Dortmund Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Dortmund

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    Provost Church

    by viddra Written Jul 28, 2014

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    This is the only Roman Catholic Church in the city, built as a small Dominican monastery in the 14th-15th century, but enlarged later on. After the WWII bombing, it was reconstructed in the 1950s.
    A lot of art treasures have survived and can be admired in the church, including altarpieces and statues.

    Opening times:
    Mon: 10 am - 7 pm
    Tue, Thu, Fri: 9 am - 7 pm
    Wed, Sat, Sun: 9.30 am - 7 pm

    Propsteikirche
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    St Peter's Church

    by viddra Written Jul 28, 2014

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    The original Protestant church was built at the beginning of the 14th century, but was rebuilt twice due to its destruction, in the 18th and 20th centuries.
    The church is famous for its Flemish carved altar consisting of 633 oak figures, showing 30 Easter scenes. The altar's been protected by a glass wall since 2008.

    Opening hours: 11-17 Tuesday-Friday, 10-16 Saturday

    Petrikirche the inside
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    St Reinold's Church

    by viddra Updated Jul 28, 2014

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    Built around 1250, this Lutheran Protestant Church is 1 of the oldest churches in Dortmund. It's dedicated to the city's patron saint, Reinold. The 112m-tall tower, also known as the Miracle of Westphalia, was completed in the 1450s. Unfortunately, it was damaged in WWII and had to be reconstructed. Today's tower is 104m high and can be visited.
    There are 6 steel bells in the bell tower and 1 of them holds a record of being the largest cast steel bell in Westphalia (it's almost 7t heavy).

    Opening hours: 10-16 Tuesday-Sunday (tower noon-15 Saturday)
    Tower admission: €1

    Reinoldikirche
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    St Mary's Church

    by viddra Written Jul 28, 2014

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    Built in the 12th century, this Protestant church is the oldest one in Dortmund. The altar is from the 15th century. The church was rebuilt after WWII.

    Opening hours: 10am-noon & 2-4pm Tuesday-Friday, to 1pm Saturday

    Marienkirche
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    Westphalian School Museum

    by viddra Updated Jul 28, 2014

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    This museum houses 1 of the largest collections of school furniture and things which can take you back in time, even to the 16th century.

    Opening times: Tue-Sun 10-17, closed during the summer holidays, Christmas and New Year
    Admission fee!

    Westf��lisches Schulmuseum
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    The new city hall

    by viddra Written Jul 28, 2014

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    This not very impressive modern building is in fact the new town hall. It's a place where the parliament meets and where the mayor's offices are.
    Different exhibitions are also organised on the ground floor.

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    The old town hall

    by viddra Updated Jul 28, 2014

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    The red Neo-Renaissance building that dominates the old city square is the old town hall (Altes Stadthaus). It was designed by a master builder from Dortmund, Friedrich Kullrich, and opened in 1899. After being damaged in WWII it was rebuilt. It's been used by the city administration ever since.
    The eagle at the top of the gable represents the city of Dortmund.

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    Florian Tower

    by solopes Updated Dec 16, 2013

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    The highest point of Dortmund, more than 200 meter high, the TV tower is a good sightseeing point, and a good place to have a drink in its rotating restaurant at the top.

    The speed of the elevator its a strong sensation, easy to feel when it starts.

    Dortmund - Germany Dortmund - Germany
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    The Dortmund Opera

    by Nemorino Updated Oct 26, 2013

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    Like many other German cities, Dortmund built its first opera house at the beginning of the twentieth century. The original Dortmund Opera opened in 1904 and was destroyed by aerial bombing during the Second World War.

    An architects’ competition to design a new opera house was held in 1955. The new building was constructed from 1956 to 1959 but it was not opened until 1966. (Perhaps someone from Dortmund can tell me why there was such a long delay.)

    The new opera house is on the site of another historic building, the Old Synagogue, which was destroyed by the Nazis before the Second World War even started.

    Second photo: Another view of the opera house.

    Third photo: This street sign says:
    Square of the Old Synagogue.
    On this square once stood the synagogue
    of the Jewish community of Dortmund –
    Erected in 1900 as an “adornment of the city for all time”
    Destroyed 1938 through the terror of the Nazi-regime.

    Fourth photo: Picture of the old synagogue as it looked from 1900 to 1938 – in a permanent display in the lobby of the opera house.

    Next: In the Dortmund opera house

    1. The Dortmund Opera 2. Another view of the opera house 3. Street sign 4. Picture of the old synagogue
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    Propsteikirche: Interior and Artworks

    by Kathrin_E Written Nov 29, 2012

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    The interior of the catholic Propsteikirche holds some medieval artworks which have been preserved during the war. First of all, there is the retable on the main altar, painted by Derick Baegert from Wesel around 1460/70. The large paintings of the inner, the holiday side show the Crucification of Christ in the large central painting, the Holy Family (the whole clan, in fact) with the Madonna on the throne on the left wing and the Adoration of the Magi on the right.

