iba 2009: Lots of sight-seeing opportunities around Dusseldorf

Munich / DE. (ghm) One of Germany´s foremost Romantic poets, Heinrich Heine, waxed lyrical about this city: «Dusseldorf is so beautiful that when one thinks of it from afar and happens to have been born there, a wondrous feeling comes over one. I was born there, and I am suddenly filled with an urge to make my way home as quickly as I can». These words welcome iba´s trade visitors and exhibitors to Heine´s home city, between 03 to 09 October 2009. Awaiting the bakers and confectioners who heed this call is not just a seven-day display of all the latest innovations and trends in their sector at this leading international trade fair, but also a chance to get to know more about this delightful city, by combining their visit with an interesting sight-seeing programme.

Dusseldorf has many attractions all just waiting to be explored. There is something for all tastes – in terms of museums there is a wide choice, ranging from the kunst palast (Ehrenhof) with its focus on German Expressionism to the Mustard Museum (Berger Strasse). After a spot of culture, the old town centre is a great place to explore with its tiny, winding alleyways and intimate little squares. And Konigsallee (or Ko, for short), is the place for all those upmarket shops, boutiques and galleries and a wonderful array of tempting things to buy. Fans of modern architecture won´t want to miss a visit to the MedienHafen. Many buildings in this new district have been designed by international star architects, among them Frank O. Gehry and David Chipperfield. For a rest after all that sightseeing, what better place for the iba exhibitors and visitors to chill out than in the bars of the old town, sampling the local speciality «Altbier». In fact there are so many places to indulge in the local brew in this part of town that the area is jokingly known as «the longest bar in the world». The beer gardens and cafes along the banks of the Rhine also tempt guests with their culinary delights. What better – and more romantic way – to relax in the evening, than watching the ships pass by on the river.

For those with a little more time, the region around Dusseldorf also has much to offer. October is after all a perfect month for exploring. Cologne with its world-famous cathedral, and also the Ruhr district, are just a short hop away on the excellent bus, rail and ferry services. Following the decline of the mining industry, the Ruhr district has developed into a fascinating cultural hotspot, so much so that it is to be Europe´s next cultural capital in 2010. This transformation is expressed very well in the developments at the port of Duisburg. Star architects like Sir Norman Foster and Herzog + de Meuron have breathed new life into this once thriving harbour which at one time, thanks to its many flour mills and warehouses, was known as the «bread basket of the Ruhr». Another example of the area´s regeneration is the Zollverein industrial complex in Essen, which in 2001 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Where once coal was brought to the surface, there is now a lively, top-quality monument to industrial history. Each year a rich and varied programme of cultural events attracts crowds of visitors, and the work spaces here are being snapped up by design and architectural businesses.

So there are a lot of reasons to visit iba 2009 in Dusseldorf – and the region.

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