For Culture Enthusiasts: Follow this route along to see six UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Cologne Cathedral, Zeche Zollverein in Essen, the Aachen Cathedral, Schloss Corvey in Höxter, the palaces Augustusburg and Falkenlust in Brühl and the Niedergermanischen Limes at the Rhine. Be curious!
Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in VR mode.
Düsseldorf Airport to Aachen Cathedral
Set off from Düsseldorf Airport and head to your first cultural hotspot, Aachen and Aachen Cathedral. It is immensely significant in terms of both architecture and art history and one of the best preserved architectural monuments of the Carolingian period.
Good to know: In 1978, Aachen Cathedral became the first ever German cultural monument to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Aachen Cathedral to the Palaces of Augustusburg & Falkenlust
The Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces, in Brühl, are two of Germany’s most important examples of Baroque and Rococo architecture and have served as models for numerous other noble German court buildings. The adjacent Schlosspark (Palace Park) links the two Brühl palaces.
Good to know: The Schlosspark is an internationally recognised monument to the art of gardening. While it is designed in the French style, it has recognisable English landscaped garden features, too.
Palaces Augustusburg & Falkenlust to Cologne Cathedral
Brühl to Cologne is about a 30 minute drive, so head now to the most visited sight in North Rhine-Westphalia. Cologne Cathedral is truly awe-inspiring and one of the most acknowledged masterpieces of European Gothic architecture. Hugely popular with art lovers, tourists and pilgrims alike, it is one of the most important pilgrimage churches in Europe.
Good to know: Cologne Cathedral attracts more than six million visitors a year, making it the most popular tourist destinations in Germany.
Cologne Cathedral to the Roman Museum
Distance: About 100 kilometres
The Lower Germanic Limes separated the Roman province of Lower Germania from free Germania for over 450 years. The river border along the Rhine connects city and countryside, for example the Rhine metropolis of Cologne and Xanten, which is further along the Lower Rhine: Roman life comes alive there in the LVR Roman Museum. Visitors can learn about trade routes, military bases and everyday life in the Roman Empire.
Roman Museum to the Zollverein Coal Mine
The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2001 and is one of the most impressive industrial monuments on the planet. The final working shift here, as a working mine, was in 1986 and since then, the Zollverein has been transformed into an inspiring and important site for the art, culture and creative works.
Good to know: the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein attracts more than one million visitors a year and as a building, this former coal mine - which was built on Bauhaus principles - has come to represent the immense structural and cultural changes which have revitalised the Ruhr area.
The Zollverein Coal Mine to Corvey Castle to Düsseldorf Airport
125 miles from Essen | 135 miles to Düsseldorf
This former Benedictine abbey at the small, historical town of Corvey is unique: its “westwork”, or western façade, is not just one of the only nearly fully-preserved Carolingian structures, it is the only Carolingian westwork to survive at all.
Good to know: The former monastery and convent of Corvey were awarded the coveted UNESCO World Heritage title in 2014, providing the city with its first UNESCO World Heritage Site.