Palaces and castles

Intact rococo buildings or medieval ruins – one thing in particular was important when it came to properties, even many years ago: the location. The navigation of the Rhine was once controlled from the palatinate district of Kaiserswerth. Today, you can just enjoy the views. The more centrally located palaces also place great importance on well-kept surroundings. This means that you have the opportunity to stroll through parks, walk along the Rhine or wander through groves of rhododendrons.

The most famous of Düsseldorf’s palaces is in the district of Benrath and was built in the 18th century as a summer residence for the Elector Carl Theodor von der Pfalz. Today, Schloss Benrath, as it is called, is one of Düsseldorf’s most popular excursion spots and houses various museums, such as the Museum für Europäische Gartenkunst (European Horticultural Art Museum). The court architect Nicolas de Pigage (1723-1798) designed the magnificent building and the rolling parklands in which you can “take a stroll” even today.

Picturesque location on the Rhine – the Kaiserpfalz in Kaiserswerth

The ruins of the medieval Kaiserpfalz, or Emperor’s Palace, which was built in 1180 by the legendary Friedrich I. "Barbarossa", are a must-see for those interested in history. Restorations since the beginning of the past century have preserved the monument. The remains of St. Suitbertus lie in a golden-plated shrine in the neighbouring basilica.

The Schlossturm – not just for hobby mariners

The old Schlossturm (Castle Tower) is a relic of Düsseldorf’s City Palace. Burnt down in 1882 and damaged in the 2nd world war, the building was renovated and today houses the Schifffahrt-Museum (Maritime Museum). In addition to lovely views over the Rhine, it also provides information about the maritime history of the river.

Napoleon, Goethe and fine arts - Schloss Jägerhof

You will find Schloss Jägerhof palace in the city centre and on the eastern boundary of the Hofgarten (Court Garden). The building was constructed according to plans dating back to 1748 and completed in 1772. In 1796, the Jägerhof palace was plundered by the revolutionary troops and restored again only in 1811 on the occasion of Napoleon’s four-day visit to Düsseldorf. Today, the palace is home to the Goethe-Museum, a comprehensive collection on the life and works of the poet.

Palace parks, beautiful gardens and chamber music

Not all of Düsseldorf’s palaces can be seen from the inside. In contrast, their parks and English gardens are mostly accessible and offer beautiful walks. Especially in the summer months, the forest-like parks of the Schloss Eller or Schloss Heltorf in Angermund are a cool oasis. Schloss Heltorf, with its rhododendron garden, has one of the most beautiful forest parks on the lower Rhine. If you are looking to do some sunbathing on the banks of the Rhine, then go to Schloss Mickeln in Himmelgeist. And fans of chamber music should attend a concert in Schloss Garath.

There are other castles and places in and around Düsseldorf that are well worth a trip.

Schloss Dyck – garden paradise on the lower Rhine

Enchanted palace and beautiful park: with several court buildings and its English landscape garden, Schloss Dyck, situated about 30 kilometres to the west of Düsseldorf, is among the important cultural monuments in the Rhineland. The palace has remained almost unchanged since the middle of the 17th century. Visit the exhibitions on the history of the monument, the concept of the English landscape garden or modern art – or let your children clamber around in the climbing garden.

Burg Linn – flax market and treasure chamber

The Burg Linn castle in Krefeld is one of the oldest castles on the lower Rhine. Parts of the existing construction date back to the 12th century. Archaeological findings – especially from the ages of the Romans and Franks – can be viewed in the museum. The flax market is held in the surrounding area of the castle, in the historical town centre, every year at Pentecost. You can watch around 300 craftsmen at work, have fun watching the knights jousting or be entertained by the musicians and jugglers.

City history of Düsseldorf - Schloss Burg in Solingen

Many years ago, Graf von Berg, whom Düsseldorf has to thank for its city rights, had his ancestral home in Schloss Burg castle, high above the Wupper, just 30 kilometres away from Düsseldorf. The 12th century castle today houses the Bergische Museum. You can visit the knight’s hall, the fortress, the dungeons and the gallery of ancestral portraits.

The Rhenish Rothenburg – the Fortress of Zons

With a unique fortress system from the 14th century,  Zons is probably the best-kept example of a fortified town on the Rhine. The Dormagens city district, approx. 20 kilometres away from Düsseldorf’s city centre, is also called the “Rothenburg on the Rhine”. Visit the idyllic old town centre with its imposing towers and the palace building with castle and court buildings.