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Title: Düsseldorf-Unterbilk  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: District 4, Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf-Hamm station, Düsseldorf-Lierenfeld, Düsseldorf-Vennhausen, Düsseldorf-Grafenberg
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Unterbilk is an urban borough in the 3rd District of the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital Düsseldorf. It is the seat of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia, the tower Rheinturm and, together with the Düsseldorf Harbour, is the centre of the media industry in Düsseldorf.


Unterbilk has a small area only of 1.63 km2. It borders to the urban boroughs Harbour, Bilk, Friedrichstadt and Carlstadt, which belongs to the Central District.


Unterbilk was originally a part of Bilk, in 799 AD was first mentioned. Düsseldorf belonged to the old parish of St. Martin in Bilk until 1206, in 1384 was Bilk turn to Düsseldorf incorporated. The autonomous district Unterbilk created by the construction of the railway line from Neuss to Düsseldorf, which cut Bilk into two parts north and south of the railway line. The old Bilk south of the railway line kept the name Bilk, the northern part became Unterbilk. In 1976 the first horse racing track of Düsseldorf opened in Unterbilk. Between 1890 and 1896 the new harbour of Düsseldorf had been built up at the Lausward in Unterbilk. In the 19th century Unterbilk grew very quickly, because of the Industrial Revolution. Up from 1980 the third sector economy grew up in Unterbilk. Today the media industry, the state administration, sales and consultance dominating the economy of Unterbilk.

Well-known buildings and monuments

map of Düsseldorf, showing Unterbilk (in red) within District 3 (in pink)

The old and the new State Parliament

On the border between Frederichstadt and Unterbilk had run fortifications of the city of Duesseldorf since the Napoleonic era. After these fortifications were torn down, it created an area for new gardens like the Schwanenspiegel.

Although, the old Prussian Province Parliament for the Rhine Province was located in the Ständehaus (Estates house). After World War II the State Parliament of the new state North Rhine-Westphalia was located in that building from 1946 to 1988, too. Today, the historic parliament building is part of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.

The new seat of the State Parliament, with has a rounded architecture, is located in Unterbilk, too. It's near the border line to the harbour area, in the immediate vicinity of the Rheinturm and the Broadcasting House of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk.

This is followed by the postmodern buildings ensemble of the Neuer Zollhof and the Media Harbour, particular constructed by Frank Gehry.

Another excellent example of postmodern architecture, which won international architecture prizes, is the Stadttor, which is located in Unterbilk, too. In the Stadttor is the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia accommodated.

Religious buildings

The New Bilk Church, constructed some centuries after Bilk became a part of Düsseldorf, for the erected parish of St. Martin is in Unterbilk, while Old St. Martin belongs still to the borough Bilk. The Bilk Church is situated opposite side of St. Martinus Hospital at the intersection Gladbacher Straße / Volmerswerther Straße.

In addition, sometimes the Church of St. Peter in the church square Unterbilk attributed, as it is located near the border of the borough of Frederichstadt with Unterbilk.


A little further south is the flora garden, as a fellow of the idea of a garden city in the planning of the 19th century, which was a leading idea in the development of the city in that era.

The central Police Department was built in the 1920s and is a typical example for the architecture of that time.

Between Bilk and Unterbilk, at the Bilk Station, actually the Düsseldorf Arcaden are growing. It becomes on one hand a huge shopping mall, but on the other hand a communal cultural centre and gets a swimming hall inside of it.


  • Düsseldorf Communal Administration: Statistics Office
  • Düsseldorf Communal Administration: District Mayor, Distr. 3
This article is based on a translation from the German WorldHeritage.

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