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Woodland, fields and industrial heritage: Ratingen

Woodland, fields and industrial heritage: Ratingen

Ratingen is one of the four main towns of the Bergisches Land region. With its expanses of forests, fields and meadows, which cover three quarters of the municipal area, it can be said to be the green lungs of this dynamic region between the Rhine, Ruhr and Wupper rivers. A combination of nature, culture and industrial heritage that is well worth a visit.

The proud smaller neighbour

Ratingen received its town charter from Duke von Berg in 1276, making it older than its larger neighbour, Düsseldorf. This is a source of pride for the locals, and the town's impressive ramparts, historical buildings and pretty market square are evidence of the role that it has played since the 9th century. Among Ratingen's attractions are the moated castles Haus zum Haus and Schloss Linnep, along with Landsberg Castle and the Church of St. Peter and Paul, all dating from the 12th and 13th century. They also include the timber-framed house Zum Roten Hahn and the Cromford textile works from 1783, a very important monument of industrial history, as well as a mechanical cotton mill, considered to be the first of its kind on the European mainland.

A museum of dolls and an art collection of international calibre

The people of Ratingen enjoy a range of cultural and leisure attractions. The municipal theatre hosts performances by a number of well-known touring companies, while art and entertainment feature in equal measure at the Zelt Zeit festival. During the summer there is also theatre on the open-air stage at Blauer See lake. On display at the Doll Museum are many fine examples of German and French dolls manufactured since 1850. The charming doll Luise guides visitors through the collection and shows them how their grandmothers and great-grandmothers used to live. The theme of the town's art collection is 'Searching for the hidden life', and it includes works by famous international artists such as Joseph Beuys, Arnulf Rainer, Antoni Täpies, Cy Twobly, Ugo Dossi, Julian Schnabel and Christian Ludwig Attersee.

The Ratingen Art Trail is also well worth seeing. It is part of a project that aims to link the cultural attractions of a region including areas of Düsseldorf, Mettmann and the Netherlands to form a new network. The Art Trail runs through the entire town. To the west, it extends as far as Volkardey park, to the east it reaches the Anger valley, with reference to the pilgrimage church at Neviges and the culturally significant site where Neanderthal man was found. The trail is around eleven kilometres long and features a number of different landscapes which ten artists have reflected in their sculptures.

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The fact that Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia's region capital, has an art museum of international renown today is thanks to the former Elector Palatine Johann Wilhelm II, who began to build an art gallery here in 1710. A generous patron, he was able to bring numerous artists to the court and transformed the city into a European centre for art. Although the Kunstpalast Museum itself was only founded in 1913, it would not be what it is today had the Elector not been such a passionate collector of art.

The museum underwent two major renovations to reach its current form – from 1925 to 1926 to plans by architect Wilhelm Kreis and in 1999/2000 to plans by Oswald Mathias Ungers. The building now provides an exceptional setting for its painting collection, which focuses on Old Masters, paintings of the 19th century and the modern age and paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the present day. These works are complemented by arts and crafts, design, graphic art and a renowned glass collection. Among the collection's masterpieces are 'The Ill-matched Pair' by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 'Landscape with Tobias and the Angel' by Jan van Scorel, 'Flight into Egypt' and the famous 'Cross on the Mountain' by Caspar David Friedrich. The section on Modernism features important works from the early 20th century by Paula Modersohn-Becker, Wassily Kandinsky, Walter Ophey, Franz Marc, August Macke, Otto Dix, Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

Upcoming dates:

19.05.2019 - 01.09.2019

30.06.2019 - 04.08.2019

Venue

Museum Kunstpalast
Ehrenhof 4
40479 Dusseldorf

All information on prices, dates and opening times are subject to change without notice.

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