Two rivers flow through Düsseldorf. The important, highly visible and sometimes threatening Rhine flows passed the old town (Altstadt). Today the less known and mostly hidden Düssel flows prowdly along a calm curve beyond the Königsallee.
The River Rhine
At 1,320 kms (820 miles) in length, the Rhine is one of the longest rivers and one of the most important waterways in Europe. It begins its path up in the Swiss Alps from the waters of Lake Tuma and the glacier near Rheinquellhorn. The Rhine feeds Lake Constance on the frontier of Liechtenstein and Austria and then picks up speed before crossing the border into Germany at the city of Basel.
Heading north, the Rhine forms a natural border to France as far as Karlsruhe. After being strengthened by the flows of the Neckar at Mannheim, it picks up the waters of the Main in Mainz and the Nahe at the the small village of Bingen just west of Frankfurt. It then makes a sharp turn and meanders further north towards Koblenz, where the Mosel joins it in from the west and on to Duisburg to be joined by the Ruhr from the east.
Centuries of battles destroyed most of the castles but some of the most famous vineyards in the world such as the Pfalz, Alsace, Rheinhessen or Rheingau still exist along the riverbanks. Stories have been written and songs sung to the romantic Rhine. Flowing through five countries, it finally empties its waters in the North Sea south of Rotterdam in The Netherlands.
The River Düssel
The 46 kms (29 miles) long river Düssel helped form the Neandertal valley in prehistoric times. It is here that the famous “Neandertal Man”, long thought to be the earliest connection to modern man, was found in 1856.
This small river also gave its name to the village settlement that was founded at the point where it flows into the Rhine. Düsseldorf means literally village on the Düssel.
It splits into several smaller streams that flow through various districts in part above ground but mainly through underground pipes. The most visible stretches of the Düssel are down the Königsallee and around the Köbogen to the Hofgarten.