Germany’s Green Metropolis
Dortmund is a major business and cultural centre in North Rhine/Westphalia, in north-western Germany. Although its heritage is principally industrial, it’s known as the Green City, due to the waterways, woodland and parks which cover half of its area. After a major fire, the city was rebuilt in 1152 by Frederick I; it grew in importance as a coal and steel producing city, until Allied bombers destroyed most of the homes during the Second World War. The main churches, Reinoldkirche and Marienkirche partially survived and have been restored to their original medieval splendor. Dortmund is dominated by the 220m high television tower, with its observation rooms and revolving restaurant. Explore the region’s past on the Industrial Heritage Route, which features 52 sites of interest, museums and panoramic routes. For a more romantic trip, tour the 13th Century moated castles at Bodelschwing, Dellwig and Rodenberg.
Enjoy the local specialities of a Stosschen (speciality beer) and Salzkuchen mitt Mett (a savoury snack). Go skiing at nearby Winterberg and watch the famous soccer team, Borussia Dortmund at the “temple of football”, Westphallen Stadium. Browse the stores at one of the many large shopping centres.
When to go?
Dortmund enjoys warm summers and mild, cloudy winters. It has one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe. The city hosts over 50 exhibitions every year, from Hunting and Fishing to Model Making. A summer visit will allow you to enjoy the 3,000 species of rose on show at the Rosarium.
How to get there?
Dortmund Airport (DTM) lies 13km to the east of the city centre, which can be reached in half an hour by shuttle-bus, service bus or taxi. Low cost carriers using the airport include easyJet operating flights to London Luton, Barcelona, Budapest, Krakow and Thessaloniki. Dortmund is also well served by Autobahns and by the railway.
Take a ride on the H-Bahn, a hanging monorail. Visit the Hohensyburg to see the ruins of the Vincke Tower and for panoramic views of the Ruhr Valley. Go to the former Gestapo headquarters at Steinwache to see the exhibition “Resistance and Persecution in Dortmund, 1933-45”. Tour the Museum of Art and Cultural History, the Museum of Natural History or the 20th/21st Century Museum am Ostwall. Dortmund also has a zoo and 3 parks.
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