A Day at Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth: History, Scenery, and More

Updated on October 26, 2023  


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Nestled along the serene banks of the Rhine River, Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth exudes centuries of history and charm.

This ancient fortress, with its rich past, is a captivating testament to Germany's storied heritage.

This comprehensive guide offers useful travel resources for those interested in visiting this riverfront location including admission details, tips for visitors and information on various castle tours available.

History of Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth

Construction by Emperor Barbarossa

Emperor Barbarossa commissioned the construction of Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth in the 12th century. The castle served as a strategic control point on the Rhine River, providing its inhabitants with a commanding view.


Historical documents reveal that a fortification has existed there since 1016, making it one of the oldest castles in Dusseldorf (and even Germany). It played host to critical historical events like the Spanish occupation from 1589-1592 and later saw devastation during the Cologne War in 1586.

Today, visitors can freely explore these glimpses into Germany's past scattered around Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth district—a testament serving history enthusiasts and casual tourists alike.

Purpose as a control point on the Rhine River

The location of Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth on the east bank of the Rhine River played a crucial role in its historical significance.

Emperors long ago strategically used this position to control access to the river, effectively determining who and what could pass through.

This dominance over trade from non-empire territories was enforced by implementing river tolls at key points like Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth.


The castle stood not just as a symbol of imperial power but also as an integral stone in controlling both land and waterways throughout their lands.

Empires hinged on such control points; they managed the flow of goods, people, and information across vast distances thereby strengthening their rule.

Destruction and rebuilding

The Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth has a history of destruction and rebuilding. During World War II, the castle suffered significant damage, like many historical monuments in the area.

However, efforts were made to restore the castle in the 20th century, showcasing its cultural heritage and historical significance.


The city of Düsseldorf, including the Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth, was also reconstructed after the war as part of postwar reconstruction projects.

This highlights the dedication to preserving and restoring architectural heritage in this region.

Description of the ruins

The ruins of Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth, located in the historic quarter of Kaiserswerth in Düsseldorf, are a captivating sight. This 12th-century castle offers visitors the opportunity to explore its fascinating nooks and crannies that have stood the test of time.

From its elevated position, you can enjoy stunning views of the majestic Rhine River.


As a listed historical monument under state protection since December 1982, these ruins hold immense historical significance and provide a unique glimpse into Germany's past. [1]

Best of all, there is free entry to this remarkable site, allowing everyone to experience its charm, discover photo spots, and immerse themselves in centuries worth of history.

Other Historical Sites in Kaiserwerth

In addition to Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth, there are several other historical sites worth exploring in the region.

St. Suitbertus Basilica

Close to the historic Kaiserpfalz, you'll see the St. Suitbertus church, a famous church in the area. This church was built from 1050 to 1237 and has three naves.

Inside, there's a gold shrine that holds the relics of Saint Suitbertus, who was a missionary from Anglo-Saxon times and started a monastery in Kaiserswerth in the 700s.


You can find this basilica on Suitbertus-Stiftsplatz, which is a peaceful spot that draws in both locals and tourists.

You can enjoy the church's choir, organ performances, and regular church services. The basilica is named after Saint Suitbert, who founded the first abbey in the area.

While some parts of the church are from the 11th century, there were significant renovations in the 18th century. Saint Suitbert's remains are also buried here.

Museum Kaiserswerth

Museum Kaiserswerth is a small museum located inside a primary school on Fliednerstrasse. It houses a collection of maps, original documents, and town plans that take you on a journey through history.

One interesting highlight of the museum is a detailed city model, measuring 12x18 square feet, made from ceramic by the talented Düsseldorf artist Hannes Esser. [2]

The museum also features the work of other Düsseldorf artists, including their drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures.


You can visit the museum only on Saturdays and Sundays, and they offer guided tours upon request.

A significant and permanent exhibit in the museum is a large clay model of the medieval city, created by Hannes Esser in the 1980s.

The museum presents the history of the city, including its monastery and imperial palace, on display boards. You can also see archaeological discoveries in glass cases.

Planning a Visit to Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth

Directions and transportation options

To reach Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth from Düsseldorf city center, plan on setting aside a couple of hours for the round trip. You can take the U79 train from Düsseldorf Central station (Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof) heading towards Meiderich Bf to get to the castle.

During the day, trains depart approximately every fifteen minutes, so if you miss one, don't worry; another one will arrive shortly. The U79 train ride takes about fifteen minutes, and you'll get off at Kittelbachstraße.

DüsseldorfCard gives free public transportation in Düsseldorf and offers discounts at major city attractions. Get your DüsseldorfCard here. 

From there, it's a ten-minute walk through the historic houses and narrow streets that wind through Kaiserswerth.

Alternatively, you can cycle from the city center to Kaiserswerth, as Düsseldorf is a bike-friendly city.

Admission fees and hours

Admission to Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth is completely free. There are no lines or wait times to enter the castle, allowing visitors to explore at their own pace.

This allows you to fully appreciate the historical significance of Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth without breaking the bank.

It is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM.

So grab your walking shoes and get ready to delve into centuries-old history at this fascinating site in Kaiserswerth.

Personal Review

My family and I visited this historical site, and it's astonishingly well-preserved, nestled in nature, which makes it a great spot for a family trip.

We found the information in both German and English very useful, and the river views were absolutely stunning.

We could freely wander around the site, even climb the walls, and there were signs that told us about the building's history.

The old stone walls of the castle are truly impressive, especially considering they're over a thousand years old.

We really enjoyed the beer garden by the river; it's a nice place to have a drink and watch the sunset under the chestnut trees.

The mix of the past and present, with cafes and riverside walks, makes this place even more charming.

If you're interested in the history of the castle and the town, there's a museum nearby that provides more information.

Getting here is easy from the closest bus station or tram stop, and there's a unique cafe right next to it, which is a must-visit, and the best part is there's no entry fee.

Conclusion: Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth

In conclusion, Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth is undeniably a must-visit in Dusseldorf. Whether you're exploring this historical gem alone, with your kids, or as a couple, it offers a remarkable experience that transcends time.

Steeped in rich history and surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Rhine, this imperial palace ruins have a unique charm that beckons visitors from all walks of life.

For a perfect weekend outing, you can immerse yourself in the stories of emperors, stroll along the riverbanks, and appreciate the well-preserved architectural wonders.

The centuries-old remains whisper tales of power and prestige, while the serene surroundings offer tranquility. In short, Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth not only embodies a captivating history lesson but also provides a serene escape, making it a destination that promises memories for a lifetime.

Key Takeaways

  • Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth is a 12th - century castle located in Düsseldorf, Germany.
  • It served as a strategic control point on the Rhine River, playing an important role in German history.
  • Visitors can explore the free - entry ruins and enjoy stunning views of the Rhine River.
  • The district also offers other historical attractions like the Basilika of Saint Suitberticus and Museum Kaiserwerth.


1: Entry in the list of monuments of the state capital Düsseldorf at the Institute for Monument Protection and Preservation, accessed on July 25, 2007., retrieved from https://inprobauauskunft.duesseldorf.de/ui.inpro/denkmal/view.jsf
2: Start - Heimat- und Bürgerverein Kaiserswerth e. V., retrieved from https://www.museum-kaiserswerth.de/

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of germanytravel.blog, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.