A Pre-Christmas Day Trip

December 1st, 2018

As has become traditional over the past few years, the International Club’s last trip in 2018 was to a Christmas market, this year to one of the largest in North Rhine-Westphalia.  On 1 December 2018, our members, guests and their children headed towards Düsseldorf.

Before we got to Düsseldorf, we we visited the magnificent Baroque palace on the outskirts of Benrath. This jewel of a palace is flanked on both sides by cavalier houses, which now house museums of ornithology and garden art. We started with English and German guided tours of the palace, which was built from 1755-1770.  An extra bonus was the special tour just for families.  Ronja Rust from the museum management led the German tour and gave us entertaining insight into the history of this palace, which was originally built as a summer residence for the Elector Karl Theodore. This was quite an extravagance, since he only visited his elegant hunting lodge once.  She showed us several of the many secret passages for servants that were hidden behind fake doors.  The magnificent rooms were decorated with elaborate stucco, pilasters, ceiling paintings, silk wallpaper, Baroque furniture and original parquet floors. 

After the tour, we had time to stroll through the small historic Christmas market in front of the palace or through the 61 hectare park. Many of our members enjoyed a delicious lunch in the Palace Café.

In the afternoon, we continued on to the Düsseldorf Old Town and its myriad Christmas markets.  Fortunately, the board provided us with maps so that we could easily find our way.  As the sun set and the lights were turned on, the Old Town glowed.

We returned to Jülich at 5:30 pm and would especially like to thank board members Evelyn Hebestreit and Meredith Peyser for the tour.

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