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Dusseldorf History, Germany

Dusseldorf is the capital of North Rhine Westphalia, and one of the most vibrant cities in Germany. Dusseldorf is known as a center of arts, knowledge and technology, and all in all it is a perfect holiday spot for tourists who are interested in seeing and experiencing new things. The old city centre of Dusseldorf, the Altstadt, is full of interesting architecture by day, and bars and clubs at night. Someone who’s touring the Altstadt at night on the lookout o a novel café or restaurant might never even imagine that the streets and districts of the place all have a story to tell. Discover more about Dusseldorf’s fascinating past with the help of this Dusseldorf History Guide.

Dusseldorf History - Foundation and early history

Although the first written records of Dusseldorf date back to the 12th century, the first signs of settlement in the area became apparent around the 7th century AD. During the Roman occupation, a few Germanic tribes obstinately clung to their territories on the banks of the Rhine, and at the dawn of the Frankish Empire, a few small fishing villages were already flourishing at the confluence of River Dussel and the Rhine. Dusseldorp, as it was called at the time, was not terribly important until the 13th century. In fact, the Frankish king, Barbarossa, was more preoccupied with fortifying the nearby town of Kaiserswerth, which became a district of Dusseldorf in the 20th century. In 1288 was already the seat of the rulers of the state of Berg, and it was granted town privileges. The archbishop of Cologne attempted to seize Dusseldorf, but failed, and even today it is said that there is a bit of a rivalry between the two towns. In the 17th century Dusseldorf changed hands to the Counts of Palatinate-Neuburg, who later became the Electors Palatine.

Dusseldorf History - Modern history and present

The 19th century was not particularly auspicious for Dusseldorf, mainly because of the Napoleonic Wars that reduced the city to poverty. After the defeat of Napoleon, Dusseldorf, as well as other major Rhineland cities such as Bonn, Heidelberg or Mainz, were given to Prussia. The industrial revolution restored much of Dusseldorf’s former glory, but World War II bombings razed the city to the ground. After the end of the war, Dusseldorf became the new capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the city underwent extensive reconstruction work. Nowadays, Dusseldorf is one of the most pleasant and exciting tourist destinations in Germany, a wealthy city that has completely recovered from its troubled history.

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Dusseldorf City Ratings

  • Rating73%
    City Rank203
  • History & Culture: rated for 60%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 80%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 55%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 55%
  • Food: rated for 90%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 60%
  • Shopping: rated for 100%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 90%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 60%
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