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Things to do in Wuppertal

    Von der Heydt Museum Von der Heydt Museum Wuppertal, Germany
    The Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal-Elberfield, Germany is a museum of fine arts, and getting quite well known because of its marvelous and outstanding collections in a 19th century structure that was constructed in the classical style by Johann Peter Cremer from 1828 to 1831 and was the first town hall. The museum started in 1895, as the Elberfelder Museum Association, and began renting spaces that same year to showcase its collections. The nucleus of the collection was given by Elberfelder resident, Eduard Von der Heydt, member of a rich banking family, whose modest collections would be augmented by other patrons during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Eduard was a member of the NSDAP and foreign buyer for the German Empire. From 1902 to 1915 the museum would be called the Municipal Museum Elberfeld and for the next three years become the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Museum, and then in 1918 until 1929, it would be changed back to its municipal name, and then in 1929 to 1961 it would become the Municipal Museum Wuppertal and finally, in 1961, it was officially changed to the Von der Heydt museum to honor the family that had donated so much in the beginning. At one point during its history, some question arose as to whether the Von der Heydt family had been involved in any dealings with the Nazis, but nothing surfaced, except for some letters that they had helped many Jewish families escape. The museum has about 1000 works of art at the moment, in their permanent collection, as well as rotating displays on loan from other museums and private collectors. These changing or temporary exhibits are usually shown when they complement or augment a collection that is being highlighted. The magnificent Renoir Exhibition held in 2007/2008 was very well accepted and enjoyed by many residents and visitors alike, as was the Monet Exhibition shown in 2009/2010 that showcased more than 100 works of the famous French impressionist Claude Monet, getting excellent media attention around the world. It would be the biggest showcase of Monet yet with numerous works coming here on loan to augment the exhibition, including works from the Musee Marmotten in Paris, the Met Museum in New York, the Musee d'Orsay, also from Paris and the Tate in London. Three months before the display started, there were over 2000 guided tours booked at the museum, with more than 297,110 visitors being welcomed and it was the most attendance ever received in the city or nation. Even the exhibition's catalog was more than enjoyed, as the exhibit was sold completely out for twenty solid weeks. The permanent collections include sculptures and paintings from the 16th century to the present day, with works by German, French, Dutch and Flemish artists, as well as contemporary sculptors. Artists include; Picasso, Beckmann, Monet, Dali, Corinth, Nolde and Macke. The very first painting acquired by the museum was the famous and beautiful Acrobat and Young Harlequin by Pablo Picasso in 1911, but in 1937, when the Nazis were in control and claiming many artworks as being of the degenerate nature, it was sold. In 1989, it was auctioned off to the public, but the price was so exorbitant that the museum just couldn't afford the money to purchase it, which was a very sad moment for them.

    Wuppertal Zoo
    Wuppertal Zoo Wuppertal, Germany
    The Zoo Wuppertal is usually called the Zoologischer Garten Wuppertal, in Wuppertal, Germany with over 5000 animals that represent 500 species from every continent in the world that include; great large cats, apes, elephants, bears and monkeys plus many more types. The modern enclosures and various zoo structures are built to show little of the usual bars and cages that make it seem more like a zoo than a real habitat, which is enjoyed by the visitors that come here. There is a large enclosure for the elephants and apes, as well as a bird house, where these flying creatures can do whatever they please, and a small terrarium/aquarium. The zoo began in 1879, with the central structures being opened in 1881 and featured 34 animals that included a bear and pair of wolves. The zoo has continued to grow in animals and expanse, with a new enclosure for tigers and lions being opened on their 125th anniversary that should afford these animals more space and greater range. Soon enough, a new modern home for gorillas and penguins will be constructed. Predatory cats include; tigers, lions, Siberian lynx, snow leopard, leopard, cheetah, panthers, Siberian tigers and more. Monkeys include; dusky leaf monkeys, black spider monkeys, lion-tailed macaque monkey, gold-bellied mangabeys, drill, baboon, orangutans, bonobos, chimpanzees and gorillas. Tapirs are great swimmers and divers in case you didn't know and take to the water quite readily, and here you can watch them underwater with the excellent observation windows that are located all around the enclosure. The magnificent polar bears can be seen in the polar landscape where you will also see wild mountain goats and sea lions in their own pool. It is a very large zoo with many awesome animals that will keep you and your family occupied for hours, with plenty of sights and sounds, as well as some unusual smells.

