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Located in the historic center of the city in Altstadt, Zum Schlüssel, established in the 1850s, is one of the first breweries in the region. As of today, this charming, old, Hausbrauerei Zum Schlüssel offers not only tours of it's facility and informative talks on the art of brewing, but also a wondrous dining venue which features a beautiful beer-garden overlooking Neanderkirche. With their list of freshly drafted beers, brewed on site, they offer delicious home-style food that couples wonderfully with the likes of the Original Schlüssel. This venue is also available for private events and celebrations; check the website for more details.
Sometimes known as 'the longest bar in the world' Dusseldorf's Altstadt - the Old Town - contains some 200 bars, cafés and restaurants. Despite its relatively small size, the crowds flock here at the weekend, filling most of the bars to bursting point. But the Altstadt isn't just for night owls. Row upon row of atmospheric old town houses have been converted into shops and boutiques offering all a discerning shopper could possibly wish for. Culture vultures are also spoilt for choice, with places like the Hetjens Museum, Film Museum, Stadtmuseum, Heinrich Heine Institute and Palais Wittgenstein attracting visitors from far and wide.
Built by Danish architects in 1986 to house the art collection of the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is one of the city's most instantly recognizable landmarks. The collection itself was founded in 1960 when the state bought 88 paintings by Paul Klee. The main part of the collection deals with pre-war art: Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, the Blue Rider and Pittura Metafisica movements as well as Dadaism, Surrealism, Constructiveness, Bauhaus and de Stijl. The second section of the collection features post-1945 art, ranging from Abstract Expressionism to the work of Joseph Beuys.
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) is regarded as one of Germany's greatest writers. The centerpiece of this fascinating institute is an exhibition documenting his life, his work and the influence that he has had upon German literature over the centuries. The library, which includes the manuscript department of the regional and city library, is a starting point for literary research and the archives cover the fields of literature, music, art and science. This unique cultural institution not only allows scholars access to research material, but is also a forum for communication and critical discussion.
Founded in 1993, Dusseldorf's Film Museum is more a fascinating elucidation of the technical side of film-making, than it is a homage to the stars of the silver screen. Visitors can explore the film studio, complete with cameras, microphones and wind machines and learn about the effects of light, in a series of labyrinth-like dark rooms. The museum organizes tours, seminars and workshops and also boasts a library containing some 2,600 films, 200,000 photos, 20,000 posters and 20,000 documents.
When it was built in 1804, the 'Kö', as it is affectionately known to locals, was situated in a slightly run-down area on the edge of the city. As Dusseldorf grew, Königsallee became more central and things really took off after a face-lift at the start of the 20th Century. An underground station was opened, the pavements were widened and the street lamps, kiosks and telephone boxes were restored. Nowadays the boulevard is Dusseldorf's number one shopping street and has enhanced the city's reputation as being one of Europe's major fashion centers.
A masterpiece of modern engineering, Rheinufer Promenade was built in 1995 to help ease traffic congestion in the city centre. With pedestrian and cycle paths stretching 1.5km along the bank of the Rhine from Oberkasseler Bridge to the State Parliament, the street is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll. Rheinufer Promenade has also turned into a popular meeting place, lending the area a holiday-like feel on warm summer evenings. Numerous bars have outdoor terraces—the perfect place to sample an altbier (black beer) and watch the sun slowly set over the Rhine.
A popular favorite in the old town, beer-lovers from all over the world congregate here to sample the local brew. The restaurant even has its own brewery, which produces tasty beers in strict accordance with the German beer purity law. Apart from the beer, Füchschen also offers hearty German food. The menu is filled with traditional dishes like Eisbein with sauerkraut.
The oldest museum in the city, the Stadtmuseum contains a fascinating exhibition about the history of Dusseldorf from the Stone Age to the present day. The main focus is on the rise of the city as an industrial and financial center, but there are also good sections dealing with the Jülich-Kleve-Berg era (14-16th century), the art scene in the Weimar Republic, the effect of the Nazi era and the city today. The exhibition deals with all the city's many facets, including a fashion show featuring clothes from the last three centuries.
Considered to be the oldest garden in the city, the Hofgarten is a magnificent park in the city center. Spread over 27 hectares (67 acres), this greenfield has many significant monuments and sculptures that add character to the park. Designed in keeping with English landscape styles, it has centuries-old meadows, rare trees, ponds and fountains. Dating back to the 16th Century, the Hofgarten was destroyed in the early 1800s and was restored by architect Maximilian Weyhe on Napoleon's orders. One of the key features are the memorials built for fallen soldiers in the park. A stroll through this historic place will not only make one appreciate history but also nature in its bloom.
Museum Kunstpalast contains a wide variety of artwork from the Middle Ages to the present day. Besides its outstanding permanent collection of European paintings and sculptures, the museum is also famous for its Hentrich Glass Museum, which is reputed to be the best glass collection in Germany. Many of the paintings on display are of the Dusseldorf School, which was founded by Wilhelm von Schadow at the beginning of the 19th Century. The museum contains works by noteworthy artists such as Ferdinand Wilhelm Schirmer, Carl Friedrich Lessing, Wilhelm Preyer, Alfred Rethel, Johann Peter Hasenclever and Oswald Achenbach.
The Botanischer Garten belongs to The University of Düsseldorf and is primarily used for teaching and research purposes, although it is also open to the general public. The focal point is the 18 meter (59 feet) high green-house which accommodates plants from the Mediterranean and regions with a similar climate. Other parts of the garden are arranged according to ecological origins. The garden is well worth the trip out to the southern suburbs and is not just a place for die-hard botany fans.