The penultimate section of Eurovélo 15 begins in Cologne and meanders up towards the Netherlands.
The Rhineland city of Cologne is, of course, famous for its cathedral, but it can also boast a chocolate museum and a number of superb Romanesque churches. In Düsseldorf, capital of North Rhine Westphalia, we find constructions created by the greatest architects in the world, such as Frank Gehry, who is responsible for the Medienhafen, a former industrial site which has become a truly spectacular and very trendy area. The historic old town, with its rustic cafés and famous exhibitions, such as the Kunstpalast, is the perfect spot for visitors to unwind. Duisburg lies at the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr – the crossroads for so many forms of communication – is well served by both land and water. At this, the biggest river port in Europe, cyclists can see first hand global trade on taking place on the river channel. Whether on the Rhine harbour or on the peaceful banks of the river, cycling in the Lower Rhine is a wonderful experience. There is always something to see on the Rhine. It is impossible to get bored: ferries, barges, pleasure boats and more. The route is also littered with historic sites, such as the Roman town of Xanten, and idyllic Rhineland walks, such as at Rees or Emmerich-am-Rhein. A few miles across the German-Dutch border, you will arrive in Arnhem, capital of the province of Gelderland.
WIDTH OF THE RHINE AT THE
GERMAN – NETHERLANDS BORDER
Freudenthaler Sensenhammerthe Sensenhammer is a ‘living’ industrial museum. The permanent exhibition includes manufacture of scythes and sickles and the use of those tools in farming. The museum itself is the biggest exhibit. The museum is also used in a different way, for example for concerts or theater.
Düsseldorf is well known for its Altbier, a hoppy beer which translates as old [style] beer, a reference to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast like British pale ales. Over time the Alt yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store or lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer. The name “altbier” first appeared in the 19th century to differentiate the beers of Düsseldorf from the new pale lager that was gaining a hold on Germany. Brewers in Düsseldorf used the pale malts that were used for the modern pale lagers, but retained the old (“alt”) method of using warm fermenting yeasts.
Krefeld also known as Crefeld until 1929, is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located northwest of Düsseldorf, its centre lying just a few kilometres to the west of the River Rhine; the borough of Uerdingen is situated directly on the Rhine. Krefeld is accessed by the autobahns A57 (Cologne–Nijmegen) and the A44 (Aachen–Düsseldorf–Dortmund–Kassel). Krefeld is also called the “Velvet and Silk City”.
Ruhrort is a district within the German city of Duisburg situated north of the confluence of the Ruhr and the Rhine, in the western part of the Ruhr area. Ruhrort has the largest river harbour in the World, with quays extending nearly 40 kilometres along the river, and it is the principal inland shipping port in Germany. Ruhrort is home to the German Inland Waterways Museum (Museum der deutschen Binnenschifffahrt) which is housed in the old swimming pool building. Visitors can also board one of the tour vessels for a view behind the scenes of the harbour. A walk on the promenade facing the Rhine and the quays is quite popular among tourists as well as locals. Ruhrort nowadays lacks the grimy air of a port district and is a neat little village with narrow streets, small parks and some fine cafes.
Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park, one of the largest archaeological open air museums in the world, its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for various watersport activities as well as high standard of living. It is visited by approximately one million tourists a year. Big events include the Xantener Sommerfestspiele (a prestigious classical music festival lasting 2 weeks every summer), the annual Xantener Montmartre where artists from all over the world show their latest works as well as the annual German sandcastle-building championship.
Medieval Kleve grew together from four parts — the Castle Schwanenburg, the village below the castle, the first city of Kleve on the Heideberg Hill, and the Neustadt (“New City”) from the 14th century. In 1242 Kleve received city rights. Kleve’s most famous native is Anne of Cleves (1515–1557), daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves and (briefly) wife of Henry VIII of England.
The Groote Kerk (St. Eusebius), built 1452–1560, lost most of its tower during World War II, of which a part has been reconstructed to a modern design and opened in 1964. Officially the tower is not part of the church and is owned by the municipality. The house of Maarten van Rossum, a general serving Duke Charles van Gelre, has been the town hall since 1830: The satyrs in its Renaissance ornamentation earned it the name Duivelshuis (“devil’s house”). The Netherlands Open Air Museum is located outside the city. It includes antique houses, farms, and factories from different parts of the Netherlands. Burgers’ Zoo is one of the biggest and most-visited zoo in the Netherlands, featuring an underwater walkthrough, desert, mangrove, rainforest, etc.
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