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If you are in need of a break from the city life in Düsseldorf, the best way to relax is to dive into the countryside. One of the best places for that is Erkrath. Whether hiking or cycling, museum visits, or theater festivals — here locals and tourists will find the right offer for every taste.
Let’s discover Erkrath together, shall we?
One of the best ways to explore Erkrath is cycling, but you can also easily get there by S-Bahn which will take you about 20 minutes from the Düsseldorf train station. When you’re starting in Düsseldorf, you’ll pass an alley full of linden trees. If they are in bloom (usually between May and July), it feels as you are floating on a honey river. This flavor befuddles you. The first amassing place on your journey is Morper park.
Morper Park & Haus Morp
Haus Morp is a mansion with an adjacent park and a courtyard. It was first mentioned in 1144 in a document. In the past, it was a nunnery, manor, and farm. The English-style park was built in 1897 and provides wonderful glimpses into the diversity of nature. It is full of bliss and invites you to take relaxing walks. You can also visit both the Haus Bavier and Villa Bayer parks.
Behind the park, you will discover amazing scenery. It is an ideal place for leisurely strolls in the fresh air. You can explore incredible landscapes and historical sights in Erkrath in three different discovery loops.
The Neandertal Museum
Neandertal is ideal for a day trip. It is one of the most famous places in the world and attracts a lot of people. The Neanderthal Museum, an archaeological park, a Stone Age workshop, the Ice Age game reserve, and the art trails of human traces near the Düssel are the chain links between the public and science. The museum offers audio guides in English as well.
For lovers of nature and animals, it will be interesting to visit the Neanderthal game reserve. You can observe primeval wisents, tarpan wild horses, and aurochs — live in the large and spacious outdoor enclosures.
The art trails of human traces are the best places for hiking near Düsseldorf. You can enjoy the sculptures by ten artists of international repute. Children can have a good time on the large playground by the banks of the stream Düssel.
Discover the diversity of the new projection technology in one of the most modern facilities of its kind in Germany — the “Stellarium Erkrath” planetarium.
You can be entertained in the fully air-conditioned dome by impressive 360 ° all-round animations and roam the universe. A special characteristic of the Erkrath Stellarium is the inclined projection dome. You look directly into the starry sky, which creates unique flight effects and movement effects combined with impressive surround acoustics!
The “Stellarium Erkrath” is one of the most modern planetariums in Germany. Not only can astronomical content be displayed, but also information from scientific and artistic provenance available on image and video data sets can be visualized. It is an amazing adventure both for adults and children.
The car sculpture park in the Neandertal
There is also entertainment for lovers of vintage cars. Several dream vehicles from the 1950s are embedded in the forest. This car sculpture park presents the power of nature, which ultimately triumphs over everything. Each of these objects symbolizes a piece of history and is frozen in time.
A piece of the Berlin Wall, with the original graffiti and an army car of the two worlds from 1950 in East and West, expire in the face of time.
Many TV teams, photographers, and fans have already used this unique location for shoots.
A virtual tour is now being created to give everyone a view through this park, which is not open to the public.
Winkelsmühle in Erkrath
On the left bank of the Düssel is the Winkelsmühle, which has been documented since 1483. The mill is located directly below a projecting rock wall on the north side of the valley. The former ditch and the course of the Düssel today were carved into the limestone. Remnants of the old Düsseldorf barrel can be found on the impact side, the southern and western sides of the valley, in the form of a pond.
The mill is a three-story quarry stone house with a two-story extension on the left side. In the 1930s the pond was used as a natural swimming pool. The Winkelsmühle is shown repeatedly on historical maps. The Winkelsmühle and the archaeological evidence found in the underground in the form of wall foundations and utensils are important for the industrial history of the hilly landscape of the Lowerberg, the Düsseldorf valley and the city of Mettmann.
NOTE: Due to misuse of this trail, owners of the Winkelsmühle have closed down a part of the trail. Whether or not this trail will reopen is unknown.
If you really like architecture, you will find very beautiful churches in Erkrath. There are buildings from the twelfth century to the modern era.
- Saint John the Baptist / Holy Spirit Church
- Neander church / Saint Francis church
Stone age playground – Steinzeitspielplatz
If tired from hiking and cycling, take a break in a new Stone age playground. It was built on the site opposite the Neanderthal Museum. The bridges are an essential element. The Museum Bridge, in particular, a pure pedestrian bridge, connects and creates attractive lounge areas across the watercourses.
The playground was built as a tribute to the Neanderthal man. The design is based on a prehistoric theme. The oversized Stone Age thrust lances were modeled on original finds from the time of the Neanderthals.
A nine-and-a-half-meter high lance tower stands out in the middle of the playground, with a variety of climbing options and an attached slide. It can be climbed on nets, ropes, stones, and also on a rock almost three meters high. The children can also retreat to the bear cave, and the smaller ones can hide in the driftwood or muddy with water. There is something for everyone.
Looking for more day trips around Düsseldorf? Here are 25 of the best!
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