January 15, 2012

, , ,

Photos of Düsseldorf, Germany

Part of my 2011 European travel adventures


Düsseldorf, the capital of the German bundesland North Rhine-Westphalia, could be well labeled as Germany's largest village. The name consists of two words, Düssel (a name of a small river) and dorf (meaning village in German). This previously small village near the river Düssel is today one of Germany's biggest cities stretching along the river Rhine. The city is famous for it's trade fair (Messe) and being a hub for Far Eastern companies, especially Japanese, who have here its biggest community in Germany. In addition, Düsseldorf is one of Germany's media centers, has a famous carnival, a very large airport and lots of shopping areas. Most notable landmark is the 240 meters tall Rhine Tower.

1. My impression of Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf would not be my favorite German city. I'm not too fond of the whole Rhine-Ruhr area, which is the biggest urban area in Germany - with over 12 million people. There are so many cities virtually sticking together and Düsseldorf is one of them. The population density is just overwhelming. It's already hard for me in Taipei, but fortunately it's a compact city with a chessboard layout, so it's easier to comprehend. The Rhine-Ruhr area is huge and scattered all over the place. I've been in Düsseldorf twice so far and I still feel I haven't understood, where the city stands among other cities in the area. Compared to Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg, it looks like a small town. There are no real historic landmarks, there is no medieval soul in this city, only in parts I have felt it. On the other hand, it's full of boring generic buildings from the times of West Germany. There are few architectural gems from the 21st century, but they seem very incoherent - they stick out like glassy mushrooms. It doesn't seem to me, that there is a comprehensive plan about in which direction the city wants to go in the near future, but maybe I'm completely wrong. It's just my shallow impression. Another thing I don't like is the public transportation: It's not friendly to outsiders, who come to visit for the first time. There is little explanation, which ticket you need for train or bus. I bought several tickets to the same area and paid different prices. Luckily I wasn't checked, because I was completely clueless about whether I did the right thing. Sure, you can say it's my fault, but then again, it was a piece of cake for me to get used to Hamburg's public transportation. The third thing, that makes Düsseldorf overwhelming for me is the population mix. There were several cases, where people spoke bad German or no German at all. In the evening, I saw a lot of obscure people and a bunch of drunks roaming around. It's hard to get used to this after living in Taipei for so long, but I surely remember this reality from the life back in Slovenia. The city surely has a diverse population, but it's something I'm not used to, not from Slovenia and certainly not from Taiwan. I was wondering, if this is functioning well. Even more so, I was wondering, why so many Japanese settle in this city. Why of all the German cities they choose デュッセルドルフ? What does it make so interesting for them to be here in such great numbers? I've no idea. Düsseldorf gave me more questions than answers this time, but maybe one day I'm lucky enough to meet someone, who will explain everything to me.

2. My photos of Düsseldorf

See my photos from an afternoon walk few days ago:

A typical image.

Stahlhof, today inhabitating a court.

The building was completed in 1908.

This looks like a church.

Small houses in Düsseldorf's center.

Looks like a city in the north a little.

A shopping street.

Must be noisy to live up there.

Are German girls dressing more and more like East Asian girls?

A small square.

Town square with the old Town hall and a statue.

The statue depicts Jan Wellem, a duke from the 17. century.

Schlossturm, the tower of the former castle, its only remain.

The Schlossturm again.

The Düsseldorf skyline.

I was lucky to see the sun coming out behind the clouds - amazing view.

The Rhine.

The Rhine promenade.

And then some images from Düsseldorf's main station or Hauptbahnhof:

The exterior is simple.

Interior as well.

It's easy to find your platform. There are shops and subway entrances.

Düsseldorf's subway or U-Bahn. You can't compare it to Taipei's.

A day before I had the pleasure to go on top the Rheinturm or Rhine Tower.

The observatory was located at 174m. Elevator fee is 4 Eur.

A rotating restaurant is great for a cup of coffee and a nice view of the city and beyond.

3. Düsseldorf in conclusion

I'm still somewhat trying to figure out, what this city is about. There are some nice spots, some cozy cafés with very friendly people. There are a lot of shopping malls, posh streets with branded goods and upscale restaurants. But all in all, I would not choose to travel here. I feel that most foreign visitors come to Düsseldorf, because they have no choice - it must be related to business like in my case or they know someone from here. Neverthe less, I'd still prefer to stay in Düsseldorf instead of Frankfurt, so in case you want to fly to Germany, the Düsseldorf Airport could be a great alternative to Frankfurt for you.

8 comments:

  1. The Japanese came over to work in the motor industry in the mid-late part of the last century. Dusseldorf sucks I'm afraid, but business is business . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Most Germans would also be hard pressed to name a reason for visiting Düsseldorf.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That chicken suit is outrageous! Would love to own one of those.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @FOARP: Good points!

    @Klaus: Yeah... I can see that.

    @Kevintravel: Haha.. I haven't noticed it before you mentioned it :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Before you publish comments about a place you seem to know nothing about "There are no real historic landmarks " you should research a bit deeper, take a guided tour or just generally know more about German history.
    I hope people are not being mislead by reading your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Anonymous: Talking big, but delivering no counter argument. You are misleading people! I posted a lot of photos from central Dusseldorf, where do you see buildings such as Ulm Minster or Munich Rathaus? Do you know what a landmark is? You probably have a very limited vocabulary in English. Most landmarks in Dusseldorf are modern, the Rhineturm being the no 1. Most of the historic buildings were destroyed during the British bombing in 1943, the only building, that would halfway constitute a historic landmark is that small Schlossturm, but there are 10 times smaller German towns that have more impressive historic landmarks than this.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry, I'm from Germany. If you are in Duesseldorf (Dusseldorf), come see the Rhine tower at once: The largest decimal clock in the world.
    largest railway station in North Rhine-Westphalia (16 tracks and 4 subway). In search of old nextdoor you can find very little, since they are second World War II was largely destroyed. But it has beautiful gardens, containing a small castle: Schloss Benrath.
    If you are traveling by train to Wuppertal, where it is elevated railway. She's single best transportation in the world. One should not miss. Every ride is a must. And in Old Town (Dusseldorf) you get almost only beer "dark beer". As in Cologne "Kölsch". In Dusseldorf in February / March celebrating special: Carnival parade. The most Närren (Mitfeiernde) come from the neighboring state of Holland and Belgium, but it also competes with Cologne. One should not miss. Bon Voyage to North Rhine-Westphalia.
    Look to Picture: http://www.google.de/imgres?q=Langlauf+an+der+Rhein&hl=de&newwindow=1&safe=off&biw=1440&bih=734&tbm=isch&tbnid=K_WBEniWJt71rM:&imgrefurl=http://www.bergundtal.com/%3Fattachment_id%3D406&docid=H3wPHLmrfI_URM&itg=1&imgurl=http://www.bergundtal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/D%2525C3%2525BCsseldorf1.jpg&w=534&h=800&ei=UJP-T6ydPMrPtAbw47jzBQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=167&vpy=104&dur=1515&hovh=275&hovw=183&tx=96&ty=160&sig=113738505369255507420&page=1&tbnh=124&tbnw=83&start=0&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:69

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Anonymous: Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete


Please read my comment policy, before you comment.