Northrhinewestphalia (short: NRW) - a state of superlatives
Densely populated federal state, fourth largest state in terms of area, highest economic output (measured by GDP), >30% migration share, carnival stronghold and tourist magnet, 30 major cities and, at its centre, the Ruhr region with around ten million inhabitants as one of the largest conurbations in the world and central part of the most densely populated region in Europe, the "blue banana".
Sights such as Cologne Cathedral, the Rhine Tower at the Düsseldorf Parliament or the Hermann Monument in the Teutoburg Forest attract countless tourists. In the Ruhr region, some 3,500 industrial monuments reflect the eventful past of the mining region and have become lively places for leisure and culture - high-wire climbing between disused blast furnaces, diving in a former gasometer or ice skating between coke ovens. In addition, there is a density of modern art like nowhere else in Germany. The Museum Folkwang in Essen, for example, is one of the most renowned art museums in Germany and invites visitors on a demanding journey through art history.
If you want to immerse yourself in the mentality of NRW, you have to like carnival and football. For hardly any other federal state stands for football passion with its Bundesliga clubs and traditional clubs that have outgrown the former workers' clubs. When top clubs like Borussia Dortmund, FC Schalke 04, FC Köln or Bayer 04 Leverkusen play, you see grown-ups crying. They eat curry sausage with French fries. But beware: in the Ruhr area, French fries are not fast food, but a culinary cultural asset! Beloved - or feared - is Westphalian pumpernickel (see Slide 1), a bread delicacy with a fine sweet taste that is created by the long, gentle baking time of up to 20 hours.
NRW also became famous for its inventions. For example, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, a native of Remscheid, discovered the power of "X-rays", a pharmacist from Bielefeld invented baking powder, the Düsseldorf company Henkel invented the glue stick, and the gummy bears invented in Bonn are truly on everyone's lips.
By the way, it is wonderful to escape from the big cities to the green fringes of NRW, which offer everything from lowlands to low mountain ranges (highest point: Langenberg at 843.2 m above sea level, located in the Sauerland) and thus open up a wide variety of leisure and sports opportunities!