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Things to do in Dusseldorf

Schloss Benrath Benrath Castle Dusseldorf, Germany
Schloss Benrath or Benrath Palace is found in Dusseldorf, Germany, and is a rococo mansion de plasisance that was constructed for Elector Palatine Carl Theordore von der Pfalz by the architect, Nicolas de Pigage. Started in 1755, and finished in 1770, it did acquire some neoclassical elements during construction, especially in the interior motif. There are twin symmetrical wings that flank the main house or corps de logis, with the Museum for European Garden Art beginning in the east wing during 2002. In the opposite wing, to the west, there is a marvelous natural history museum with rotating exhibits and musical concerts being hosted in the main part since it doesn't have much furniture. The entire complex has been proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage site, awaiting finalization. Located south of the city of Dusseldorf, the mansion is considered one of the most splendid garden palaces of the 18th century. It was used mainly for a hunting and summer residence for the elector, and is made up of the main house and twin wings, two gate houses and four guard houses. There are marvelous displays inside the palace that are outstanding examples of period furniture, paintings, sculptures and porcelain, and exemplifies the kind of living that courtesans enjoyed during the latter half of the 18 century. The baroque styled park encompassing the mansion was designed by Nicolas de Pigage as well, eventually being transformed into a more modern English style garden during the 19th century by Peter Joseph Lenne and Maximilian Weyhe. There are various special guided tours of the palace that include such venues as; Hunting in the Court, The Life of the Servants or Court Table Manners; with more focused on the children that accompany their parents to the grand estate.  The gorgeous gardens and magnificent estate, sitting on the banks of the Rhine River are one of the most spectacular sights when traveling down the river that has become one of the main thoroughfares of the nation when it comes to exploring exciting old estates and castles.

St. Lambertus Church
St. Lambertus Church Dusseldorf, GermanyThis unique church, St. Lambertus, is located in Dusseldorf, Germany and is one of the most visible icons in the city, with a Romanesque style that boasts a spectacular statue scene of the crucifixion, as can be seen in the image to the left. It has a leaning tower that is comparable to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, with many unusual legends and stories circulating about the reason for this strange phenomenon. The sexton at the time gave one of the more believable reasons, stating that the wood had been damp when it was constructed, and as it dried, the expansion caused the tower to lean to the opposite side. The church was initially built during the 13th century, but rebuilt in 1394; remaining much the same since that period. There are numerous religious artifacts located here, including the remains of St. Apollinaris, the city's patron saint. The gothic and Romanesque styled church stands fairly tall in the midst of the city, with tall and twisted parapets, and a splinter from the cross of Jesus Christ which is one of the most remarkable and exciting artifacts in the entire world; although there isn't any story or legend to explain how it can to be located here in Dusseldorf, much less Germany. Another interesting story that pertains to the twisted roof tower is that when a virgin marries in the church, it will once more be straightened.

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Neanderthal MuseumNeanderthal Museum Dusseldorf, Germany
The Neanderthal Museum is located a few miles from Dusseldorf, Germany, and opened in 1996, telling the incredible story about the uncovering of skeletal bone "fragments" in a limestone cave in the mining valley of the Neander (Neander Tal) in 1856, that ignited a quest for the true discovery of mankind and its earliest ancestors and created the new science of paleontology. Evidently that discovery wasn't considered very important until Charles Darwin's publication of the Origin of Species in 1858, so that earlier find became more relative and important than the discovers first imagined. Since the bone fragments, not an actual skeleton, were found in a cave, the Fedhofer Cave to be exact, it was decided that the human ancestor would become the "caveman". There are five magnificent floors in the museum, with a marvelous spiral ramp that takes you on a journey through interactive displays, dioramas, models, and relics; but doesn't have any authentic skeletons or bones or even fragments. The original bones and fragments had long ago been claimed or acquired by larger and older museums, so these that are showcased are merely replicas and copies, and entails more of a large story book, complete with visual examples to help children and adults understand what these early human beings resembled and lived. It does talk about the Neander site and the discovery made there more than a century ago, and continue to evolve as the Darwinists imagined it would. The museum tells of the varies other discoveries and finds that have occurred since then that pertain to evolution and megalith sites. It showcases the five stages of their perception of human development and evolution; called Life and Survival, Communication and Society, Tools and Knowledge, Myth and Religion, and finally, Environment and Nutrition. There are many life sized models of early man, giving visitors a chance to stand face to face with one of the "neanderthals" and to imagine what it's existence would be like. There do have a naked cave lady, so they caution parents to be aware of this sight, which could be something quite startling to youngsters, but with long hair and rudimentary features, she isn't anymore interesting than the males. There are also interactive, audio-visual and hands-on displays that try to involve visitors more with the numerous exhibits, and has become quite the popular place for children and their families, since some of them are as big, if not bigger, than the imagined replicas. One of the favorite venues there is the photo booth that morphs your picture into a caveman's features, with an equally popular stone age handcrafts workshop that offers children the perfect opportunity to make their own stone tools and utensils.   

