Krefeld
A LARGE CITY WITH A SMALL-TOWN FEELING

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Museum © flickr/Stadt Krefeld
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Museum© flickr/Stadt Krefeld

Krefeld, though actually quite large, has a charming, small-town feeling. Everything is located nearby, and with little effort you can escape into the beautiful Rhineland countryside for a day. If you enjoy concerts, jazz and ice hockey, you will soon feel right at home in Krefeld.

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WELCOME TO KREFELD

The pace of life in Krefeld is a bit slower than in other cities. In comparison to the neighbouring cities of Düsseldorf and Duisburg, everything feels a bit smaller and cosier in Krefeld. In the 18th and 19th century, Krefeld made a name for itself as the “City of Velvet and Silk”. Today its textile industrial legacy is commemorated at the “Haus der Seidenkultur” and the “German Textile Museum”.

 

Nowadays the textile industry plays a more important role in research. In collaboration with the Lower Rhine University of Applied Sciences, local companies are working to improve, among other things, industrial textiles. The chemical and metal industries, metal construction and automotive engineering are also important branches of industry in and around Krefeld. Numerous corporations, like Bayer AG and Evonik Industries, have built facilities at the “ChemPark” located directly on the Rhine River. Krefeld is also home to assembly plants for express trains, such as the ICE, as well as trams and subways.

Despite the large industrial areas located on the outskirts of town, Krefeld has kept its charming character. All along Blumenstrasse and Prinz-Ferdinand-Strasse, you can admire the freshly renovated and colourfully painted houses which were built during Krefeld’s heyday. Further away from downtown are two buildings designed by the famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: Both Haus Lange and Haus Ester (on Wilhelmshofallee) are public museums today.

 

If you’re wondering – the word “Krefelder” doesn’t only refer to residents of Krefeld. In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, it can also be a mixed beverage, containing Altbier (a dark beer) or Pilsener and cola. In other regions, those speed-bumps which force drivers to reduce their speed are sometimes called “Krefelder Pillows” – or “Krefelder” for short.

LIVING IN KREFELD

Many people, who work in Düsseldorf or Duisburg, live in Krefeld because the rental prices are lower than in other cities. Students benefit from this as well. Krefeld has a well-developed public transport system with trams and bus lines. But riding your bike is also a safe and easy way to get around town. There are many bike paths and hardly any hills in Krefeld.

The “” in Krefeld draws crowds from well outside the city limits. Concerts, cabaret and theatre performances are held there all year around. The Kulturfabrik – or “KuFa” for short – is located near the train station in one of the buildings of the old slaughterhouse. A bit closer to downtown, but somewhat hidden in Lohstrasse, you’ll find the “Jazzkeller”, one of the oldest jazz clubs in Germany which opened in 1958.

If you come to Krefeld, you should go see an ice-hockey game of the Krefeld Penguins which plays in the premier league. Emotions run high when they play against the Düsseldorf team. The fans endearingly call such matches “Streetcar Derbies” on account of the tram connection between Krefeld and Düsseldorf.

If you come to Krefeld, you should go see an ice-hockey game of the Krefeld Penguins which plays in the premier league. Emotions run high when they play against the Düsseldorf team. The fans endearingly call such matches “Streetcar Derbies” on account of the tram connection between Krefeld and Düsseldorf.

Another big “sporting” event is the soapbox derby down Hülser Berg in Krefeld. Thousands of onlookers cheer on the daring pilots as they race down the hill at breakneck speeds. If you’re into sports yourself – especially water sports – then you ought to go to Elfrather Lake. There you can do windsurfing, rowing, diving and sailing. Many Krefelder enjoy taking relaxing walks or bike rides around the lake on warm, summer days.

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