Düsseldorf (düsˈəldôrf) [key], city (1994 pop. 574,600), capital of North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, at the confluence of the Rhine and Düssel rivers. It is a major industrial, financial, and commercial center; a busy inland port; and an important rail junction. It has three harbors on the Rhine and one of the nation's busiest civil airfields at Lohausen. Its manufactures include iron, steel, machinery, chemicals, textiles, and glass. Chartered in 1288, Düsseldorf later was (14th–16th cent.) the capital and residence of the dukes of Berg. In 1614 it passed to the Palatinate-Neuburg line of the Bavarian house of Wittelsbach. It was occupied by France in 1795 and in 1815 became part of Prussia. Its industrial growth dates from c.1870. After World War I it was occupied again by France from 1921 to 1925. The city was badly damaged during World War II but has been rebuilt. Present-day Düsseldorf is an elegant city and a cultural center, with noted theaters and museums and a university. Its famous art academy (founded 1777; reestablished 1819) gave its name in the 19th cent. to the Düsseldorf school, of which Bendemann and Schadow-Godenhaus were representative. Heinrich Heine, the poet, was born (1797) in Düsseldorf.
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