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    Bergische MuseumsbahnTram Museum Wuppertal, Germany
    The Bergische Museumbahn is a historical tram museum located in Wuppertal, Germany that continues to operate its old tram line on the original rails using the original cars, as well as operating the schwebebahn, which is an overhead railway, and the oldest monorail in the world. The museum's line starts about 20 feet from the Kolfurth bridge, as well as the main museum with a great number of vehicles and bookshop. The track that ran across the bridge is no longer in service, but the east line meanders its way south and then sweeps around in a 180 degree turn to continue on its journey north to the Kaltenbach Valley. The end of the line is at Greuel halt, but some consideration has been given to extending it to Moschenborn. The line heads south by the Moschenborn halt so that it can get to Cronenberg. The biggest part of the line goes through a wooded area, and is how the old tram used to work, although today, it doesn't have any town stops, even though the tram does stop seven times. Vehicles still in use include the Tw 105, Talbot, constructed in 1927 and used in Wuppertal, the Tw 107, DUWAG, that was constructed in 1936 and used in Dusseldorf; the Tw 275, DUWAG, that was constructed in 1957 and used in Bochum, and the Tw 337, DUWAG that was built in 1957 also and used in Hagen. Maintenance vehicles include a grinding wagon, built in 1950 and used in Bochum, tower railcar 628 built in 1950 and used in Wuppertal, works wagon 406 built in 1951 and used in Freiburg, and works wagon 683 that was built in 1952 and used in Bochum. The museum is open the year round on Saturdays from 11 AM to 5 PM and from May to October on Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM.

     Clock Museum
    Clock Museum Wuppertal, Germany
    The Wuppertal Clock Museum, also called the Abel clock museum, is where watchmaker and goldsmith Abeler began his famous and outstanding clock museum that has grown into one of the most significant private collections in the world, containing a plethora of watches, as well as cultural and historical exhibits that pertain to the art of making fine watches and clocks. In their watch collections you will enjoy perusing the 2000 displays of various clocks and watches, as well as viewing the complete 38,000 pieces collection that contains many items of similar interest. In March of 1955, Georg Abeler purchased the Hohenzollern Ring Cologne watch collection of the late barrister, Dr. Antoine-Feill; which became the nucleus of the present day collections. When Georg arrived home with this spectacular collection, everyone in his family was very excited, but none more so than his son, Jurgen Abeler. Beginning at that moment, the Abeler family became avid watch and clock collectors, which encouraged Georg to open his new museum to showcase the magnificent collections. The entire collection spans almost 5000 years of clocks, making it the most universal collection in the world, and was the director until 2010, when he passed on and Jurgen was left in charge. Watch exhibits include the three wheel clock on the facade of the museum, the world population clock on the same facade; the imperial crown of Napoleon, the magic hat, mechanical toys that contain clock like works inside to make them work, Roman and Greek sundials, French clocks, Napoleon mantel clocks, Stutz watches in animal shapes, candles and hourglasses, watches with solar drives, watches with quartz drives, watches in daggers, buttons and so much more that it would take a while to explain them all. The majority of the clocks and watches were repaired in a special workshop and work now, as well as faithful reproductions and reconstructions going on in the special workshop today. There is a marvelous carillon in a niche of the building that houses the museum and had 12, then 28 and finally 37 bells that are rung every day at 10, 12, 4 PM and 6 PM with various songs; and two Wuppertal originals that were made at the turn of the century, called Sugar Fritz and August Kallenbach. On the quarterly hour, the Zeigteist Chronos appears and turns his hourglass, as the Reaper Death come out on the hour from his door, reminding everyone of their short duration of existence, using his scythe to cut off the previous hour, and the entire carillon has become one of the most iconic monument in the city. Their world clock will chime on the time in Tokyo, Honolulu, New York, Ceylon, Moscow and central Europe time. The three wheel clock on the building's corner is of a post and swan road that was built by Abeler before 1962 and is very exciting. Other displays includes the crowns and regalia displays that contain 85 copies and 5 crown insignias, as well as 34 replicas of the original objects, with excellent information about the history and development of crowns and the political power they wielded. There is also a collection of rings, gemstones, gold, historical shares of gold, platinum, silver and diamond mining, menus, wines, and others. It is a wonderful place to visit and learn more about clocks, watches and making them, since the museum has welcomed over a million visitors thus far.