 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfalen Dusseldorf, Germany
The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is found in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia's state capital of Dusseldorf, Germany and contains two separate museums; the K20 for 20th century artworks and K21 for this century's works. The arts museum started in 1960 when it bought some 88 works of art by Paul Klee, being housed originally in the small castle, Schloss Jagerhof in the Central Park of the city. In 1986, a new structure was built in Graggeplatz as the collection outgrew its former spaces. During the 1990s, a second building was opened in the old Standehaus, thus allowing the curators to separate the large collection into two different periods of artworks. In 1990, the directorship changed from Werner Schmalenbach to Armin Zweite, which also changed the direction and focus of the artworks acquired. The former Werner was more interested in drawing, while the director, Armin, concentrated on photographs, installations and sculptures. The K20 concentrates on the classical modern period, with one aspect of the marvelous collection focusing on the works between 1900 and 1945, which pertains to Cubism, expressionism, Fauvism and Pittura metafisica with special attention given to surrealism, dadaism and "der Blaue Reiter" or the Blue Rider group that was living in Munich at the time. More than 100 paintings of Paul Klee are found here, who had been a professor at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf until he retired and went back to his home in Bern, Switzerland in 1933. He had to go back since the oppressiveness of the Nazi party was overpowering and not conducive to enlightened art. The works that began appearing after 1945, and the end of the Nazi regime, was more American influenced, with examples of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol becoming more appreciated. The works that began appearing at this time were produced by such notables as Gerhard Richter, Per Kirkeby and Markus Lupertz, as well as Joseph Beuys, an instructor at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf for many years. Gunther Ulbricht donated 60 works that were created by Beuys, as an avid collector, he enjoyed the wonderful works of Joseph and it became part of a permanent collection. Starting in 1989, there has been a project that was started to include at least one artist from around the globe and showcase these exceptional artists in one collection. Richard Serra, Daniel Buren, Dani Karavan and Richard Long were among the group partaking in this exciting venue, with many rotating exhibits appearing to complement the entire collection. In 2005, they opened a magnificent exhibit of Henri Matisse in the K20 and have begun such outstanding displays to encourage more visitors to come in and enjoy the works of artists from around the world. There is a huge library in the K20 building that include some 100,000 works, volumes, magazines, videos, bulletins, CDs and catalogues that assist in the further information and enjoyment of their collections.

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Local Restaurants in Dusseldorf

Victorian Restaurant
Victorian Menu; summer oyster "David Herve" with passionfruit, camomille, sour cream; Iberico pork with artichoke, aubergine, tomato, avocado, wild herbs; Meagre with chicory, carrot, yuzu; Nebraska beef with entrecote, figs, corn, honey; Vogelmiere with mango, trout caviar, eggyolk; Red mullet & sardine with aubergine, sepia, pine kernel; crayfish & herring with cucumber, Boretsch flower; Cep-Mushroom with quail egg, artichoke, La Ratte, blueberry; Cherry gazpacho with lemon cake, cherry blossom, smocked pepper; sautéed foie gras with lettuce, French toast, white peach, elder flower; 6 Breton David Herve oysters classic with mimolette-pumpernickel, raspberry vinaigrette, citrus; terrine of foie gras with apricot brioche; sautéed foie gras with boudin noir, caramel apple, sauternes, smoked potato; wild turbot a la bouillabaisse with coco beans, pepper, aubergine, oyster, langostino; the best of Munsterlander Veal is filet with chanterelle, tongue, calf's head; Wagyu beef & perigord truffle with filet, celeraic, carrot.

