Also in this region you wonâ€™t want to miss Duesseldorf, gay metropolis on the Rhine, a great business center known as the â€œDesk of the Ruhr.â€ A walk through town will show the interesting contrast between old and new architecture, most striking. The Altstadt (Old City) harbors buildings and churches dating back to the 13th century, when West-German princes made Duesseldorf their residence. The cityâ€™s main boulevard, Koenigsallee, is known continent-wide as a fashionable shopping center. Sidewalk cafes dot the pavement their patisseries are magnificent. Fairs, exhibitions, museums, libraries, art collections, theater, opera and concerts attract visitors the year round. During Carnival, masquerades and the Rose Monday Pageant make the city one big playground. On St. Martinâ€™s Eve, tradition calls for thousands of children to parade through the streets carrying torches and lanterns. Duesseldorf has a number of luxury and first-class hotels, best of which are the Breidenbacher Hof and Parkhotel (de luxe), and the Atlantik, Esplanade, Eden, Fuerstenhof, Savoy (first-class). Night spots include: Palette, Etoile, Carlton, Ciro, Kolibri, Melodie, Palladium, Tabaris and the bohemian Tabu and Fattyâ€™s Atelier.
A short stretch down the Rhine River, southward, is Cologne, the Heilig Alt Hochdeutsch â€œholy eternal cityâ€ whose cathedral is said to be the worldâ€™s greatest example of Gothic architecture. Cologne dates back to long before the Roman era. You will see here remains of Roman fortifications, temples, invaluable mosaics, and sculptures, which have been accumulated in the course of twenty centuries. As remarkable as the wealth of art in the city is its industrial comeback after severe bombings. International luxurious, first-class and good tourist-class hotels are again available, such as the Excelsior Hotel Ernst, Dom-Hotel, Hotel Koelner Hof, Hotel Fuerstenhof am Dom, Tour-ing-Hotel Bristol. (Bars: Atelier, Capri, Charlott, Tabu.) Another city more than 2,000 years old is Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), less than 30 miles west of Cologne, at the western border of Germany. The cityâ€™s hot springs have been used for curative purposes since before the Romans came. Aachen is the city of Cbarlemagne and, since his time, one of the important pilgrimage goals north of the Alps. Charlemagneâ€™s throne of stone stands in the chapel he built. The holy relics, including Christâ€™s swaddling clothes, the gown the Holy Virgin wore the night Christ was born, and the crucified Saviorâ€™s loin cloth, are shown to the faithful every, seven years in St. Maryâ€™s shrine. South of Aachen and almost due west from Frankfurt is Trier (Treves), which was once the capital of the west Roman empire. In Treves also are magnificent remnants of Rjoman architecture: the imperial baths, an entire temple field where all denominations worshiped side by side, the mighty Porta Nigra (black gate), and the Roman circus.
The Rhine : For more than a century and a half, a trip along the Rhine has been an essential part of the Continental â€œGrand Tour.â€ No other river has been praised as much in poetry and prose by writers the world over. Read up on the great cities, towns and old castles before making the Rhine trip and trace them on a map as you travel in a pleasure boat or along the banks in an automobile or train. The ancient cathedrals of Cologne, Mainz, Worms (city of the Nibelungs), Speyer, Xanten (the Siegfried city) and many others glide majestically by, their spires mirrored in the water. You see picturesque little wine towns nestled at the feet of vine-clad hills, and romantic medieval castles set off by terraced vineyards or steep crags.
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