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Local Restaurants in Wuppertal

    Gut Hohne
    Entrees; green salad with aceto balsamic dressing with fried filet of lamb; clear vegetable soup with marrow dumplings, breast of corn poularde with tarragon sauce; broccoli, young carrots & duchess potatoes; smoked fish with horseradish cream sauce, toast & butter; consomme with vegetable strips; medallions of pork gratinated with marinated cheese, thyme sauce, mixed veggies & dauphine potatoes; melon boat with parma ham; tomato cream soup with gin & whipped cream; roast beef with red wine shallot sauce, glazed carrots & croquettes; consomme of guinea fowl; slice of Scottish salmon with caviar mousseline sauce & wild rice; medium rare fried breast of Barbary duck with cassis sauce, seasonal veggies & gratinated potatoes; terrine of game with Cumberland sauce with salad & hazelnut vinaigrette, white tomato soup with salmon dumplings; saddle of lamb with garlic sauce, mixed French veggies & gratinated potatoes; carpaccio of beef with pesto sauce, rocket salad & fresh parmesan cheese; grilled filet of John Dory fish with saffron sauce, spinach timbale & basmati rice; variation of seafood with scallops, king prawns, marinated wild salmon & shrimps, with fresh green salad & raspberry-walnut dressing; morel cream soup with stripes of saddle of hare; medallions of veal with truffle sauce, mixed veggies & gratinated potatoes; medallions of saddle of venison in almond butter, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts & macraire potatoes.

    Schlosshotel Hugenpoet
    Entrees; anglerfish with lime mousse & wild herbs; mild smoked garpike with apple pea puree & galgant; escargots & ox marrow with roasted rye bread, parsley & fermented garlic; saddle of venison with medlar, spice chocolate sauce & mushrooms; fillet of sole with cockles, artichoke, olive & tomato; filet of sea bass with braised cucumbers, burnet & emulsion of colza; bresse pigeon with blackberry dumpling & chanterelles; fillet of veal with cedar nut crust, wild asparagus & potato chevril dumpling.

John Dory Fish Gut Hohne Wuppertal, Germany


Lamb Saddle Gut Hohne Wuppertal, Germany


 Saddle of Venison Schlosshotel Hugenpoet Wuppertal, Germany

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    Klutert Cave Klutert Cave Wuppertal, Germany
    Klutert Cave is about 6 miles east of Wuppertal, Germany in the Ennepe Valley, and is one of the biggest natural labyrinth caves in the nation, almost 3.25 miles long and a perfect environment to help asthmas, which was discovered when some Germans hid in the caves during WWII. Called the Kluterthohle in German, the cave is located inside a 4 foot layer of reef limestone that had been formed during the late middle Givet or Devon period, about 380 million years ago and contain huge amounts of fossils, along with petrified corals and stromatopores, that became freed from the encompassing rock by the solutional process that helped form the cave. One exciting area on the ceilings is that part that is covered with a cross section of fossils, creating such an unusual pattern that many find it fascinating and beautiful. The cave is not a dripstone cave, since you won't find any formations, but there are numerous geologic processes in the works that lead to its formation, and it solution by groundwater. The interior contains two parallel passages that flow in two directions, making it look a bit like a chess board, with the rocks containing fissures running north to south and southeast to northwest. The cave was formed when it was still below water level, and corrosive water with a very high carbon dioxide content filled the fissures. These rocks would then widen as the fissures formed narrow passages, and now there are more than 300 parallel passages going in one of the two directions. Eventually the entire region would be lifted and the draining water became the river Ennepe that cut into the rock formations and that in turn lowered the ground water, causing the cave to dry out. During WWII, the cave would become an air raid shelter, and numerous of the people there with asthmatic conditions noticed a very positive effect on their breathing; and better than usual after leaving the cave. Beginning in 1952, these health benefits have been studied and soon, medical professionals were creating special medical treatments that took place in the cave. This was the first cave in Germany where speleotherapy was used and is still used today. This unique effect on the medical problems of asthma, hayfever, bronchitis and numerous allergies and skin disorders have been scientifically proven and many use it today. The high amount of carbon dioxide and purity of the air seems to work wonders here for those affected with the preceding illnesses and one treatment usually takes four weeks. The patients are examined by a doctor to make sure they will be able to use the treatments and then stay for an hour or two, a couple of times a day.

