Dortmund - the green metropolis

Dortmund, the 7th-largest city in Germany, is known as Westphalia's "green metropolis". Although being major transportation and industrial hub of the Ruhr area, and having nearly a century long history of extensive coal mining and steel milling, almost half of the municipal area consists of waterways, woodland, agriculture and vast green spaces, with parks such as Westfalenpark (with the ZOO) and the Rombergpark.

Attractions and thing to do
You can still see the outlines of the Alt-stadt (old city) within the ringed streets Ostwall, SudWall and KonigWall.  At least two medieval churches: Reinoldikirche, with its 112 m high Gothic tower, and the Marienkirche should be of an interest. The latest is today a Protestant church, originally finished in 1200, and has the altar from 1420.

Other attractions: Moated castles, such as Haus Bodelschwingh, Haus Dellwig, and Haus Rodenberg; and TV tower Florian (Florianturm) - one of the oldest TV towers in Germany, with a rotating restaurant.

During the annual Christmas Market that starts in late November, in Dortmund rises one of the highest Christmas trees (built of small ones). There are concert and events in Westfallen Halle;  and  for soccer enthusiasts, there is Westfallen stadium that hosted  games of the 2006 FIFA world cup.

The busy downtown shopping area that stretches along the Hellweg offers pleasant shopping in many impressive department stores and boutiques.

Getting here
Dortmund has a medium-sized airport situated about 13 km (8 miles) east of the city centre.
There are shuttle busses to the central station or Holzwickede Station. The central train station (Dortmund Hauptbahnhof) is German´s third largest long distance traffic junction; and Dortmund Harbour (Hafen) is the largest canal harbour in Europe.
Getting around
The public transport system includes extensive Stadtbahn, streetcar and bus system. There is also hanging monorail, H-Bahn that transfers people between two university campuses.

Eat & Drink
Visiting a pub, try a beer from one of the Dortmund world famous breweries - Brinkhoff's, Kronen, DAB, Union, or  Their. A beer will be served as "Stösschen" - in a small glass. Have a "Salzkuchen" a spiced roll with seasoned mincemeat.

Dortmund has a continental climate, typical for northern Europe. June, July and August are pleasantly warm; really hot days are rare. Spring and autumn are quite rainy, but mild. Winters can be bitingly cold, with snow coming in January and February.
Time zone: UTC (GMT)+1. Daytime saving time (DST) is observed.
Currency: Euro (EUR, €).
Dortmund was first mentioned in AD 885, it became a free imperial city in 1220 and later an important member of the Hanseatic League. In the 14th century, it became a prosperous trading centre. After a decline caused by the Thirty Years' War, it grew again first during the industrialization of Prussia, when it became a major centre for coal, steel, and beer. The Dortmund-Ems Canal that opened in 1899 stirred up its growth even more.

The city suffered severe destruction during WWII, but was rebuilt. Today, Dortmund is a centre for hi-tech industry, and has a university and a teachers college.

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