Dortmund is a city in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region and is the administrative, commercial and cultural center of eastern Ruhr area. A pleasant city to explore, it is also home to many cultural and educational institutions, museums, theaters, music venues.
The site is known to be as old as the Neolithic era, and named in writings as the Dorpmunde. It attained the status of Imperial Free city in 13th century and was one of the chief cities of the Hanseatic League.
Dortmund was heavily bombed during the 2nd World War. More than 98% of the buildings of the Inner center were destroyed, and the city lost its magnificence. But with the onset of industrialization, it rose again and became one of the most important coal, steel and beer centers of Germany. Population rose and it attained the status of a city.
In 1950, with the end of 150 years of coal mining, the city flourished into a hi-tech industrial center.
Dortmund Tourist Attractions
Previously a town of coal and steel mines, this “Green Metropolis“ has numerous waterways, woodland, architecture and spacious beautiful parks, standing as a dark contrast to the years of mining. If you are in the mood of exploring the city, start off right away. Here are some spots you might not want to miss.
- Alter Market and Altes Stadthaus: In the center of the ancient town, it is the area where the tradesmen displayed their wares back in 12th century. Now it is a very famous shopping center. You will also see the Old fountain, the old Civic Hall (Altes Stadthaus) with a large eagle at the facade. Nearby lies the Berswordt Hall (the Town Hall).
- St. Reinold’s Church is a 104-meter-tall building above the market square also known as Reinoldikirche, named after the city’s patron saint, Reinold. Do not miss the splendid view of the city from the top of this tower and the 6 steel bells at the top weighing 20 tones. Other churches which you can consider visiting are St. Mary’s along with the Petrikirche with famous glided figures.
- Westfalen Park covers 175 acres and can easily be considered as one of the largest green spaces in the city. It has attractions like the tall Television Tower (Fernsehturm), the revolving restaurant located at a height of 138 meters, German Rosarium with more than 2600 varieties of roses, the Ice Stadium and the biggest football stadium in Europe – Westfalenstadion.
- Zollern Colliery which is now under the Westphalian Industrial Museum, is a disused coal mine with amazing architecture and red brick facades. Other such sites include the Graf Wittekind Visitor’s Mine and the Hansa Coking plant.
- Hohensyburg: About 12 km south of the city is castle built as early as in the 8th century. The ruins of the castle include quarters which were previously used for residential purposes, old wall remnants and also a war memorial. It is a trail that hikers love covering. Beneath the crag is an artificial lake named the Hengsteysee.
- Wasserschloss Haus Rodenberg is the most amazing example of Renaissance architecture, surrounded on 3 sides by a moat and overlooks a lake. It was built in 1290, though later converted into a water castle. It is near the Aplerbeck U-bahn Station.
These are not all. You can also visit other popular spots like the Depot, the Transport Museum, Haus Dellwig, and several other museums. Tourist guides are available to accompany you in exploring this pedestrian-friendly city.