    Old Synagogue Elberfeld
    Old Synagogue Wuppertal, GermanyThe old synagogue in Elberfeld was used from 1865 until 1938, and would be the meeting house of the Jews that lived in and around Elberfeld, a suburb of Wuppertal, Germany. It would also be used by the Jews in Barmer, until their own synagogue was constructed in 1897. During the years from 1812 to 1900, the Jewish community would grow from some 56 people to 1664 people, since the meetings and joint prayers would start in the early 19th century, held in private homes until it was built. There had been numerous attempts before to start a regular synagogue with boards and employees, as well as rabbi, but it failed somehow each time. Then, in 1847, an act passed by the government was passed by them to facilitate a community board for all the Jewish residents living in the area, and in 1852, 10 people started the Elberfeld-Barmer synagogue, and in 1863, a road to the school was built by businessman Johann Hermann Opterbeck, and in 1865, the new synagogue was dedicated when the Torah scrolls arrived and inserted into the shrine; thus opening it for prayer and services. The architecture isn't well known since many of the original documents have been lost, probably during the Nazi regime, although numerous modifications were done in 1875, but related to the technical remodeling, installing an organ loft and replacing the pulpit. As the 20th century arrived, the Barmer Jews left to attend their own synagogue, and some major plans were developed, but these would eventually be stopped by the two world wars. After WWII was over, the Jewish community would be reestablished and the retirement home that had been started in 1913 in the Friechrich-Ebert-Strasse was then used as a synagogue until 1959. A memorial plaque was installed on the site of the old synagogue in 1962, with a new construction site being laid on the former site of the old synagogue. The new structure would house a museum that had exhibits about the city and Jews, with as many documents as could be found exhibited there, as well as other stories and artifacts of Jewish life before the world wars.

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    Schwebebahn suspension lineSchwebebahn Suspension Line Wuppertal, Germany
    The Wuppertal Schwebebahn is a marvelous suspended monorail in Wuppertal, Germany that was designed by Eugen Langen, who had originally designed it to construct it in Berlin, but then moved it to Wuppertal in 1900, and opened it in 1901; making it the oldest monorail system in the world today that still operates. The local transportation system is about 8 miles long and travels about 10 feet above the traffic and above the Wupper River and takes about 30 minutes to travel. The suspension monorail had only one model to follow and that was the Henry Robinson Palmer design from England that had been the first presented system to the world in 1824. The one that was built here was a basic small suspension railway that had the suspended carriages being pulled by horses. Friedrich Harkort, one of the city's famous industrialist and politicians took to the idea and had one constructed and tried in 1826, on the grounds of what has become the tax office in Elberfeld; eventually hoping the public would also enjoy the new transportation method. In September, 1826, the town councilors met to talk about the new system that would run from the Ruhr River to the Wupper River, but mainly to supply the growing city with cheap coal. The idea would fall through since many people had been left out of the planning, those that owned the land along the new proposed route and thus they squashed the idea. It would finally be constructed during the 1880s, in Cologne, by Eugen Langen, but the main route in Wuppertal wasn't built until 1898; with William II, the German emperor taking the first test run. By 1901, the railway would be finished, and opened; using 19,200 tones of steel used to produce the rails and train stops. The only time the rail has not operated was in WWII when it suffered extreme damage due to bombing, but opened in 1946 and has continued running since then.

