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Carpatair Destinations: Düsseldorf – Always top of the list. Part 1

 Düsseldorf city

Düsseldorf is a city of the superlative, in both Germany and the world. There are practically no lists of the world’s best cities that do not include Düsseldorf. The famous Forbes list placed it on the fourth position, above all other German cities, in terms of financial power and quality of life. Perhaps that is why designers who are famous all over the world open luxury retail stores over here. Düsseldorf could even be considered Germany’s Capital of Fashion. There is a whole boulevard here dedicated exclusively to renowned designer shops. The boulevard is named Konigsallee – King’s Avenue, but locals also call it the “Shopping Mile”. Brand after brand, one boutique after another, you can find them all here, lined up along a statute mile. The alley is bordered by over 200 trees, a reflection of the locals’ passion for nature. The economic crisis has not had too much of an impact on Düsseldorf. In 2010, the Mercer agency ordered a survey regarding the quality of life in some of the world’s major cities during the crisis. Düsseldorf again made the list, as it is the German city with the highest quality of life. As a matter of fact, it ranks number six in the world and number three in Europe. The only European cities ranked higher are Vienna and Zurich. Unsurprisingly, two other German cities follow Düsseldorf, with an equal number of points: Munich and Frankfurt. The city is also high on the European list of cities with the best infrastructure.

Düsseldorf is the third, after Munich and Copenhagen, but ranked higher that the notorious London and Paris. It is enough to take a look at the famous Sky Train, the suspended monorail system connecting the airport to the city, to see why the infrastructure in Düsseldorf is so well praised. Although the city has a powerful industry and is known for the millions of visitors who attend fairs and traditional exhibitions every year, Düsseldorf remains a green location. The center of the city is accessible by car only under certain conditions. You must have a “green passport”, which costs between 5 and 10 euro, depending on the type of car that you drive. The passport is only issued for cars with particle filters designed to nullify emissions. Such a filter can cost up to 400 euro, but will significantly reduce the harmful emissions of the vehicle. Keep in mind that the fine for not having a green passport can be as much as 40 euro. Unless your car is equipped with the special device, avoid the city center.

The City’s Festivities

In spite of the German people’s proverbial seriousness, the city offers plenty of opportunities to have fun. A great place to let off steam is the Carnival, called Fasching, which occurs immediately before Lent. Unlike South American parades, German festivities are full of color, but less exotic. They have a penchant for irony, often directed at politicians and other state officials.

The largest parade, with more than a million participants, took place in Düsseldorf in 2010, and featured giant dolls portraying politicians in funny hypostases.

Although it seems to be a forward-looking city, Düsseldorf has not forgotten its history. From April to September, the city is flooded with tourists looking for its medieval charm. The historic city center is rich in buildings whose 1400s architecture has been carefully preserved, and the locals are all very fond of everything medieval. There are no fewer than 50 festivals centered on medieval archers. Using their bows and arrows or their guns, the people of Düsseldorf have always proven their skills as unmatched marksmen. Medieval archery clubs continue to exist to this day, and the most popular carnival of the summer, frequented by over a million people, is organized by these associations. “The Largest Fair on the Rhine” (Ed. Größte Kirmes am Rhein) is a fun fair that draws more than 4 million tourists to Düsseldorf every single year. It is the largest festivity in Germany and occurs during the third week of July, on the left bank of the Rhine, in the Düsseldorf-Oberkassel district. Tourists can enjoy tens of beer varieties and local or foreign dishes. Little ones can try the ingenious rides in the amusement parks and the snacks sold by street merchants. This large party lasts for 9 days, and it boasts a varied program of events and activities, including traditional city parades, a famous shooting competition for young ones (every year, the winner is crowned “King of the city” in the balcony of the city hall) and a majestic fireworks show on the banks of the Rhine.

The patron saint of the city is not forgotten either. St. Martin’s Festival takes place on November 10. The former Roman centurion is remembered for giving his coat to a beggar during one extremely cold winter. The people of Düsseldorf created an entire parade to celebrate this simple act of generosity. An actor portraying the saint rides a horse through the city. He is followed by a convoy of children and adults holding lanterns. The climax occurs once the procession has reached city hall: all the participants take off their coats and give them away.

Images Düsseldorf:

Sights of Düsseldorf: Jan Wellem

Views of Düsseldorf

Până acum există "1 comentariu" la acest articol:

  1. Zachery says:

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