Stadt Museum, Düsseldorf
I visited the Dusseldorf Stadt Museum during a brief visit to the city in July 2006.
This museum, with exhibits housed on two floors, is located in the Palais Spee building close to the banks of the Rhine.
I paid 3 Euros to enter the museum. However, I believe that entry to the ground floor exhibits is free and the entry fee that I paid was specifically for a special exhibition covering the years 1946-2006. This exhibition, charting Dusseldorf's post-war years, was only being shown between 3rd June and 3rd September 2006.
The ground floor exhibits include a selection of aerial photographs, scale models and maps of Dusseldorf and the surrounding region. It is interesting to view how the city has changed over the years. Alongside the photos are a series of facts and figures about the city. I found it interesting to note that, with a population of around 570,000, Dusseldorf is a similar size to my home city of Sheffield.
The rest of the ground floor houses exhibitions covering the years 900 - 1609 and 1610 - 1794. This includes a variety of artefacts such as pottery, tools, clothing and paintings, but I didn't find any of it particularly interesting.
The first floor contains exhibitions covering the years 1795 - 1901, 1902 - 1945 and finally 1946 - 2006. The exhibitions were extensive with lots of things to see and lots of information to read. However, I glossed over much of the pre war information and concentrated on the more modern history of the city - for example, the fact that the city was named capital of the Nordrhein Westfalen region in 1946.
The highlights of the modern history exhibits were a Fortuna Dusseldorf football shirt, some impressive modern art and an archive of local newspapers. There were also plenty of computer terminals offering the chance to access a wealth of information about the city in interactive form.
Many of the exhibitions offered accompanying text in both German and English, but some were in German only.
The Stadtmuseum is Duesseldorf's oldest museum, first established in 1874. It has been housed in a variety of buildings since then until, in 1963, it began its move into Palais spee, its present home. A modern extension was added in 1991.
By the time I reached the Stadtmuseum I was running short of time so didn't go in. That was a pity, because it has some interesting prehistoric and early history (including Roman) artefacts on show. Perhaps next time.
Palais Spee was once the most important residence in the city. The area where it stood was once where the barracks of the city citadel stood. Some walls and a watchtower from the citadel are still visible in the gardens, along with part of the defensive moat (now a pleasant little lake).
It seems that, in 1806, Graf (Count) Karl Wilhelm von Spee bought one of the buildings which had been built on the barracks land and bought an adjoining building in 1865 thus creating a massive and impressive 'palace' for himself.
Palais Spee was destroyed during the Second World War. Some of it was later rebuilt and it is that recreated building which now houses part of the Stadtmuseum's displays.
The Stadtmuseum is open from 1100-1800, Tuesday to Sunday. Entrance is 4 euro.
D?sseldorf history from Neanderthal to Roman occupation, from the first castles to Nazi Germany, and the rebuilding of the city, to modern impressionistic art all housed in the 5+ floor Stadt Museum. Featuring ?berschreit Ungen Wirtschaft und Kunst Im and Das Wechselspiel Von. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.