    Schloss Burg
    Schloss Burg Wuppertal, GermanySchloss Burg is located in Burg an der Wupper in Germany, and is the home of the biggest reconstructed castle in the region, that has grown into a very popular tourist destination, that historically started in the start of the 12th century. The early history of this area is very close to that of the Duchy of Berg. In the beginning of the 12th century, and after 1133, count Adolf II von Berg constructed Schloss Burg on top of a mountain that looked out over the Wupper River, with the count's old castle at Odenthal by Altenbeg being abandoned. The original name of the new castle would be Castle Neuenberg or New Mountain or in Latin, novus mons, novum castrum or novi montis castrum; although it wouldn't be until the 15th century, after considerable remodeling as a hunting castle, did the new name come into being, since it would reflect the palatial extension. Adolf II's successor would be count Adolf III von Berg, but he went off to the Fifth Crusade and would die at the siege of Damietta in Egypt in 1218; whereupon his younger brother, archbishop Engelbert II of Cologne, assumed control of the region, although he wasn't the next in line. As a count, Engelbert would raise the structure in 1218 to 1225, becoming a more powerful man than already. He had been archbishop and then count, as well as advisor and chief administrator to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and then became the guardian and tutor of the later king Henry VII of Germany. Because of this and all the other reasons needed, he would be assassinated by his nephew, Friedrich von Isenberg. In 1632, Swedish soldiers began a siege against the castle, and after the Thirty Years War in 1648, imperial troops destroyed the fortifications of the castle that included the gates, walls and keep. The main structure would be rebuilt in 1700, and then used for administrative offices, and in 1849, the castle was sold to become a ruin, with parts scrapped and others decaying. In 1882, the Barmer architect, Gerhard August Fischer would propose a reconstruction and renovation, so he submitted drawings and plans based on old documents he found, and was influenced by the 16th century appearances. By 1890, the reconstruction started and for the next 24 years, the castle would be renovated. Then, in the night of November 26, 1920, the castle would be destroyed in part by a massive fire, so those people that wanted to tour the castle would then be required to pay an admission fee so that it could be used to fund the rebuilding.

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    Zeiss Planetarium BochumZeiss Planetarium Bochum Wuppertal, Germany
    The Zeiss Planetarium Bochum has just reopened, and is ready to take all its visitors on a trip to the stars as soon as you arrive. Using the new Zeiss projector, you can see the sky at any given time and from anywhere on the earth, magnifying the night stars to create an amazing and beautiful view that will simple keep you spell bound. The planetarium will show the stars of distant worlds, digital arts, film sequences of the cosmos and show distant galaxies as if they were just overhead on a clear balmy night. The planetarium produces its own shows, using a dedicated team of graphic artists, engineers and astrologers, making sure that there are always new horizons to be viewed. Every quarter, new constellations are shown for the visitors pleasure, that include the Big Dipper, the Great Bear, Polaris, Cassiopeia, polar star, Lyra, Altair, Deneb, Vega, the Swan and the Milky Way. Learn to differeniate the stars, galaxies and constellations, which as you will learn to find Pegasus and more, with views of the giant planets like Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, in various stages of the zodiak. You will learn about meteor streams from the paths of meteors, Delta Aquarids, Perseids and kappa Cygnids. All during the year, there are formations and views that will astound you and keep you glued to your seat in the planetarium as the night sky unfolds and is laid out to you like a majestic map. It is a marvelous place to visit and learn more about those big bright lights that sparkle through the nights. It is a place of mystery unraveled, stories told and more, make it there the next time you visit Wuppertal, Germany and have the time of your life.