Restaurant Weinhaus Tante Anna
Summer Menu; thin slices of prime rib with lukewarm zucchini salad & sour cream; North Sea fish soup, toasted bread; boiled beef calk Pfifferling ragout with fried egg, red fruit jelly, vanilla sauce; yellowfin mackerel is marinated in sesame, tomato jelly & fennel; cappuccino by the Kaiser pepper lobster with chip; roasted foie gras with caramelized lemon polenta; beef tenderloin, smoked in the hay, braised peppers, red onion spaghetti; raw milk cheese from Affineur G. Waltmann from Erlangen, frozen sections of Montelimar nougat, raspberry croustade, vanilla rieslingsud; roasted vegetables with parmesan & aged balsamic, green gazpacho with fried sage, cheese strudel, Kohlrabi vegetable radish foam.

Iberico Pork Victorian Restaurant Dusseldorf, Germany


Wild Turbot Bouillabaisse Victorian Restaurant Dusseldorf, Germany

 Thin Sliced Prime Rib Restaurant Weinhaus Tante Anna Dusseldorf, Germany

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Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf im Ehrenhof Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf im Ehrenhof Dusseldorf, Germany
The Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf, one of the finest art museums in Dusseldorf, Germany can be found in the heart of the city, somewhere between the Rhine River and the Dusseldorfer Hofgarten; part of the immense former palace courtyard complex that houses the concert hall and the NRW Forum, as well as the Culture and Economy Museums. However, by the year 2001, the museum would be alone in the courtyard, with continuing influxes of funds from a foundation, residents of the city and investors. Its collections house sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the current day as well as a magnificent collection of glass, artcrafts and designs. The museum began in 1846 as a place to house a formal art gallery and the works of those exceptional students at the Dusseldorf School of Painting. By 1913, the decision to construct a museum to house the outstanding works had been reached, and Charles Koetschau was brought in to direct the planning and construction of a new museum, but the outbreak of WWI changed the plans; although Koetschau continued to collect works of antiquities of ancient artworks and books related to it, and the plans for a modern museum once the war was over. Because of the war, and the related feelings from other curators, he was unable to acquire any significant French works, but continued to influence the works and creations of the Dusseldorf School of Painting. Meanwhile, the collection had reached a plateau since there wasn't a lot of room at the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf where the collections were stored. By 1926, a permanent structure had been acquired with a large exhibition of physical exercises, health care and social care becoming the main display which brought a new found attention to the collection in Dusseldorf. In 1928, the Art Museum of the City of Dusseldorf opened, which encouraged the donations of many avid collectors from around the city and nation. Then, in 1933, Koetschau resigned his position at the museum and went to head the art gallery of the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum in Berlin, with a new director brought in to run the museum in Dusseldorf, Hans Wilhelm Hupp, a National Socialist, which began concentrating on other views of artistic works, valuing the more impressive works of German artists, and changing the name of the museum to the Gallery of Modern Times. Within a few years it would be closed since it became such a controversial venue in the Nazi run country, with 900 works confiscated as degenerate art in 1937. The director was instructed to concentrate on purchasing works of ancient art, during the remainder of the 1930s, and after the second World War, many of these works would be returned to their original museums and galleries after the Allies had decided that they should be because of the questionable way they had been acquired; with stolen funds and other nefarious means of acquiring works.   There are many excellent works still located in the museum since the Nazis were able to acquire some of the finest works in the world during their pillage of Europe during their terrorizing regime and it is now a modern venue with beautiful and exquisite works that will thrill any visitor beyond their imagination. In the front entry way are two gorgeous sculptures by Ernst Gottschalk of two nudes, and there had been some by Bernhard Sopher, but these were melted down during the Nazi period because Sopher hadn't been of Aryan descent. Some of the works include; Peter Paul Rubens, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Jodocus van Winghe, Jan van Scorel, Jean-Baptiste Regnault, Johann Peter Hasenclever, Godfried Schalcken, Caspar David Friedrich, Andreas Achenbach and Julius Schnorr.

