a leader of Solingen’s resistance to Napoleon’s conscription decrees, was executed here in 1813. After the defeat of Napoleon, the whole Rhineland including Berg was given to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815. The parliament of the Rhine Province was established in Düsseldorf later. By the mid-19th century, Düsseldorf enjoyed a revival thanks to the Industrial Revolution as the city boasted 100,000 inhabitants by 1882; the figure doubled in 1892. It was a target of strategic bombing during World War II, particularly during the RAF bombing campaign against the Ruhr industry in 1943 when over 700 bombers would be used in a single night. Raids continued late into the war and included the relatively small RAF raid of February 20/21, 1945 on the Rhenania Ossag refinery in the Reisholz district of Düsseldorf which halted oil production. The bombings virtually reduced the city to a pile of rubble.[wikipedia] Dusseldorf is known for its art, culture, history, music, and nightlife. Home to the avant-garde electronic music band Kraftwerk. Also known for its pioneers in electronic music. Internationally-known power metal band Warlock was formed in Düsseldorf in 1982. The punk band Die Toten Hosen, which is famous around the world, 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. In The Oldtown (Altstadt) German and international tourists go out on the main street Bolkerstraße, while the local scene (students and creative people) prefer the bars on Ratinger Straße. One of the biggest cultural events in Düsseldorf is the Düsseldorfer 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). The Düsseldorf carnival is part of the traditional carnival festivities in the Rhineland. Düsseldorf is well-known for its Altbier, a dark beer, which is brewed only in the region of Düsseldorf. Other traditional drinks are the liqueurs Killepitsch and Samtkragen. Traditional meals in the region are Rheinischer Sauerbraten (horsemeat or beef pickled for a few days) and Sky and Earth (Himmel on Ähd) (black pudding with stewed apples mixed with mashed potatoes). In winter the people like to eat Muscheln Rheinischer Art (Rhenish-style mussels). Also a special meal: Düsseldorfer Senfrostbraten (Steaks roasted with mustard). Together with the French city of Dijon Düsseldorf is known for its Mustard served in a traditional pot called “Mostertpöttche”, which was eternalized in a still life by Vincent van Gogh in 1884.
[ wikipedia ]
Pictures around Dusseldorf:
Random Shots in Dusseldorf:
The Rhine River Promenade in Dusseldorf: