The Rhineland: Places to Explore



Düsseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine–Westphalia, may suffer by comparison to Köln's remarkable skyline, but the elegant city has more than enough charm—and money—to keeps its own self-esteem high. By contrast to Cologne’s boisterous, working-class charm, Düsseldorf is known as one of the country’s richest cities, with an extravagant lifestyle that epitomizes the economic success of postwar Germany. Because 80% of Düsseldorf was destroyed in World War II, the city has since been more or less rebuilt from the ground up—and that includes re-creating landmarks of long ago and restoring a medieval riverside quarter.

At the confluence of the Rhine and Düssel rivers, this dynamic city started as a small fishing town. The name means "village on the Düssel," but obviously this Dorf is a village no more. Raised expressways speed traffic past towering glass-and-steel structures; within them, glass-enclosed shopping malls showcase the finest clothes, furs, jewelry, and other goods that money can buy.


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