Top tourist attractions in Dortmund
Dortmund, the largest city in Westphalia, is located on the eastern edge of the Ruhr region in the Fertile Hellweg area. The city has long been the centre of Germany’s coal and steel industries, a heritage celebrated in various excellent museums and attractions. Despite the importance of the city’s industry, visitors are drawn here by its many open spaces and parks: half the town is made up of forested areas, farmland and parks, as well as numerous waterways. Consequently, it is a pleasant city to explore on foot, with one of Germany’s highest densities of pedestrian-friendly city markets. Dortmund is also well known for its famous football team, Borussia Dortmund, founded in 1909. It is one of the most successful clubs in Europe and has the continent’s largest stadium and largest regular attendance. A museum, the Borusseum, celebrates their successes. Continue reading this post on the Escort Service Website.
Alter Markt and Altes Stadthaus
The central feature of Dortmund’s Old Town is the Alter Markt, the old market, a large pedestrian area that can trace its roots back to the 12th century when merchants and town traders would display their wares here. It remains a popular shopping area today and is home to many shops, boutiques and galleries, as well as cafes and restaurants. Historical points of the square are the old fountain, added in 1901 as a trough for animals, and the Old Civic Hall or Altes Stadthaus, a neo-renaissance building built in 1899. A notable feature of the building’s facade is the giant eagle representing the city of Dortmund. Another old building nearby worth seeing is Berswordt Hall, the Town Hall.
St. Reinold’s Church
The dominant domain of Dortmund is the church of St. Reinold (Reinoldikirche), the 104-meter high tower visible for miles around. Begun in the 13th century and not completed until 1454, the church is named after Dortmund’s patron saint, Reinold. It stands above the market square where the historic Helweg route passed through Dortmund.
Follow the tower for its stunning views across the city and to see the church’s six steel bells, weighing around 20 tons and added in 1954 during reconstruction after World War II. Other urban churches worth visiting are the 12th century St. Mary’s, home of the Marienaltar by the Dortmund master Konrad de Soest and the Petrikirche, built in the 14th century and famous for its beautiful altar with 633 gilded figures, made in Antwerp in 1521.
One of eight former industrial sites now included under the umbrella of the Westphalian Industrial Museum, Zollern Colliery is a disused coal mine renowned for its stunning architecture, particularly the facades of the main building. The best of these is the Engine Hall, built in 1904, with one of the most incredible Art Nouveau entrances in Germany. Along with its tall steel structures, it highlights exhibits detailing the conditions faced by workers, as well as numerous artefacts and machinery (guided tours are available in English).
Other associated attractions include the Graf Wittekind Visitor Mine on the site of three coal mines used from the 16th to 20th centuries with demonstrations of mining techniques. Also worth a visit, the Hansa Coking Station, a still operational facility that turns coal into coke, offers a unique insight into this fascinating process.
Covering 175 acres, Dortmund’s Westfalenpark is one of the city’s largest and most popular green spaces. The park is home to several attractions, including the 212-meter-tall Television Tower (Fernsehturm), affectionately known to locals as Florian. Its revolving restaurant, at 138 meters, has excellent city views. The German Rosarium is a gorgeous display of over 2,600 varieties of roses that can be explored along a pleasant walking path. Westfalenpark is also where you’ll find the massive Dortmund Fairgrounds, the Ice Skating and Skating Stadium, and the Westfalenstadion, Europe’s largest soccer stadium and home to Borussia Dortmund. Another nearby park of interest is Rombergpark, home to the city’s botanical gardens and Dortmund Zoo.
About 12 kilometres south of Dortmund, in a wooded valley above the Ruhr Valley, Hohensyburg or Syburg is an old castle complex dating back to the 8th century. The castle ruins seen today date from around 1100 and includes two large rooms, the former living quarters and the remains of the old wall. A more recent addition is the war memorial, added in 1930 to commemorate the fallen of the First World War. A popular hiking destination, the hill also has several other attractions, including the Vincketurm, a 26-meter-tall tower and panoramic views of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial, built-in 1902. Below the crag is the Hengsteysee, an artificial lake formed by the construction of a dam in 1928.
Dortmund U and Depot
In addition to its industrial past, Dortmund also has several essential attractions, focusing on its rich cultural heritage. Probably the most important – certainly the most visible – is Dortmund U, an old former factory now transformed into a centre of artistic and creative activity. Highlights include the work of local and regional artists and film producers, and photographers. The building is also home to the Ostwall Museum, a fine collection of 20th-century paintings, objets d’art, sculptures and graphic art, and works by the expressionist group Die Brücke. Another vital centre for art is DEPOT. In a former tram workshop, DEPOT is home to over 40 creative businesses, offering various activities and cultural events, from exhibitions to films, markets and fairs, as well as theatre performances and workshops.
Transport Museum and Mooskamp station
If you like vintage vehicles, don’t miss the excellent collection of old trams at the Dortmund Local Transport Museum in Mooskamp station. The oldest trams included in these fascinations of the city’s century-old transit system date back to the early 1900s. From Dortmund, these old trams headed deep into the Rhur Valley, transporting workers to the region’s mines, coke plants and factories’ steel.
Also of interest is the Motor Museum, home to a collection of fine vintage vehicles, including Jaguars and Ferraris, and displays related to the development of the German automotive industry.