Kunsthalle Dusseldorf
Leo Musch Caryatid Figure Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, GermanyThe Kunsthalle Dusseldorf museum is located in Dusseldorf, Germany, constructed in 1967 by architects Konrad Beckmann and Brockes, in a brutalist style using precast concrete blocks for the building. The unique structures is one of the most precise and rare examples of raw architecture in the city and planned during the 1950s for the usage of this cheaper method of building, containing two separate facilities, the Art Gallery and the Art Association of the Rhineland and Westphalia. When it opened, they used changing exhibits, without having a permanent one of their own, and sent the tone for their future. Many pioneering displays were held here, like the Prospect exhibit held between 1968 and 1976, with many new international artists being showcased to the city and art enclave, never before having been exhibited in this way. Drifting towards contemporary artworks, the museum continues that successful avenue, showing their roots and continuity in the artistic discourse of the movement. By the 1990s, the artists and people of Dusseldorf had become so successful in their style and acquisitions, the Kunsthalle became one of the most significant museums in the city. As it continued to grow, outstanding displays became the norm, like the Back to Concrete - The Beginnings of Punk and New Wave in Germany that ran from 1977 to 1982, the Food in Art from 2009 and 2010, Ready to Shoot - Television Gallery Gerry Schum, videoglaerischum in 2003, Palermo in 2007, Sonic Youth, Etc. Sensational Fix in 2009, and Compilations IV.

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Heinrich Heine InstituteHeinrich Heine Institute Dusseldorf, Germany
The Heinrich Heine Institute is found in Dusseldorf, Germany, with library, museum, archives and events center, and is the only museum in the world for the showcasing of the 1797 Dusseldorf born poet, Heinrich Heine. Heinrich was the nation's most prolific lyric poet, creating over 10,000 volumes of poetry, with many manuscripts pertaining to this outstanding poet. Heinrich was born into a Jewish family, but converted to Christianity to go to law school, and authored the famous Die Lorelie, that many were set to music by the likes of Hugo Wolf, Schubert and Schumann. During the Nazi regime, his works would be outlawed, except for the Die Lorelei, which had been attributed to an unknown author. You can visit his house in the Alstadt district at Bolkerstrasse 53, which is marked by a plaque. The institute is devoted to relating his story, life and problems being a Jew, with numerous displays, with a magnificent library that contains numerous manuscripts about his life, as well as research materials that pertain to the German history of literature. Heine was an articulate man, and quite multi-talented, besides being a poet of great renown, he was also a journalist and essayist with many of his original works and historical pieces still shown here, with numerous portraits, letters and manuscripts of the nation's greatest literary giants. It is the perfect venue to learn more about this great poet and writer, as well as seeing the original works on paper, and the songs that were put to music by some of the country's best composers.

Stadtmuseum Dusseldorf
Stadtmuseum Dusseldorf, GermanyThe Stadtmuseum Dusseldorf or also known as the City Museum of Dusseldorf, Germany is contained in the Palais Spee in Carlstadt on the south rim of the city and started out as the Historical Museum of the City Council in 1874, and was housed in numerous locations throughout the city until it found a permanent home. During the period from 1879 to 1902, Prince George of Prussia became protector of the museum, and was the person responsible for its location, presentation and collections, many of which were his own gifts and finally, legacy, that included an excellent portrait collection. The Historical Museum merged with the City's Archives in 1928, and by 1930, the galleries included; Dusseldorf and its navigation, Theater History, Dusseldorf Carnival and Dusseldorf as a Garrison town, with a magnificent collection of antique furniture being added. During WWII, it was outsourced, so that when its housing structure was destroyed by Allied bombing raids, the collection remained intact and safe for the time. In 1948, it was moved to the upper floor in the courtyard two which is presently the NRW Forum, and in 1955, it was moved to the Jagerhof Castle. This outstanding historical collection contains artifacts from the Stone age to the latter 18th century, with concentration on the regional era of the United Duchies of Julich-Cleves-Berg from the 16th and 17th centuries; containing sculptures, items of applied art and archives, paintings, prints and archaeological discoveries. There are important portraits, some painted on wood, including the Duke William the Rich and his son, Johann Wilhelm by Johan Malthain, portraits of Elector Johann Wilhelm of the Palatinate by Jan Frans Douven and so much more.  Included in the collections are collections of prehistoric and early history; 19th century collections; 20th and 21st collections; photographic collection and graphic library. 