    Historicsche Zentrum
    History Museum Wuppertal, GermanyThe Historical Center in Barmen includes the Kannegiesser'sche factory that contains Rohrig and Barthels, the Reddehase'sche shed and the newly designed Angel garden that sits next to the opera house. The Museum of Early Industrialization is located here as well, with marvelous exhibits of technology, that contain the industrial and social history museum; which in turn describes and showcases the displays of the early development of Wuppertal, Germany in their economic, mental and social aspects. The museum concentrates on the urbanization and development of the textile industry in the city, along with those associative consequences; opening in 1983. The Angel House is filled with exhibits that pertain to angels, with a biographical exhibit of Friedrich Engels on the first floor of the early industrial museum, and angel exhibits on the rest.

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 Zentralgebaude, Terminal Ring 1

    Neanderthal MuseumNeanderthal Museum Germany
    How appropriate is it that a special museum should be constructed on the site where the famous Neanderthal fossil was discovered, and in 1996 it was, after a long time in the planning and dreaming stages. It has become one of the most successful archaeological museums in the world, with almost 175,000 visitors coming here each year, to witness and take the journey that began tens of thousands of years ago. This award-winning multi-media exhibition was updated in 2006 and has the latest state-of-the-art techniques and equipment that will enthrall you and mesmerize you for days. Guided tours are offered in many areas, with various choices available to any visitor that comes here to learn more about this extraordinary man that lived so long ago, especially visiting the discovery site, as well as the human traces art trail or the nature-sanctuary that has many great ice-age game reserve objects. The human traces project is devoted to the outstanding relationship between humans and nature, and shows you how some perceive the process using eleven different artists, in the way of sculptures that showcases the idea of an evolutionary man or human that seem to be connected to the natural landscapes as they evolved. The trail is open every day and can be visited anytime you want while at the museum.  The Neander Valley was a wild narrow gorge that was about 150 feet deep and often referred to in travelogues from the 18th century and more than 150 paintings had been created from it. But it would be the skeletal remains that had been preserved in the Feldhof cave for over 40,000 years that would wake up the world and archaeologists everywhere. In 1856, the fossils would be discovered when the workers at the quarry would uncover the small cave entrance, and the world would come to a standstill. The magnificent exhibit is spread across four floors along a winding ramp, with the first section telling of the history of the Neanderthal and the original discovery of his bones. Once that has been done, you will take a journey through time and see the important moments in the human history, with five thematic displays that eventually give you a chronological overview of the evolution of mankind. These displays stress the themes, Life and survival, Tools and Knowledge, Myth and religion, Environment and nourishment and lastly, Communication and society.

    Essener Dom
    Essener Dom Wuppertal, GermanyThe Essen Cathedral or Essen Minster is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Essen, the diocese of the Ruhr that was started in 1958, with the church being dedicated to Saints Comasa and Damian and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is located on the Burgplatz in the middle of Essen, Germany. It had been the collegiate church of the Essen abbey, that had been started in 845 AD by Altfrid, Bishop of Hildesheim, and where the city would spring up around it. The current structure was rebuilt after it was destroyed in WWII, and is a gothic hall church, built after 1275 in light sandstone; with the octagonal westwork and crypt left from the Ottonian pre-Romanesque structure that had been located here. Just north of the church is a cloister that had been of service to the abbey. The church is famous for its treasury that contains the Golden Madonna, the oldest complete sculpture of Mary that exists north of the Alps. In 1991, the first bishop of Essen, Cardinal Hengsbach would be interred here. This is the third church that has been located on this spot, with foundations of the earlier ones being uncovered in 1952 by Walter Zimmermann. The first church, built by the Bishop of Hildesheim was destroyed by fire in 946, although some consecrated inscriptions has been uncovered that described parts of the new church in 960 to 964, inferring that only parts of the church were damaged by fire. The Ottoman construction incorporated two previous structures, with the majority of the foundation being used again, except where the load would have to be increased or else the room layout was changed. The new church had a three-aisled nave with transcept and subsequent choir, that was accompanied by choir sides, with a crypt constructed into it. It would become an elaborate and detailed design, with numerous changes and layouts, with new central tower and octagonal bell chamber. The interiors were magnificent and costly, with outstanding edifices located throughout. Then, again, in 1275, parts of the second church would be damaged, leaving only the west building and the crypt. Again changes would be made, as the church would be reconstructed, and consecrated in 1316.

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May 13, 2011