Düsseldorf

Trip 38 Day 9

The days seem to be passing quickly. We spent today in Düsseldorf, primarily in the Altstadt (old town) and walking along Königsallee. Düsseldorf is the capital of the German state of North Rhine-Wesphalia, the most populous state of Germany and seventh largest city in Germany. Most of the city lies on the right bank of the Rhine (unlike Cologne, which is on the river’s left bank). The part of the city name “Düssel” comes from the Düssel River and “dorf” normally means a small village.

The first written mention of Düsseldorf dates back to 1135, but origins trace back to the 7th-8th century In 1380, the dukes of Berg (a duchy in the Rhineland) moved their seat to the town and Düsseldorf was made regional capital of the Duchy of Berg.

We walked about fifteen minutes from MedienHafen (Medien = Media, creative arts, Hafen = Port since this is the old Düsseldorf port) towards where we’d catch the bus to arrive near Königsallee, using the same 24 hour transit pass we bought yesterday and pausing to wander through an open air market called Carlsplatz (video). Much like the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, but without the Biergarten, there are specialized food vendors of so many varieties of food. From meats, cheese, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and even a stall specializing in potatoes and onions, they have it. Of course there are cafes and fast food stands to go along with this, and being lunchtime, it was busy.

Carlsplatz open air market

Königsallee (“Kö”) is a busy street in central Düsseldorf divided by a canal, lined with trees on both sides, but it’s best known for being the home to high end shopping. The luxury brands are all represented here. We made one small detour to Manufactum. Kind of hard to describe this store; they have home and garden goods, kitchen ware, clothes, etc,, and a cafe. We’ve found them elsewhere in Germany & Austria.

Canal dividing the Königsallee (Kö) The canal and boulevard were completed between 1802 and 1804.
Königsallee, lined with chestnut trees

Of course, we had to add another pin to the HWT (Hermès World Tour) map by visiting Hermès on Königsallee. No little orange boxes were harmed here, principally because you had to have a reservation with a sales assistant to look at anything and no reservations were available until May 3 (today being April 29) and we’ll be gone. There was a sad line of people waiting for their turn.

Later, we walked towards the river and the Altstadt to visit the Basilika Sankt Lambertus. The church was was founded in 1288, the year of the city founding. I found a plaque on the wall with the name and year of each Pfarrer (priest) beginning about 1300.

Basilika St. Lambertus
Twisted spire of St. Lambertus

Legend has it that the devil twisted the church tower as he tried to uproot the church, but the more likely truth is that when the church was rebuilt after a fire in 1815 that destroyed the spire, the renovation was probably done using fresh, damp wood, which resulted in the roof becoming twisted.

From Sankt Lambertus, we walked along the Rhine River back towards where we began our journey this morning, noticing a little group of scooter tourists (video clip) zipping by. Feet getting a bit weary by now, we found ourselves back at the same bus stop from which we began this morning and the bus driver gave us a free ride (no ticket machines on the bus).

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