In early May 2019, I took a short break to Düsseldorf, checking out the city as well as spending some time photographing planes at the airport which is the third busiest in Germany after Frankfurt and Munich, having handled handled 24.3 million passengers in 2018. Dusseldorf Airport is located about 4 miles (7 kilometres) north of the city centre. Aircraft shots and additional information on the city`s airport can be found on a dedicated section: Click here to view.
Base in the city was the Das Carls Hotel in the Altstadt, or Old Town, overlooking the market with the Rhine only a short stroll away. It was ideally situated but, apart from one day, the weather wasn`t great for exploring so I didn`t venture far from the immediate area. There are numerous galleries and museums but the only one I checked out was the small Maritime Museum, most of the others relating to art and ceramics etc.
This work by German sculptor Bert Gerresheim is located at the corner of Joseph-Wimmer-Gasse and Müller-Schlösser-Gasse in the old town. Known as the Stadterhebungsmonument, or City Survey Monument, it commemorates the awarding of city rights to Dusseldorf. Exceptionally detailed, the monument consists of three distinct but interconnected sections, each of which reflect important urban historical events, arranged chronologically one after the other and intended to be read from left to right. These events all occurred in and around Dusseldorf during the 13th century.
The first and most striking section represents the victory won by Duke Johann von Brabant at the Battle of Worringen (5 June 1288). This was the decisive battle of the War of the Limburg Succession, in which John I of Brabant and Archbishop Siegfried II of Cologne fought for the possession of the Duchy of Limburg in what was one of the largest battles in Europe in the Middle Ages. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is remarkable and the intensely brutal slaughter, cruelty and death, are disturbingly represented. The Duke of Brabant`s victory gave Dusseldorf its independence.
The seal of the decree of the city takes pride of place in centre, with the monk, Walter Dodde, goading local farmers to go into battle with their rustic weapons, hammers and sickles. The third section, on the right, glorifies the economic success of the city, This is symbolised by merchandise, agricultural products, beer bottles and crates of groceries, food and especially fish. Furthermore, it shows the seal of the city, which awarded important privileges including Dusseldorf`s right to hold a weekly market with additional fairs in spring and autumn.
The monument was unveiled in 1988 on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Worringen. The complex sculpture makes an excellent subject for photography and I would have liked to have spent more time here but I only managed these shots before the rain came on. Also, I couldn`t get an overall view of all three parts together due to the constant procession of tourists posing in front for selfies!
As the city is one of Europe`s top destinations for Stag and Hen Do`s, don`t be surprised if you see some strange sights - "Hola!" Mexican bandits!
There is a constant procession of river traffic with cargo vessels and barges of all sizes, inland tankers and cruise boats...
Düsseldorf is one of Germany’s most architecturally significant cities but Düsseldorf only grew into a major metropolis after the Second World War. Allied bombing had ravaged nearby Cologne and in the rush to get a functioning centre of government up and running in western Germany after hostilities ended, Düsseldorf was appointed capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Following the British declaration in 1946 that Düsseldorf would become the capital city of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, there were hardly any buildings standing that could house the government so the first meeting of the Landtag or State Parliament, took place at the Düsseldorf Opera House. From there, the government went on to meet at the reconstructed Ständehaus before finally, in 1988, gaining their own purpose-built parliament building. Like with many government buildings in Germany, the architects aimed for a style that reflected the transparency that locals expect to see from their government and as such, is covered in walls of windows. The building takes on a circular shape to avoid corners. Load-bearing walls made of sandstone blend into the natural landscape of the building site right on the Rhine river, and a glass-domed ceiling covers the plenary chambers.
The Rheinturm (Rhine Tower) is a concrete telecommunications tower which was completed in 1981 and carries aerials for directional radio, FM and TV transmitters. At a height of 240.5 metres (789 ft) it is by far the tallest building in Dusseldorf. It houses a revolving restaurant and an observation deck at a height of 170 metres, both of which are open to the public daily from 10:00 hrs to 23:30 hrs. A light sculpture on the shaft works as a clock making it the largest digital clock in the world.
The distant telephoto views of the airport below were taken from the viewing gallery at the top of the Rheinturm. The control tower can be seen directly above the left-hand pillar of the nearest bridge in the wide-angle shot above.
The following slideshow and gallery feature additional birds-eye views of the city...
Due to the intensity of the wartime destruction much of Düsseldorf is either reconstructed or employs modern architectural styles, making the traditional timber-framed houses many associate with Germany a rarity. Buildings which remained standing, like the former parliamentary building now housing the K21 art museum, have been upgraded, in the K21`s case with a modern glass-domed roof. New striking steel-and-glass buildings sprung up around the city, many with unique, head-turning designs.
The Schlossturm (Palace Tower) on the Rhine embankment, is the only preserved section of the city's palace and today houses one of the oldest inland shipping museums in Germany. Displays cover the ecology of the River Rhine, local shipbuilding, trade and travel, with an interesting collection of ship models. Unlike many other European maritime museums, there are no historic vessels moored on the riverbank for visitors to explore or other outside exhibits.
More information can be found on the official website: http://www.freunde-schifffahrtmuseum.de/.
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