From North to South and East to West: Currywurst, Pils & football are the three things most of the people here wouldn’t want to miss in their lives.
No, we didn’t invent any of those. Currywurst came from Berlin. And the capital’s hungry working class stomachs were an easy target for this fried sausage. But the Ruhr had more of these workers’ stomachs. So Currywurst, already big, became even bigger here: a little butchershop from Bochum, Ruhr is known for making the best Currywurst-sausage in the world. Pils is the abbreviation of Pilsener Beer, a Pale Lager fi rst brewed in 1842 by a Bavarian invited by the mayor of the city Pilsen, located in today’s Czech Republic. It was breweries from the Ruhr area that made the Pilsener recipe and the top-fermentation brewing method popular in Germany. Football, with its current rules, was invented in England and there are crazy football fans all over Europe. But nowhere is the density of football clubs and their fans higher than in the Ruhr area.
The city popping up first when people think of the Ruhr district is Dortmund. Being the largest Ruhr city, it is also the third largest by population in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia right after Cologne and Düsseldorf. Worldwide Dortmund is foremost known for famous sports club BVB 09.
Bochum is in the top 20 of Germany’s biggest cities, so there is plenty to see. For example Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, the biggest exhibition on coalmining in the world. One spot everybody visits is the Bermuda3Eck, a strip of clubs, restaurants and bars, packed on weekends.
On first sight Essen looks so grey, industrial and just the way one would imagine a typical city in this area. But actually it is the 3rd greenest city in this country. One reason is Grugapark where you definitely want to hang out at in the summer. The city is quite well known for the movie theaters around town.
Duisburg is the third biggest city by population in the area and has a bit of a rough image in the context of gang rivalries, mafia shootings and no-go-areas called out by local police. As always this is only partially true, as the majority of Ruhr locals in and outside of the city experience it as pretty safe.
Overall, density is what makes our region special.
We are Germany’s biggest urban agglomeration, a melting pot of nations, a patchwork of landscapes. Visitors arrive here and might feel snubbed by the functional architecture of our cities and our straight and direct way of talking to each other. Despite the structural change, the workers’ past is still attached to us and our region. There is a roughness that comes with it and it is this roughness that jumps in your face. A roughness that fl oats like particles in the air that we breathe. Don’t be fooled. Behind the industrial faces of the cities and our working class attitude, there are a lot of green spots and lovely places, as well as warm and welcoming hearts and spirits. You don’t even have to dig deep and you will fi nd them – but you will have to dig. The structural change came with sophisticated eyes and brought art, architecture and new perspectives for the ruins of former industries. A new generation grew up with the task of bridging the gap between our industrial past and our future as a role model for polycentric organization of megacities. We have varying opinions on the things that change or will stay forever. But we know that there are times and matters in which we are united in our love for something simple. Something as simple as Currywurst, Pils or football. KONTERMAG wants to show you what else we love here and can recommend to you, our guests, along the backbone of our region, the cities Dortmund, Bochum, Essen and Duisburg.