This is Düsseldorf!!

Again, this is a memorable visit of many anecdotes on my first ever visit to Dusseldorf in neighboring Germany. I like to update/revise text and refresh links on this original old post from 2018, however the pictures first time in my blog are from 2011!!. Hope you enjoy it ,and thanks for reading me over the years!

The idea of going to Germany was always in our minds and we eventually got there on several times. However, the start was slow; after Trier, I had a business trip to Düsseldorf and it became and still is the only time needed an airplane to get there!  Düsseldorf has been buried in my blog for a long time and I like to give it a new fresh air to this wonderful city of many nice funny memories.

The funny part I remember well was that in our group someone got the idea for dinner out in the city and reserved a restaurant Brauerie Schumacher was it. We of course, speak no German ,so we figure we can go out and find the place. We walked a lot followed other groups thinking they knew where was the restaurant ,when in fact, they were lost too!!! lol! We tried several places that the name looks close until we finally arrived at the restaurant above and dinner was half way going, of course we stayed for the rest !! yeah!

Anyway these were the restaurants for the memories’ sake (see post) The bars were full, we had a great time at the Intercontinental Hotel lobby bar, and then went on to check out the two next ones that are a must for everyone visiting the city. For the best steaks western style and wines galore head for the The Classic Western Steakhouse, Tubmannstrr 12 , Tel +49 (0211) 20031507. top US beef with sound of country music and old western photos all over the walls,huge and delicious. The next evening we went for old German chow, of beef and potatoes and green beens at a place where the beer never stop coming, I had ten glasses, and it was delicious, we walk home lol! This was at Brauerie Schumacher, Oststr 123, Tel +49 (0211) 828 9020. A brewery there since 1838, pub with beautiful wood carvings. The airport was great too, very clean, and friendly even without speaking German. I try the resto on the travel gallery on the E3 level , Das Gasthaus , more chow, this time flaky meaty fish, mashed potatoes, and the same nutty walnut cake type with a large Becks beer lol!



Another funny sequence for me was that I was a top contributor in a travel forum now gone called Virtual Tourist, and I asked in the forum how to get to the hotel from the airport as I was reaching the city by airplane (first and only time because afterward been with my car ::)) . Of course, in this forum , you know, reason not on any now; the gang suggested for me to take the S-Bahn or something like that. Well for this road warrior first time in a city that was a bit too much. I remember walking out of the airport thinking on what I was told on public transport ,and instinctly just walked out to get a taxi lol! This was about 21€ but it was the most talkative funny guy ever in English! Of course, the way back took a taxi too, sublime.

Now a bit on the city of Dusseldorf itself!

Düsseldorf is the capital and the second largest city in the Lande of North Rhine-Westphalia, located mainly on the right bank of the Rhine river, it lies at the western limits of the vast agglomeration of Rhine-Ruhr.  The town is located on the Rhine, at the confluence of the Düssel, a small river in the valley of which was discovered in 1856 in a cave the skeleton of what is now called the man of Neanderthal and is located in the neighboring town of Erkrath. Düsseldorf  means the  “village of Düssel”.

Düsseldorf International Airport is located 8 km north of the city center and is very nice and easy to navigate,  the airport is connected directly to the central train station of the city by the S-Bahn Rhine Ruhr (Metro/Regional train) in about 12 minutes. There is a  suspended monorail, the Skytrain, connecting the 3 terminals to Düsseldorf Flughafen station, where many ICE trains stops. The largest station of the city is however the Central station right in the city center.  The roads I find out in later trip are very good and fast just like I like them ,to the west, the A57 highway, which connects Cologne to Nijmegen in the Netherlands, to the east, the A3, one of Germany’s longest highways, since it extends from the Dutch border (Arnhem) to the Austrian border (Passau) on nearly 750 km. To the north and south, respectively the A44 direction Liège in Belgium and the A46 join the A57 to the north and south of Neuss, the great neighbouring city of Düsseldorf and the A3. The Taxis are strictly regulated, and very good deal, I took them for this trip and they were superb.

