The famous Altstadt is a wondrous square kilometre that has more to offer than any other district in Düsseldorf.
This is where the waiters (“Köbesse”) are diamonds in the rough, where the next beer comes without it being ordered and where pork knuckles are a staple of people’s diet as well as where tales are told and tranquillity goes hand in hand with the city’s hustle and bustle. More than 260 pubs line the “longest bar in the world”: local breweries, lounges, cocktail bars, electro-clubs and sophisticated ambiences – this is the place to find the venue to suit your personal taste.
But it’s not only body and soul that will feel great in Düsseldorf’s Altstadt: the district will also provide intellectual stimulation because this is where most of the state capital’s art and cultural venues are to be found. The major Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, the innovative NRW-Forum, the venerable Museum Kunstpalast and the Filmmuseum, which has even been praised by Hollywood greats, are just a few of the many museums that leave an impression on visitors. Düsseldorf also has many important performance venues: the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Opera House), the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus (Theatre) and the Tonhalle (Concert Hall) all bear witness to Düsseldorf’s reputation as an international centre for the arts and culture.
Düsseldorf’s centre is also home to some of the city’s most beautiful churches. For instance, the Sankt Lambertus Basilika, which was first built in the 13th century, and which with its twisting spire helps make Düsseldorf’s skyline unique. In conjunction with the Schlossturm (Castle Tower) and the River Düssel, the basilica remains part of the Old Town’s original core. This church’s parish altar also houses a shrine containing relics of Saint Apollinaris, the city’s patron saint. St. Maximilian and St. Andreas are also always worth a visit! (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
The mighty castle of the Count of Berg and the later Dukes of Jülich – Kleve – Berg stood at this place. Nowadays, a former side tower of a later baroque palace is all that remains.
The palace burned down in 1872, the ruins were completely demolished in 1888. Since the opening of the Rhine embankment tunnel (1995), Burgplatz – awarded a prize as one of the most beautiful squares of post-war Germany – is again situated directly on the Rhine.
The old castle tower houses the SchifffahrtMuseum (shipping museum), which shows 2000 years of navigation on the Rhine. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
Over an area of 19,000 sqm, this classic car centre presents the most beautiful vehicles in the history of motoring. The listed building with its unique architecture was designed in 1930 as a roundhouse, i.e. the arriving steam locomotives were parked on a gigantic turntable in the respective garage and then serviced.
The former roundhouse now presents itself as a “living” museum.
Cars are delivered, repaired and sold. There are also glassed-in garages in which tenants park their cars throughout the year. This means that among the around 300 vehicles, one can also see cars that can otherwise only be admired in museums. Some visitors also travel here with an unusual vehicle. Temporary exhibitions offer regular visitors some exciting new sights. The portfolio of this classic car paradise is rounded off with shops selling all things car-related, an event restaurant, a bistro and a beer garden. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
The EKŌ-House – since 1993 a centre for japanese culture – consists of a Buddhist temple (the only Japanese temple in Europe), Japanese garden, a traditional house with tea room and, since 1999, another building including a library and an international kindergarten.
The most important function of the EKŌ-House is the cultural exchange between East and West: Japanese citizens cultivate their traditions and allow local citizens the unique opportunity to participate.
The library offers departments of literature (incl. a collection of children’s books), music and visual art. The science department focusses on establishing a collection on research into Buddhism.
Two publications of the EKŌ-House aim to get the public acquainted with its work : the scientific magazine “Horin. Comparative studies on Japanese culture”, and the semi-annual information leaflet “EKŌ-Blätter”. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
The Rheinhafen centre of arts and the media by Frank O. Gehry (USA) consists of three contrasting building complexes and appears like a gigantic sculpture.
The different materials chosen give each complex its own identity. The outer material of the central building reflects the buildings on its northern and southern side, thus creating a link between the three.
The Gehry buildings are considered Düsseldorf’s new landmark. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
Heinrich Heine (1797 – 1856), considered the most important German poet between Romanticism and Realism, was born in the rear part of the property.
Restored in 2006, the birthplace of Heinrich Heine is a centre for literature called ‘Heine Haus’ which is run collaboratively by the bookshop Literaturhandlung Müller & Böhm together with the city of Düsseldorf and the association Förderverein Heine Haus e.V. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
The history of the Kunstsammlung NRW began in 1960, when the state government bought a collection of 88 works by the painter Paul Klee. The Klee collection is the basis of the foundation “Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen”, established in 1961 by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Focal point of this collection are works of art from before 1945, beginning with: Fauvism, Expressionism and the ‘Blue Rider’, Cubism and the “pittura metafisca”.
