The Radschläger of Düsseldorf

One of the oldest symbols associated with Düsseldorf is the “Radschläger” or translated, “Cartwheeler.”  No matter if it is a sculpture on the street or on top of a fountain, you can find this character just about everywhere. Making it the most popular souvenir purchase for those looking to commemorate their visit to Düsseldorf.

No one quite remembers when the tradition began, but this city’s symbol is based on the boys who once lived in the town and earned their pocket money by entertaining the pedestrians.  Strolling down the Königsallee (right next to the Old Town) you were sure to see the boys cartwheeling and shouting for a penny at the same time.

Today, the performances are less common. But there are some opportunities to catch the cartwheelers.  In fact, there is a yearly competition!  Every June since 1937, several hundred boys and girls (girls were allowed to compete since 1971!) from approximately 15 different nations participate and present their skills.

Not just the sculptures, which adorn the cityscape, but also the traditions, turn Düsseldorf into a colorful city full of activity and life.

 

(Auf Deutsch)

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