Dortmund is another large city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has a population of just over half a million, making it Germany’s eighth largest city. It is also known as Westphalia’s “green metropolis” as almost half of the region is made up of waterways, forests, agricultural and other green spaces. The city was first mentioned in 882. It was then destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in 1152 by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I. Throughout the next few hundred years parts of the cities were destroyed by natural disasters and by the war (98% of the inner city was destroyed in World War II). Nowadays the city has much to offer, including rebuilt churches (dating back to the 1300s), six castles, museums, an opera, a major stadium, educational facilities and much more!
Westfalenstadion – The Westfalenstadium (now named Signal Iduna Park until 2021 under a sponsorship agreement) is the home stadium of the Borussia Dortmund football team in the German Bundesliga. The stadium hosted matches in the 1974 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, as well as hosting the 2001 UEFA Cup Final. Its original capacity in 1974 was 53,872 and has now increased to 81,264, making it Germany’s largest football stadium. If you happen to be in Dortmund during the football season, make sure you watch a game there and enjoy the incredible atmosphere, if not, the stadium gives tours all year long. The stadium tours include the dressing rooms, the tunnels, VIP areas and the club museum
Industrienmuseum – The museum of industry is the largest industrial museum in Germany and is spread over eight former industrial sites: three collieries, one blast furnace plant, a ship lift, a textile factory, a brickworks and a glassworks. The buildings and machines have been restored, since they closed at the end of the Industrial Revolution, and form the heart of the museum. Visitors are taken on a journey through the city’s industrial heritage and are able to weave textiles, shape bricks and blow glass through a glassmaker’s blowpipe as a part of the experience. The eight sites each offer very different exhibitions and host hundreds of events each year including piano recitals, trade fairs, choral concerts, markets, art shows and much more. Find out more about these events at http://www.lwl.org/LWL/Kultur/wim/portal/termine
Opernhaus – After the old opera house was destroyed in the second World War, the new opera house was opened in 1966. The first opera shown in the new opera house was Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. The new house was build to facilitate not only operas, but also ballet and other concert performances. The new opera house is a beautiful venue and a must-see for all visitors to Dortmund!
Fun Facts about Borussia Dortmund:
- Dortmund’s stadium is the largest in Germany and sixth biggest in Europe
- It has a long rivalry with Bayern Munich, known as “Der Klassiker” (The Classic)
- Dortmund is the largest sports club, by membership, in Germany
- The team was bankrupt in 1929, however, a local supporter covered the team’s shortfall out of his own pocket
- It was the first club to be publicly traded on the German Stockmarket
- Dortmund has the highest average attendance of any football club in the world