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Mahn-und GedenkstatteMahn-und Gedenkstatte Dusseldorf, Germany
The Memorial Dusseldorf is dedicated to the victims of National Socialism or Nazism during the 1930s and 1940s, that is located in the city of Dusseldorf and tells the spellbinding story of the people of this great historical city; that was so many in Germany during that period. Not everyone German was a Nazi, and like the peoples in the surrounding cities and nations in Europe these folks were brutalized and plagued by the SS and other agencies of violence and torture that forced them to do the bidding of the Nazi party. They were alone, in a nation that had been involved and decimated by a world war already and still trying to rebuild their beautiful country, their homeland, which had been ravaged and almost destroyed by the negligence of its leaders and the invading armies that were determined to punish the entire country and its people for the greedy influences of its leadership. After the second World War, the nation was again, almost completely destroyed, in its housing, industry and spirit. But the German people are and were determined to vindicate themselves and those others that had been bullied into helping the Nazis wage a terrible war and holocaust against their own. Many of these survivors wanted some kind of memorial dedicated to the thousands that had given their lives for the fatherland, whether coerced or not. By 1986, it was finally able to get the government to construct a monument to these unsung heroes, that were also victims of the National Socialism movement that took over their beloved country and nearly destroyed it. In September 1987, the Institute was opened, with many buildings included around the city that had been part of the persecution of political opponents, like the Jews, Sinti and Roma, deserters, mentally ill, homosexuals and forced laborers. Much of the world doesn't realize that the reigning Nazis were after the perfect Aryan race, all blond and blue eyed. The memorial has become a place of learning, of storytelling, of truth saying and most of all; remembrance. It is dedicated to all the victims of the National Socialist movement in Dusseldorf, with a major and permanent display called, "Persecution and Resistance in Dusseldorf, 1933-1945, with many documents, exhibits and photographs, like the one to the left that has the citizens of Dusseldorf coming out of a factory on their way home, lined on both sides with SS troops, waiting, daring someone to complain or say anything against their party or leaders. There are eyewitness accounts of these horrors with specific instances of persecution or resistance, or both. There are many special and certainly unique displays that showcase the events of those 12 years, when they were forgotten by the world, and their own countrymen. It is a story that needs to be told and understood; they were never the enemy, nor were they complacently involved in any doings of that horrific war. They were victims, just as the German Jews were victims of their own countrymen, brainwashed like no other group of people has ever been, nor doubtfully will ever be again.

Loebbecke-Museum und Aquazoo
Loebbecke-Museum und Aquazoo Dusseldorf, GermanyThe Aquazoo-Lobbecke Museum is located in the urban areas of Dusseldorf, Germany, both as a zoo and a natural history museum that opened in 1987 with more than 450 species showcased and numerous natural history displays. The idea began many years ago when pharmacist Theodor Loebbecke began purchasing small collections like the one held by Bochum Peter Wilhelm Ludwig During in the 18th century. He donated the entire collection to the city in 1901, with the condition that it would become part of a museum, which it did in 1904, when the city opened the Loebbecke Museum. In 1930, the zoo was merged with the museum, and continued to grow until November of 1994, during WWII, it was bombed, being so close to the railroad yards, and was destroyed. Fortunately, the majority of the exhibits had been prior to this, but it still didn't keep the museum's historic building from being heavily damaged during that bombing raid. Once the war was over, the displays and exhibits were located to an office building in front of the old zoo, and eventually was reopened in 1987 at its present locale. It was a newly built building based on the designs of Prof. Dr. Manfred Zahn, who had directed the museum for the previous years, until 1994, after he had run it for 27 years. The concept of a live zoo mixed with fossils, was a new one, but became highly popular, with exciting exhibits like the adjustment of higher vertebrates to life in the water which held live seals and penguins and a skeleton of a sperm whale and the fossil of a ichthyosaur to show the various stages of life. There are 25 subject areas with many exciting live animals highlighted and exhibits that depict their lives; as well as changing exhibits that complement the main concepts and displays. The awesome museum and zoo attract 400,000 visitors a year from all over the country and world, gaining an idea of existence and growth that isn't normally seen. Included are the archives of Loebbecke, the Loebbecke collection with about 250,000 molluscs, a 650,000 insect collection, a geoscientific collection of 75,000 specimens and the egg shell collection with 8500 specimens.

