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Düsseldorf ( ) is the capital city of the Germanmarker state of North Rhine-Westphaliamarker. It is the second most international and economically important centre of Germany, after Frankfurtmarker, and is located in the center of the Rhein-Ruhr area, one of Europe's most populated metropolitan areas. The city is situated on the River Rhinemarker, and is renowned for its many events and also for its fashion and trade fairs. Every July more than 4.5 million people visit the Größte Kirmes am Rhein funfair in Dusseldorf. It is also the home of the highly influential music group Kraftwerk.


When the Roman Empire was strengthening its position throughout Europe, a few Germanic tribes clung in marshy territory off the eastern banks of the Rhine Rivermarker.

In the 7th and 8th centuries, the odd farming or fishing settlement could be found at the point where the small river Düsselmarker flows into the Rhine. It was from such settlements that the city of Düsseldorf grew.

The first written mention of the town of Düsseldorf dates back to 1135 (then called Dusseldorp in the local Low Rhenish dialect). It was told that under Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa 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. Kaiserswerth eventually became a suburb of Düsseldorf in 1929.

Düsseldorf in 1647

In 1186 Düsseldorf came under the rule of Bergmarker. The counts of Berg moved their seat to the town in 1280. 14 August 1288 is one of the most important dates in the history of Düsseldorf as it was on this day that the sovereign Count Adolf V of Berg granted the village on the banks of the Düssel the Town privileges.

Prior to that announcement, a bloody struggle for power had taken place between the Archbishop of Cologne and the count of Berg, culminating in the Battle of Worringenmarker. The Archbishop of Cologne's forces were wiped out by the forces of the count of Berg who were supported by citizens and farmers of Cologne and Düsseldorf, paving the way for Düsseldorf's elevation to city status, which is remembered today with a monument on the Burgplatz. In fact, the custom of turning cartwheels is credited to the children of Düsseldorf, who, upon hearing that their city was victorious, did these "flips" in celebration.

After this battle the relationship of the two cities deteriorated, because they were commercial rivals. It is often said that there is a kind of hostility between the citizens of Cologne and Düsseldorf. Today, it finds its expression mainly in a humorous form (especially during the Rhineland Karneval) and in sports.
A market square sprang up on the banks of the Rhine and the square was protected by city walls in all four directions. In 1380, Düsseldorf was made regional capital of the Duchy of Berg. During the following centuries several famous landmarks were built, including the Collegiate Church of St. Lambertus. In 1609, the ducal line of the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg died out, and after a virulent struggle over succession, Jülich and Berg fell to the Wittelsbach Counts of Palatinate-Neuburgmarker, who made Düsseldorf their main domicile, even after they inherited the Palatinate, in 1685, becoming now Prince-electors as Electors Palatine.

Düsseldorf's growth was even more impressive 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' Medicimarker, the art lover designed a vast art gallery with a huge selection of paintings and sculptures that were housed in the Stadtschloss (city castle).

After the death of childless Jan Wellem, the flourishing royal capital fell back to hard times, especially after Elector Karl Theodor inherited Bavaria and moved the electoral court to Munichmarker. With him he took the art collection, which became part of what is now the Alte Pinakothekmarker in Munich. 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 Solingenmarker'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 Prussiamarker in 1815. The parliament of the Rhine Provincemarker was established in Düsseldorf later.
Düsseldorf in 1900
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. As part of the campaign against German oil facilities, the RAF raid of February 20/21 1945 on the Rhenania Ossag refinery in the Reisholz district of Düsseldorf halted oil production there. The bombings virtually reduced the city to a pile of rubble.
Climatic year of Düsseldorf.

In 1946 Düsseldorf was made capital of the new federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The city's reconstruction proceeded at a frantic pace and the economic transformation saw Düsseldorf growing into the wealthy city of trade, administration and service industries as it is known today.


The districts of Düsseldorf

Physical geography

Dusseldorf lies in the middle of the lower Rhinemarker basin on the delta of the Düssel River where it flows into the Rhine. The city is on the east side of the Rhine, except for District 4 (Oberkasselmarker, Niederkasselmarker, Heerdtmarker and Lörickmarker).Across the Rhine Neussmarker was built on the delta of the Erftmarker river. Dusseldorf lies southwest of the Ruhr mining district, and in the middle of the Rhine-Ruhr urbanized region.Düsseldorf is built entirely on alluvium, muds, sands, clays and occasionally gravels. The highest point in Düsseldorf is the top of Sandberg in the far eastern part of the city (Hubbelrathmarker borough) at . The lowest point is at the far northern end in Wittlaermarker borough where the Schwarzbach (Black Creek) enters the Rhine, with an average elevation of . Like the rest of the lower Rhinelands Düsseldorf has mild winters and moderately warm summers, with an average yearly temperature of and of rainfall. The predominate wind direction is out of the south or southeast 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 (under 2 m/s or 4.5 mph) about 35% of the time, more frequently at night and in the winter.


