Claus-Peter Wirth's Dortmund
... is the ugliest and most disorganized
big town in Germany I have ever been to.
Nevertheless, the socialist town government forces you to pay
an extra tax of 12 % of your rent just for living there.
The information on the server of Dortmund uses to be misleading and outdated.
is an even bigger
city only half an hour by train and a bit nicer.
The next town with an international airport
which also has a good opera house (together with Duisburg)
that calls itself
German Opera at the Rhine.
The central train station is one of the best places in Dortmund
because you can leave the town most efficiently from there - contrary to
the other places where public transport is available only during working
hours and the constant traffic jams do not allow you to drive anywhere.
The two positive things I can say about Dortmund are: most of the
friendly and uncomplicated and in the fish restaurant in the
basement of Karstadt it was possible to
get really good food (only place in town).
Recommended Local Culture
Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg: The museum itself is
one of the very rare examples of good architecture in the 2nd half of the
20th century in Germany.
Folkwang Museum Essen: Closed for reconstruction until February 2010.
Great Paintings. To name only a few:
Gauguin's "Horsemen at the beach" and "Contes barbares" (both 1902).
Also Feininger's Gelmeroda IX. Some Spitzwegs and Monet's Cathedral
in shining fog.
Who would expect masterpieces like Feininger's "Red Tower II (Halle)",
Beckmann's "Quappi with parrot", or Nolde's "John the Baptist" in
this dull town. Since the paintings are visiting nicer places regularly,
phone before your visit. The correct phone number used to be +49 208 455 4170.
All paintings have good light and I had no problems with mirroring glass.
Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal:
Wuppertal is one of the most dreadful towns in Germany,
and the comedians' standard metaphor for how horrible
it can be to live in Germany.
Nevertheless, it hosts the most fascinating collection
in the Rhein/Ruhr area from Coblenz over Cologne to Dortmund,
including my favorite Feininger painting
showing the Marktkirche in front of the red tower in Halle.
Most incredible painting! The church and the tower act like two
sounds not as two objects. Wow! The collection should be moved to a
nicer place such as Duisburg or Cologne.
Other Local Culture
Lots of railroad cars and engines, but nothing really fascinating.
Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund:
It was closed for reconstrution and moving to Dortmunder U
for many many years, and I have never been to Dortmund
Only less than one third (and most of the time nothing) of the
collection of German expressionistic painting used to be exhibited.
All the interesting ones behind glass with shining white walls
around, so that you do not see nothing. This was really a pity,
but typical for Dortmund.
The Slevogt/Klee exhibition in 2014 was one of the most lousy ones of my life.
It must have taken them a long time of experimentation to make all these great
paintings to be so invisible and look so poor. For instance,
the harbor of Syracuse used to
shine in the Pfalzgalerie in Kaiserslautern in the daylight room every
sunny day in all colors of the rainbow, but it was just a dull blue painting
in Düsseldorf, without giving any idea on what it was about.
Closed for reconstruction until February 2010.
Nice collection (esp. Rohlfs, one Feininger),
very small because
the original Folkwang collection was sold to Essen (cf. above)
and the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) interior (van de Velde)
was purposely destroyed. Oh what a shame! (But was it not Hagen who
also made the
treasure of the Nibelungen disappear from mankind?)
Nice re-made Jugendstil interior,
but paintings are far too dark!
Feininger's greatest beach painting "Duene am Abend" (1927) is
hanging too low and has a strong black shadow from its frame in
the upper part.
If you find this mostly historic,
but recently updated page too bitter and sardonic,
meet the new,
more lovely CP.
Last updated April 10, 2015.