Now, a bit of history I like

Erected in town in 1288, Düsseldorf was a long time the capital of the Duchy of Juliers-Berg; with this, the city passed under the domination of the Palatine counts, which, by inheritance, became the 17C and 18C of Latin and Bavaria voters. The first written mention of Düsseldorf (then called Dusseldorp in the local Low Rhenish dialect) dates back to 1135. Under Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa , the small town of Kaiserswerth to the north of Düsseldorf became a well-fortified outpost, where soldiers kept a watchful eye on every movement on the Rhine river . Kaiserswerth eventually became a suburb of Düsseldorf in 1929. Bombarded by the French in 1795, which razed the fortifications, transformed today into parks and avenues, the city became the capital of the Grand Duchy of Berg, which had Murat and Napoleon Bonaparte as sovereigns. It was returned to Bavaria by the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, and passed with the Grand Duchy of Berg to Prussia in 1815.

Some of the key dates on Dusseldorf are:

1773, the oldest academy of Fine Arts in Europe is founded.
1795, the French Revolutionary army bombarded the city and razed its fortifications, which were then transformed into parks and avenues. 1797 ,birth in Düsseldorf of the poet Heinrich Heine who writes in 1827 “The city of Düsseldorf is very beautiful, and when in the distance we think of it and that by chance we were born, we feel all funny. I was born there, and in those cases I think I have to go home right now. And when I say go home, I mean the Bolkerstrasse and the house where I was born… »

1805, Napoleon created the Grand Duchy of Berg within the framework of the Confederation of the Rhine and designated as capital Düsseldorf. The Dukes of Berg housed in a castle town where he hosted Joachim Murat and Jérôme Bonaparte. 1815, after the fall of the French Empire of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna established that the whole duchy should be part of Prussia. 1921-1925, in the context of the occupation of the Rhineland after WWI,  French troops stayed in the city.

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Düsseldorf in mid-April 1945. The United States 97th Infantry Division easily captured the city on 18 April 1945,  after the local Nazi resistance group launched Aktion Rheinland.  At the end of the war 50%  of the buildings were destroyed, 90% damaged.  1946, the British military government raised the city to the rank of capital of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.  The city is then rebuilt and becomes the administrative center of the region.

Some of the things to see and do here are

In the 19C, the Academy of Fine Arts, under the impetus of Wilhelm von Schadow, made Düsseldorf both one of the major artistic centers of Germany and a pole of European romantic and realistic art. We are talking about a school in Düsseldorf.  At the same time, Düsseldorf is also associated with an essential artist of Romanticism in another field, music. The city appointed Robert Schumann Generalmusikdirektor (something like Music Director). He lived there with his wife Clara Wieck, a composer and pianist, from 1850 to 1854. It was in Düsseldorf that he created his last symphony, Symphony No. 3, called “Rhine”. The highly visited Museum Kunstpalast and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, which brings together the K20 and the K21 are some of the notable museums in town. By the city center you have the Church of Saint Andrews built in 1667; the  Düsseldorf racecourse for horses, the  Basilica of St. Margaret, the Church-Bunker, and the Church of St. Cecilia.

Düsseldorf is a very active city with good ambiance and old world town area vibrant with restos and beer pubs.  It is also of course known for beer. The local one is known as the 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  yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer. The name “altbier” first appeared in the 19C  to differentiate the beers of Düsseldorf from the new pale lager that was gaining a hold on Germany . In the city ,there are five pub-breweries which brew Altbier on the premises, these are  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.

One of the biggest cultural events in Düsseldorf is the  Karneval or Carnival which starts every year on 11 November in the morning., and reaches its climax on Rosenmontag or Rose Monday, featuring a huge parade through the streets of Düsseldorf.  The Carnival ends on aschermittwoch or Ash Wednesday. The local tradition of the Radschläger or Cartwheelers is said to be the city’s oldest tradition .This tradition was honored in 1954 by the erection of a fountain, called Cartwheeler’s Fountain, on the Burgplatz square.  Every Christmas, the city of Düsseldorf uses the city center to host one of the largest Christmas gatherings in Germany. The Christmas festival occurs every year from 17 November until 23 December. OF course all these dates are to be check on your trip here.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The City of Dusseldorf on things to see in English:

The Tourist office of Dusseldorf:

An interesting webpage on the Franco-German Circle of Dusseldorf in French/German of course:

It was a memorable trip and nostalgia says I should go back, will see when possible. If not as we say memories forever and thanks for reading me and to have a blog to keep these memorable travels. However, recommended for all visiting Germany.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

2 Comments to “This is Düsseldorf!!”

  1. Great history lesson. It looks like an interesting city.

    Liked by 1 person

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