Dusseldorf 2013 - The Old Town

Before going to Dusseldorf I had totally no idea of what to expect. It is listed as the 7th largest city in Germany in terms of population, and is one of its important financial and business centres. It is not on the radar of most International tourists, and neither is it on the radar for design or architecture. Yet during my pre-trip research I discovered that it has a new business district studded with buildings by International starchitects - including a sizable project by Frank Gehry.

Like most European cities, Dusseldorf has an old town square, and like Frankfurt and Cologne, Dusseldorf received its share of bombardment from the Allied Forces during the 2nd World War, so most of the old city was completely destroyed. What you can see now has been mostly rebuilt after the war.

Dusseldorf's Old Town has a much better feel compared to the one in Frankfurt. The buildings are closer together and the streetscape seem more intimate, and it is great just to wander around the old streets.

Dusseldorf also seem to have more lively streets compared to Frankfurt. There were many locals out and about enjoying a stroll in the City.

In Dusseldorf Old Town we discovered a bakery where we had the best bread that we tasted on the entire trip. Backerei Hinkel is apparently an institution in Dusseldorf - and the varieties of bread they make is truly mind-blowing.

The wonderful bread we tasted is called Sternchen - which means little star. One look at the bread and you will know how it got its name - its the one in the centre. It may look a bit dark and charred at first - but it is the charred edges - and of course the sourdough base - which gives it a smokey and slightly bitter complexity of tastes that is unlike most other breads I've tasted. Have it with pork liver pate like we did, and its a match made in heaven !


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