Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. Düsseldorf is an international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs.
Culturally, Düsseldorf is known for its academy of fine arts, its influence on early electronic music (Kraftwerk) and its large Japanese community. As a city by the river Rhine, Düsseldorf is a stronghold for Rhenish Carnival celebrations. Every year in July more than 4.5 million people visit the city's Largest Fair on the Rhine funfair.
As the seventh most populous city in Germany by population within city limits and an urban population of 1.5 million, Düsseldorf is one of the country's five global cities. The Mercer's 2009 Quality of Living survey of cities with the highest quality of life ranked Düsseldorf sixth worldwide and first in Germany.
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 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.
|Basilica of St Lambertus|
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).
Together with the French city of Dijon, Düsseldorf is known for its mustard served in a traditional pot called "Mostertpöttche", which was eternalised in a still life by Vincent van Gogh in 1884.
Shopping is a must in Düsseldorf - and shopping in the Old Town has its unique flair. Unlike the exclusive shopping boulevard Kö, the Old Town not only invites fashion victims but also bargain hunters to enjoyable shopping sprees. Numerous boutiques offer trendy fashion at a reasonable price as well as original or stylish jewellery. You will find quaint boutiques and specialist shops round the delicatessen market on Karlsplatz and in numerous arcades and lanes.
- Düsseldorf-Hafen means the harbour of Düsseldorf. More than that, Hafen is the name of the Düsseldorf district in which the habour is located. For decades the harbour has been an area of workers, industry and trade. But after the Mannesmann company had discontinued its tube production in Düsseldorf, parts of the central harbour lost their reason for being (another harbour is in Düsseldorf-Reisholz). As a result the eastern part of the harbour started to be redeveloped. Mainly third sector businesses were attracted to move to the Hafen: media companies, but also fashion and design offices. One of the first new residents to the so-called Media Harbour was Westdeutscher Rundfunk with its current affairs TV and radio studios. There is also Düsseldorf's local radio station, Antenne Düsseldorf, in the harbour. CNN used to have an office there. One of the largest cinemas of Düsseldorf is in the Hafen. The Landtag (State parliament) of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Rheinturm are situated right next to the harbour. The Hafen district itself contains some spectacular post-modern architecture, most famously three twisted constructions by Frank Gehry. Other than that there are many restaurants, bars, and a few clubs, which make the Hafen a prominent lifestyle district.
- Kaiserswerth is one of the oldest parts of the City. It is in the north of the city and next to the river Rhine. It houses the Deaconess's Institute of Kaiserswerth where Florence Nightingale studied. The Kaiserpfalz (temporary seat of the Holy Roman Emperor) was built in 1045. In 1062, the archbishop of Cologne, Anno II, kidnapped the underage German King Heinrich IV from here and in this way obtained the unofficial regency of the Holy Roman Empire. At this time the island's name changed from Werth to Kaiserswerth. In 1174, Friederick I Barbarossa moved the Rhine customs collection to Kaiserswerth. The eastern branch of the Rhine around the island silted up connecting Kaiserswerth to the east bank of the river. In 1273, the emperor pledged Kaiserswerth to the Archbishop of Cologne forming a de facto enclave within the Duchy of Jülich-Berg.
- The Rheinturm is a 240.5 metre high concrete telecommunications tower. Construction commenced in 1979 and finished in 1981. The Rheinturm carries aerials for directional radio, FM and TV transmitters. It stands 174.5 metres high and houses a revolving restaurant and an observation deck at a height of 170 metres. It is the tallest building in Düsseldorf. The Rheinturm was inaugurated on 1 December 1981. It contains 7,500 cubic metres of concreteand weighs 22,500 tons. Before October 15, 2004, when an aerial antenna for DVB-T was mounted, it was 234.2 metres high. The observation deck is open to public, daily from 10:00 to 23:30. As a special attraction, there is a light sculpture on its shaft which works as a clock. This sculpture was designed by Horst H. Baumann and is called Lichtzeitpegel (light time level). The light sculpture on the Rheinturm is the biggest digital clock in the world.
- Basilica of St Lambertus. This symbol of Düsseldorf was built in 1394, but the unusual shape of the roof of Sankt Lambertus came about only in 1815. After a fire, the spire had to be re-built; the wood got warped a short time later, and created the famous twist in the roof. According to popular belief, it will straighten itself out again when a virgin gets married in Lambertuskirche. The altar of the basilica holds a shrine with reliquaries of the St. Apollinaris, the city patron. Incidentally, it is his memorial day that is the original reason of the Düsseldorf fair.