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hieronyma Leverkusen - A travel report by Christl
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Leverkusen,  Germany - flag Germany -  Nordrhein-Westfalen
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hieronyma's travel reports

Leverkusen, the town I live in

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Whoever called this city a beautiful one does not know what he is talking about. This is not a city but an illness. Nevertheless I will try. Leverkusen is situated Northeast of Cologne on the other side of the Rhine.


The town is an April-fool joke, founded on 1.4.1930 by the union of the town of Wiesdorf, the communities of Schlebusch, Steinbüchel and Rheindorf. In 1975 the regional reorganisation took place and by union with the district town of Opladen (with Lützenkirchen, Quettingen, Rheindorf, Alkenrath, Bürrig, Küppersteg, Manfort), the town of Bergisch Neukirchen and Hitdorf, a former part of Monheim, it became what it is now: the rag rug of Leverkusen. Nine of today’s thirteen parts of town are first mentioned in the 12th and 13th century, but one, Lützenkirchen, is the oldest, mentioned in the 11th century. The name Leverkusen originated from the manufacturing settlement, which from 1860 onwards Carl Leverkus founded around his ultramarine factory and which became known worldwide when the factories of the former Friedrich Bayer & Co. AG were established here. Strategically it is comfortable situated: Airports in Cologne and Düsseldorf are in easy reach, Cologne and its big railroadstation just before the frontdoor, so are Bonn and Düsseldorf. In an hours drive you are in the Netherlands or in Belgium. By its twin towns it is connected with Oulu, Finnland (since 1968), Bracknell, England (since 1973/74), Ljubljana, Slowenien (since 1979), Nazareth Illit, Israel (since 1980), Chi-nandega, Nicaragua (since 1986), Schwedt, Federal Republic of Germany (since 1989), Villeneuve d’Ascq, Frankreich (since 2001), Ratibor/Racibórz, Polen (since 2002) and it is in loose contact with Wuxi, China.

Favourite spots:
There is not much left of the old times. But if you are interested in art, history, architecture, botany, environmental questions or in the carnival, there are some interesting places: For example the small baroque mansion Morsbroich in Alkenrath, buiilt the 18th century on the ruins of a moted castle of the 13th century, where you find an international collection of modern art. Here once a year an European day is celebrated and all the different clubs of foreigners, living in town, present themselves, here concerts take place and here you find a nice restaurant. Near by the Chapel St. Gezelin is situated with its healing water, as people believe. You can visit a Museum of Industry in the Kuhlmannsche Sensenfabrik in Schlebusch, or the Villa Wuppermann, built in the 19th century in the style of an Swiss country house, a citizens meetingplace. The history of town is presented in the Villa Römer, former residential building of a factory owner, in Opladen.

What's really great:
Half timbered houses you see along the Burscheider Straße, leading to Bergisch Neukirchen, specially nr. 329, the oldest, built in 1561. In Lützenkirchen, a sinecure of the Chapter of the Cathedral of Cologne, there is the small Chapel of the Cross from the 17th century with an old stations of the Cross, and the Chapel of St. Anna, built in the 17th, worth to see. During carnival, when the fools have taken over, you should go around in the different parts of town. That’s fun. If you want to learn the way towns hide there sins, specially their chemical waste, you should see the Landesgartenschau, opening this year along the river Rhine.

Sights:
The wonderful Japanese Garden, near the Bayer Factory, is a retreat, to be visited specially in springtime, because the Bayer factory warms up the air earlier then anywhere in town.
Gut Ophoven is worth a visit too. It is a centre for education, concerning the environment, and quite famous. In 1264 a moted castle was built, enlarged in the 14th/15th century by several buildings, in the 17th/18th century a house for the leaseholder and finally in 19th/20th several buildings were added, all buildings are in use and around them you find a park.

Other recommendations:
A must is a visit to Altenberg, the old Cisterciensian cathedral, specially in the afternoon when the sun lightens the golden westwindow. It is a beauty.

Published on Wednesday April 6th, 2005


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Fri, Feb 23 2007 - 04:49 PM rating by travler

Your report was great I wish you had used some pictures.

Wed, Mar 22 2006 - 01:45 PM rating by st.vincent

It's always good to get a viewpoint from someone living in a particular place. Good historical information and a nice use of humour in the introduction.

Thu, Apr 07 2005 - 10:34 AM rating by davidx

Very informative report.

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