    Note the candle-holder hanging from the vaults in the right side nave. It is a medieval crown-shaped chandelier from around 1500 with a statue of the Madonna in the middle. It is a double Madonna with face and front on either side.

    The stained glass windows are post-war. They were created by two different artists, they styles are easy to tell apart. Since the windows large windows begin rather low you can see the windows from close by. And look back towards the organ, there is a large rose window in the Western facade.

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    Propsteikirche

    by Kathrin_E Written Nov 29, 2012

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    The main catholic church of the city is not just a parish church but the central church of a Propstei (church district). From its foundation around 1300 until 1816 it was the abbey church of the Dominicans (Black Brethren, hence the street name "Schwarze-Brüder-Straße"). In the 19th century it then became the catholic parish church for the city.

    World War II damaged the church badly. A closer look reveals modern elements that tell of the rebuilding in post-war times, like the shape of the spire. The cloister (photo 3) shows one old and one modern wing. The small square behind the church is surrounded by the modern buildings of the large parish centre.

    The church is open in the daytime. It has preserved some medieval art works (see separate tip).

    Reflected in the modern facade of th parish centre View from Westenhellweg Cloister
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    Petrikirche - Church of St Peter

    by Kathrin_E Written Nov 29, 2012

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    Petrikirche is the first church you'll encounter if you arrive by public transport because it is located very close to the central station. The gothic church was built in the 14th century.

    Unfortunately I could not enter because like the other churches it is closed for a lunch break. If your timing is better than mine, walk in: This church contains a huge woodcarved altarpiece, made in Antwerpen in 1521, that shows the life and passion of Christ in 30 carved scenes and 54 paintings (information from my guidebook). This artwork is described as the largest Flemish altarpiece of the middle ages and surely worth seeing.

    Opening hours are given on the website as: Tuesday to Friday 11.00-17.00, Saturday 10.00-16.00. However, I found it closed in the early afternoon with a sign: opens at 15.00.

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    Marienkirche: The Altarpiece by Conrad von Soest

    by Kathrin_E Written Nov 28, 2012

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    Marienkirche contains a precious medieval art treasure: the retable on the main altar. It was painted around 1420 by Conrad von Soest, a famous painter who worked in Westphalia and northern Hassia.

    The triptychon is actually a fragment. In the baroque era the medieval retable was taken down and the paintings inserted in a new altarpiece in the then fashionable style. The paintings have been cut to fit into their new framing - see the right foot and knee of the Lord in the middle picture, for example. Anyway, the technique is so elaborate and the paintings are so fine that even as fragments they are invaluable.

    The altar was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The three paintings show the birth of Christ (left wing), the Adoration of the three Magi (right wing) and the Death of Mary in the central part. This Lutheran church kept the paintings on their main altar after the reformation.

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    Marienkirche - Church of Our Lady

    by Kathrin_E Written Nov 28, 2012

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    Two churches, both protestant, stand side by side in the very heart of the city. The "little sister" of the large Reinoldikirche is Marienkirche, in former times the church of the city council. Seen from the streets they look almost equally sized, the areal view for example on Google Maps reveals how tiny this one actually is. It is the more ancient of the two. The western front with the steeple and the nave, especially the side naves, are still Romanesque with thick and crooked pilars and walls. The gothic choir is a later addition.

    In 1833 the church was unused and in danger of being demolished, but by intervention of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. it was saved. During Nazi times it became a centre of Bekennende Kirche, the resistance movement within the protestant churches. In 1944 it was hit by a bomb raind and badly damaged, repair works lasted until 1957. Luckily the art treasures had been brought to a safe refuge in time.

    This church contains Dortmund's greatest treasure of medieval art, the altarpiece by Conrad von Soest (See separate tip). There is a second medieval altarpiece showing the Passion of Christ (late 14th century, photo 5).

    The church is open Tuesday to Friday 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00, Thursday until 18.00, Saturday 10.00-13.00, Sunday for the service. Closed on Mondays.

    Southern side nave Tabernacle Passion altar
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    Reinoldikirche - Church of St Reinold

    by Kathrin_E Written Nov 28, 2012

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    Reinoldikirche is the main church of the city. Its tall steeple with the onion-shaped baroque spire is a landmark, visible from many street corners and helpful to find your way. The steeple can be climbed and must offer a great view over the city and its surroundings (I did not go up).

    Its history dates back to the early middle ages when a first church was erected for the nearby royal palace (Pfalz); legends even connect it with Charlemagne. The present church has a gothic nave from the 13th century and a higher, late gothic choir that was added during the first half of the 14th century. The large windows received modern stained glass panes after the war in mostly blueish colours that give a special light.

    Among the art treasures, the most remarkable are two large statues by the choir: St Reinold the patron saint on the left, Charlemagne (who was considered a saint in the middle ages) on the right. The woodcarved altar dates from around 1420; ist is too far away to see the details as the choir is cordoned off, though.

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Dortmund Things to Do

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