Düsseldorf is currently (2007) divided into ten administrative districts. Each district (Bezirk) has its own elected district council (Bezirksvertretung) and its own district mayor (Bezirksvorsteher). The district councils are advisory only. Each district is further subdivided into boroughs. There are 49 boroughs in Düsseldorf.

Schadow Arkaden - shopping mall.

Adjacent cities and districts

The following districts and cities border Dusseldorf (clockwise starting from the north):the City of Duisburgmarker, the District of Mettmannmarker (Ratingenmarker, Mettmannmarker, Erkrathmarker, Hildenmarker, Langenfeldmarker, and Monheimmarker), and the District of Neussmarker (Dormagenmarker, Neuss, and Meerbuschmarker).


Dusseldorf is not only widely known as a centre of German advertising and fashion industries: in the last few years the city on the Rhine has become one of the top telecommunications centres in Germany. There are 18 internet service providers located in the capital of North-Rhine Westphalia. With two of the four big German providers of mobile frequencies, D2 Vodafone and E-Plus, Dusseldorf leads the German mobile phone market. There are also many foreign trading centres in Dusseldorf such as NTT, Ericsson, Sandvik, Nokia and GTS. Before its dissolution LTU International, an airline, was headquartered in the city.

Many of the internet companies in Dusseldorf have their roots in the world of advertising: there are 400 advertising agencies in Dusseldorf, among them three of the largest in Germany: BBDO Group, Publicis Group and Grey Group. A number of affiliates of foreign agencies deserve mention as well, such as Ogilvy & Mather, Dentsu, Hakuhodu, Digital District and DDB.

In Dusseldorf there are about 170 national and international financial institutions, and about 130 insurance agencies, and one of the biggest German stock exchanges. There are also about 200 publishing houses in Düsseldorf.

Several other major companies have their headquarters in the city: L'Oréal Germany (Cosmetics and Beauty); Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (Branded Consumer Goods and Industrial technologies); E.ON (energy); ThyssenKrupp (metallurgy); Metro (wholesale, retail); Ergo (insurance); LTU (air transport), Cognis (chemicals, headquarter in Monheim near Düsseldorf, but production mainly in Düsseldorf).

Daimler AG builds the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Volkswagen Crafter light commercial vehicles in Dusseldorf.
Since the 1960s, there has been a strong relationship between the city and Japanmarker. Many Japanese banks and corporations have their European headquarters in Düsseldorf - so many that Düsseldorf has the third largest Japanese community in Europe, after Londonmarker and Parismarker.

The "Kö", which stands for Königsalleemarker ("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 about the highest rents for shops and bureaus in Germany.


Important newspapers and journals such as Handelsblatt, Rheinische Post, Wirtschaftswoche, Deutsches Wirtschaftsblatt and VDI-Nachrichten are published in Dusseldorf. Almost all of these papers are available online on the Internet. Renowned filmmaking companies, such as Germany's biggest cinema enterprise, the Riech-Group, and TV channels such as WDR, ZDFmarker, and QVC solidify Dusseldorf's position as a media centre.


Düsseldorf International Airportmarker, also referred to as Rhein-Ruhr Airport, is located eight kilometres (5 mi) 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 peoplemover. The (old) local station situated under the terminal building carries the S-Bahn line (S7) to the city's central station and to Solingenmarker as well as a few selected night services.

After Frankfurt and Munich, Düsseldorf International Airport is Germany's third largest commercial airport, with 18.6 million passengers annually. 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 every day. The central railway stationmarker at Konrad-Adenauer-Platz is located in Düsseldorf's city centre. Several S-Bahn lines connect Düsseldorf to the other cities of Rhine-Ruhr. Local light rail Stadtbahn traffic as well as 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 (Intercity / Eurocity, IC / EC) and extreme high speed InterCityExpress.

North Rhine-Westphalia has a closely-woven autobahn network with many routes leading directly to Düsseldorf. The city is connected to the A3, A44, A46, A52, A57, A59 and A524 motorways.

Facts and figures


  • 17% of Dusseldorf's population are foreigners, which is a total of 98,686 people. The largest minority ethnic groups are Turkish, Greek, and Italian.
  • Düsseldorf has the third-largest Jewish community in Germany, with about 7,600 members, which is more than 1% of the city's population.
  • Düsseldorf and its surroundings has the third-largest Japanese community in Europe and the largest in Germany (about 11,000).

Quality of life

The Mercer's 2009 Quality of Living survey of cities with the highest quality of life ranked Düsseldorf sixth worldwide and first in Germany.

Culture and recreation

Art-loving Elector Jan Wellem and his wife Anna Maria Luisa de' Medicimarker of Tuscany, were the patrons of Dusseldorf's first significant cultural activities in the 17th and 18th centuries. Heinrich Heine, whose 200th birthday was celebrated in 1997, Clara and Robert Schumann as well as Felix Mendelssohn are the most prominent artists related to the city. Artistic impulses were often born in the Academy of Fine Arts and the names of Paul Klee, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter as well as Albert Bierstadt are associated with the institution (Düsseldorf School). 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 beerwhich 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 than is the norm for an ale.

