ProsGet there by plane, car, train or bus.
ConsSometimes the city center gets crowded and too noisy because of the fans of the Borussia Dortmund soccer team.
Dortmund is a wonderful urban area with rich history and an important industrial legacy. It was first mentioned in the 12th century, during the rule of the famous Emperor Barbarossa (his real name being Frederick). Before, the settlement was nothing more than a insignificant community, with nothing exciting happening. In 1150 it was burned down to the ground in a big fire. It was not known if the fire was natural or intentional, but the thing we know is that Emperor Barbarossa decided to reconstruct it and declare it his official home. He and his entire court lived in that town for no less than two years.
In 1220 the city was proclaimed "imperial free", which implied no more tribute collecting and no more civilian enrolling for the military forces of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. But this term, the Holy Roman Empire, should not misguide you into thinking that the Romans were still in Germany in those times. This name was given simply because it underlined the religious characteristic of the Empire and its ruler.
From that moment on, the town (which had begun to be called in scholars' notes as "Dorpmunde") begun to be very important for the trading organizations of the Hanseatic League, which was an alliance of traders who had a trade monopoly on a large area of Germany, and a number of districts in the Netherlands.
Closer to our days, during the industrial revolution, Dortmund became a mining city, due to the large coal and metal deposits in the surrounding area. They produced large amounts of coal and steel ever since, and this determined a steady growth of the town. Nowadays there are almost six hundred thousand citizens in this place, placing it no 7 in the country in terms of population, and number 34 in Europe.
There are numerous things to see in Dortmund, and it would seem to me that the most important is the marvelous Westphalian Industrial Museum Zollern Colliery, which promises to accompany visitors on an unforgettable journey in the evolution of our technology. They have everything inside, including a full-sized steam locomotive that was cut in the middle to show all the parts that made it work.
Obviously, this museum is for technology fans, however Dortmund has other features, for other types of tourists. For example, you'll find three, fully reconditioned, moated castles to tour in this town. First, there is Haus Bodelschwingh, originally constructed in the 13th century, and reconditioned in the 19th century. Also raised in the 13th century, Hous Delwig, the most visited of the three, presenting more original parts, like the entire front side, the towers and two beautiful buildings. The last one is Haus Rodenberg, a splendid moated castle.
The medieval edifices, the Romanesque churches and the bicentennial town hall structure are in contrast with the new city center, suspended transportation systems and other sci-fi designs you can find in Dortmund. The parks are peaceful and calm, the cafes are loud and energetic. This is why this town is worth visiting, apart from its rich historical and industrial legacy.
One of the best hotels in this city is the Mark Hotel Commerz Dortmund