Dortmund - future-oriented and positive
Like almost no other German city, Dortmund has seen enormous change in recent years. The former "steel city" developed into a modern and cosmopolitan metropolis, acquiring renown all across Europe as an innovative location for technological development. But the biggest city in the Ruhr Valley also scores with a wide range of possibilities in the cultural and sporting sector, with extensive greens and a high quality of life.
Counting nearly 600,000 inhabitants, the city alongside the ancient German trading route (the "Hellweg") is one of the biggest cities of the Federal Republic of Germany and the economic and cultural centre of Westphalia. Dortmund was founded as "Throtmani" around the year 880. Called "Dorpmunde" throughout the Middle ages, it was one of the richest and most important cities of the Hanseatic League for a long time. Coal, steel and beer guaranteed economic prosperity beyond the middle of the past century. In the course of structural change, however, new branches like IT, micro systems technology, logistics, communications- and media technology have re-shaped Dortmund's corporate landscape.
The Westenhellweg is one of the most popular pedestrian area in Germany. Dortmund City has established itself as shopping site number one in the Ruhr area. The major plus compared to other cities: besides the well known department stores the city hosts a lot of small and specialized individual stores. (Picture: Anneke Wardenbach 2004)
The Westfalenpark originated from the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Hain which was created by Dortmund citizens in 1894. Today the park covers an area about 70 hectare and accommodates several cafe´s and restaurants. It is well known for its superb flowerbeds and beautiful meadows. The 208 meters high Florianturm enables an amazing view on the park and on the whole city. A special attraction is the restaurant placed in 137 meters height (Picture: Anneke Wardenbach 2001 ).
The Kokerei Hansa provides as an amazing sculpture insights in the history of smokestack industries of the past century in Dortmund. In the time between 1928 to its closure in 1992 it was an important element in the industrial and economical structure of Dortmund. Today it is an industrial monument an event location (Picture: Anneke Wardenbach).
The Konzerthaus Dortmund – Philharmonie für Westfalen – since 2002 Dortmund enjoys one of the most modern concert halls with one of the finest acoustic in Europe. The visits of the most important international musicians and philharmonic orchestras in this concert hall proves that the Konzerthaus Dortmund rosed to a highly prestigious institution within less than a decade (Picture: Anneke Wardenbach).
In the middle of the city the Alter Markt (Old Market) is situated. It represents the heart of the city and invites to dwell in one of the numerous restaurants and cafe´s enjoying an unique Mediterranean flair in the heart of the Ruhr area. Before World War II the city hall was at this square. In the background the Rainoldikirche, which is one of the landmarks of Dortmund, is seen . The church was destroyed completely during the war and rebuilt in the following decades (Picture: Stadt Dortmund).
Another landmark of Dortmund is the former Westfalenstadion (now Signal Iduna Park). With a capacity of over 80.000 it the biggest stadium in Germany, popular for its Südtribüne (Southern Tribune), which is the largest standing area in European stadiums. The stadium is used by Borussia Dortmund for its home soccer games.