The name "altbier" first appeared in the 1800s to differentiate the beers of Düsseldorf from the new pale lager that was gaining a hold on Germany. Brewers in Dusseldorf 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 pale ale to mature in cool conditions in wooden casks for longer than normal, and laid the foundation for the modern alt beer - an amber coloured, lagered ale. The result is a pale ale that has some of the lean, dryness of a lager, with the fruity notes of an ale.

At present, there are four brewpubs in Düsseldorf which brew Altbier on premises:

  • Füchschen
  • Schumacher
  • Schlüssel
  • Uerige

Three of the four are located in the Old Town (Altstadt); the other (Schumacher) is located between the Altstadt and the main rail station (Hauptbahnhof), and also maintains an establishment in the Altstadt, Goldener Kessel, directly across the street from Schlüssel.

Each 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 Weinachtsbier (Christmas beer), available in bottles starting mid-November, and served in the brewpub on Christmas Eve.

Music and Nightlife

Rhein view from Altstadt
Since the 1950s the "Komödchenmarker" has been one of the most prominent political cabarets of Germany.Dusseldorf'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 Dusseldorf-born musicians, Kraftwerk have often been regarded 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 Dusseldorf 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 Dusseldorf. 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 Dusseldorf was named after the city, for which it payed with a legal case in the early 1980s.In The Oldtown (Altstadt) German and international tourists go out on the main street Bolkerstraße, while the local scene (students and creative people) prefers the bars on Ratinger Straße.


Düsseldorf's football team Fortuna Düsseldorf, the German Champions of 1933, competes in the second German league (2. Bundesliga). Their new stadium, the Esprit arenamarker, opened in January 2005 and has a capacity of 51,500. Dusseldorf is one of nine 1974 FIFA World Cup cities and the Rochusclub Düsseldorf has hosted the tennis world team cup since 1978.

Other sports in Dusseldorf are ice hockey (the DEG Metro Stars, former DEG - Dusseldorfer Eislauf Gemeinschaft, which play in the new ISS-Domemarker) and American football. The Düsseldorf Panther are the most successful team in Germany with six national champion trophies and the Eurobowl 1995. In addition the Junior-Programm is the most successful youth-football program in Germany with thirteen national championship titles. Rhine Fire Düsseldorf was an established team of the NFL Europe and won the World Bowl two times in 1998 and 2000. 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).


One of the biggest cultural events in Dusseldorf is the Dusseldorfer 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 Dusseldorf. Karneval ends on Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday). The Dusseldorf carnival is part of the traditional carnival festivities in the Rhineland.


Traditional meals in the region are Rheinischer Sauerbraten (a beef roast marinated for a few days in vinegar and spices) 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 Dijonmarker 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.


Tonhalle Düsseldorf

Museums, arts and history institutes

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen - K20 (Grabbeplatz)

Parks and gardens

University and colleges

Heinrich Heine Universitymarker Düsseldorf is located in the southern part of the city.It has about 20,000 students and a wide range of subjects in natural sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, philosophy, social sciences, arts, languages, medicine, pharmacy, economy and the law.

Other academic institutions include


The Colorium, Dusseldorf media harbour
Gehry Building, Hafen - Dusseldorf Media Harbour
  • Rheinturmmarker (TV tower) the town's landmark (1982: , since 2004: ), 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 Dusseldorf media harbour.
  • The Benrather Schlossmarker (Benrath palace).
  • The Wilhem Marx Housemarker 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, -high tower constructed in 1978.
  • GAP 15, an -high building constructed in 2005 near Königsalleemarker.
  • ARAG-Towermarker, at in height, it is Düsseldorf's highest office building; designed by Sir Norman Foster.
  • Eight bridges span the River Rhine at Düsseldorf; they, too, are city landmarks.
  • Eastern pylon of Reisholz Rhine Powerline Crossing, an electricity pylon under whose legs runs a rail

International relations

Twin towns - Sister cities

Düsseldorf is twinned with:

See also

Famous places


  1. Düsseldorf as Germanys economical No. 2 after Frankfurt
  2. Communla Administration of Düsseldorf, 28 of July 2008.
  3. Immobilien Zeitung: Mehr Räume für die große Modenschau vom 28. August 2008, 1st of March 2009.
  4. Weidenhaupt, Hugo: Kleine Geschichte der Stadt Düsseldorf, Triltsch-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1979, ISBN 3-7998-0000-X, (only in German)
  5. Klimaatlas - NRW (1989): Der Minister für Umwelt, Raumordnung und Landwirtschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalens, Düsseldorf.
  6. " Kontakt." LTU International. Retrieved on 21 June 2009.
  7. Prost! The Story of German Beer, Horst D. Dornbusch, Brewers Publications, 1997, pp 109 - 110. ISBN 0937381551
  8. Horst Dornbusch, Altbier. Boulder, CO: Brewers Publications
  9. Fuchschen web page on Weinachtsbier, visited 2007.04.26

External links

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