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Goethe Museum DusseldorfGoethe Museum Dusseldorf, Germany
The Goethe Museum located in Dusseldorf, Germany is housed in the historic Jagerhof Castle that sits on the east side of the courtyard in the city's most famous park, with the castle's original plans drawn up in 1748. It houses the magnificent collection of Anton and Katharina Kippenberg, a world famous publisher from Leipzig, who began collecting Goetheana when he was just a young bookseller. Their daughters would donate the large and exciting collection to the city of Dusseldorf after his death in 1950, which started this museum, and now housed in this fantastic castle. The commission to build the castle was given to master builder Johann Josef Couven of Aachen by Palatinate Elector Carl Theodor, and designed the year before Goethe was born; and not finished until 1772. Goethe didn't talk about it when he visited the city in 1774, staying with the Jacobi family at their family estate, Pempelfort, and only a couple miles from the estate, but on the opposite side of the garden park. He again came to the city in 1792, for a month stay after campaigning against the French Revolutionary Army, but didn't say anything about it then either, but did talk about the lock Jagerhof, with spacious neighborhoods and well-kept gardens. It was another four years, before the revolution troops came here, plundering it and wrecking it, restored in 1811, when Napoleon visited the city of Dusseldorf. Adolf von Vagedes drew more plans afterwards, and oversaw the reconstruction. Besides the relationship with the Jacobi family, Goethe, would have many other friends and acquaintances who had been born in Dusseldorf or lived nearby; like Johan Heinrich Lips, Henry Kolbe, William Heinse, Heinrich Heine, Ferdinand Hiller and Peter Cornelius.  The marvelous collection contains remnants of Goethe's age with many plaques, medals, coins with embossed heads of scholars, artists and statesmen that Goethe knew, as well as the collection of glasses that he himself had collected from all the places he had visited. There is china decorated with views of Weimar, and paintings of landscapes and towns that depicted them in the time that Goethe lived, and give us some idea of what live was like when he lived and wrote, with many portraits and busts of the people that he visited and formulated his ideas from with many letters, books and sheet music that have become the most valued of the foundation. There are some 50,000 artifacts, which are not able to be shown at the same time, but rather rotated, referring to some specific period in his life; with 11 galleries representing almost 1000 items that showcase his life and works. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and polymath, which is called a renaissance man today, and its visionaries include Leonardo da Vinci. Goethe is believed by many to the most important writer of Germany, and one of the most important thinkers of Western culture. His works of studies included; science, poetry, philosophy, drama, theology and literature, with his two part drama, Faust, is one of the most significant works of modern literature in the world.

Rhine Tower
Rhine Tower Dusseldorf, GermanyThe Rhineturm Dusseldorf, in Germany, is a concrete telecommunications tower 790 feet into the air, that was started in 1979, and completed in 1981 carrying signals for FM and TV transmitters and directional radio. There is a revolving restaurant on the top with an observation deck, and is the tallest structure in the city with 7500 cubic meters of concrete and weighs 22,500 tons. Sporting an extra feature, a light sculpture is carved on its shaft that acts like a clock and was designed by Horst H. Baumann, named the Lichtzeitpegel or light time level; and it is the biggest digital clock in the world.

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May 09, 2011