The prevailing schools of the Twenties and Thirties are Dadaism and Surrealism with their counterpoles, Constructivism, Bauhaus and “De Stijl”.
The second department of the collection is dedicated to works of art from after 1945, ranging from Abstract Expressionism in the USA and in Europe to Joseph Beuys.
In addition to this collection, there are frequent changing exhibitions. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
The building ensemble designed by Daniel Libeskind confirms and recognizes the urban planning vision and the determination to redesign the heart of downtown Düsseldorf and to lengthen the Königsallee. The Kö-Bogen is here the first milestone for further measures, which will bring a new modern urbanity to the city center between Schauspielhaus, Dreischeibenhaus, Hofgarten and Johannes Church.
For the area around the former Jan-Wellem Platz, star architect Daniel Libeskind of New York has designed a two-part building ensemble that are occupied by premium flagship stores of international top brands, unique store concepts as well as cafés and restaurants. As an international architectural icon situated in the heart of the state’s capital Düsseldorf, the Kö-Bogen has already made a name for itself far beyond the region. Internationally operating top brands such as Apple, Graf von Faber-Castell, Porsche Design, Hallhuber, Laurèl, Joop!, Rüschenbeck, Unique, Windsor and Strenesse as well as the fashion and lifestyle company Breuninger made sure to secure their leases early on.
The Kö-Bogen is considered the “project of the century” for Düsseldorf. All tenants stand authentically for premium, luxury and lifestyle shopping in new and lively quarters. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
In contrast to other cities, when modernising its harbour, Düsseldorf didn’t just attempt to wipe the slate clean, but decided to treat each lot individually and adapt it to its future users.
Which meant that its docklands weren’t forced into a uniform corset. Instead such internationally famous architects as Frank O. Gehry, David Chipperfield, Joe Coenen, Steven Holl and Claude Vasconi were given an empty canvas to make their creative contribution to the skyline.
Listed and protected warehouses were equipped with modern high-tech media, old rooms were given new outfits. But in spite of all the modernisation work, the area still retains the ambience of a harbour. The commercial harbour with its quay walls, stairways, cast-iron bollards, wrought-iron railings and rail tracks with cranes laid along the old loading road have been protected as historical monuments.
Many companies in the MedienHafen provide high-quality services and know-how. Around 700 companies are now located where just ten years ago a waste ground dominated by depressing derelict warehouses only existed. These businesses now enjoy the unique working conditions that proximity to the river offers and benefit from the MedienHafen’s image. Its reputation as an “architectural mile” and innovative office location has spread: 76 % of the companies located here have their headquarters in the MedienHafen.
The MedienHafen also plays in the premier league of culinary experiences: from the exquisite “Berens am Kai” with Michelin star through the “most golden” curry sausage in Düsseldorf to a cosy cocktail in the evening – the owners of the bars and restaurants have learnt to cater to a heterogeneous clientele which during the day comprises business customers and in the evening is made up of fashionable in-crowds. They all meet up later to party at the futuristic Club 3001 with its strange and weird 3D visuals. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
The extraordinary building consists of two rhombic parallel glass towers with 16 floors and 3 connecting attic floors. The outer facade follows the principle of ‘structural glazing’, the inner one consists of wings of room-height , some of which are fixed and some of which can be opened.
The two gate towers are arranged such that one has an all-round view from inside. Each floor has a surface of 750 m². Due to the double glass facade and a completely new air-conditioning and ventilating system, incidental expenses are 70 % lower than with conventional full air-conditioning. The natural ventilation of the inner space of the facade creates a climatic buffer and supplies fresh air to the offices. Even with extreme summer heat, room temperatures remain pleasant due to a cooling system extracting cold air from the soil .
At the real estate exhibition MIPIM in Cannes in 1998, the building was awarded the ‘oscar of architecture’ as object of the year and the special prize of the jury as best office building. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)
The Wehrhahn Line is a subway line in the very heart of Düsseldorf that was developed on the basis of intense cooperation between architects, artists, engineers and the municipal authorities from the very outset.
It is widely recognized as constituting a new model for collaborative construction. What was implemented was a holistic concept of a subway tunnel as an “underground spatial continuum” that writhes like a giant snake through the earth, widening at the stations. The entrances to the six new stations are unique and spectacularly designed cuts in this continuum – picturesque, sculptural, interactive, acoustic, interstellar and geometric interventions that are inseperable from the shell geometries of the construction. (Source: Düsseldorf Tourismus)