Düsseldorf, Germany



The Düsseldorf castle at or in the Düsseldorfer Altstadt existed from 1260 to 1872 or 1896. The building was erected in 1260 as a lowland castle of the Counts of Düsseldorf. Berg at the Rhine mouth of the Düssel on a small island. Extensions as Duke and Court Schloss took place under William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg (1549), Jan Wellem (late 17th century) and Charles Theodore (1755). The palace gained international attention above all for its Düsseldorf Picture Gallery, which was built from 1709 to 1712 as the first independent gallery building It exhibited a world-famous collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings until 1805. From 1817 to 1848, part of the palace housed a mint of the Kingdom of Prussia. From 1845 onwards, the former residential palace, which at that time had already housed the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf for several decades, was developed under Friedrich Wilhelm IV into the Parliament of the Rhine Province Provincial Diet. In the night of 19 to 20 March 1872, the palace, for centuries the landmark of the residential city of Düsseldorf as well as a centre in the life and urban fabric of the old town, was a prey to the flames. A remaining south wing was demolished in 1896.

Today, the Burgplatz, whose name refers to the historical use of the area as a castle complex, extends on the site of the castle. Only the Schlossturm, which is home to the Schifffahrtsmuseum, remains of it. Beyond that, the only reminder of the castle there is an outline of differently coloured stones that hints at the former floor plan of the Düsseldorf castle in the pavement of Burgplatz.

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