From the Cradle to the Chair: Stages in the Life of Joseph Beuys
five-day bike tour on the Beuys & Bike routeViersen
The bicycle is ready to go, while art and culture are waiting by the side of the road. The Lower Rhine has any number of places connected to Beuys waiting to be discovered in a five-day bicycle tour.
The “From the Cradle to the Chair” Route follows in the tracks of multi-layered artist Joseph Beuys, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in May 2021. The round course of about 160 kilometres leads from Meerbusch to Neuss via Düsseldorf and from Neuss to Mönchengladbach without detour, before passing on to Viersen and Krefeld and eventually returning to Meerbusch. The route covers stations of his life, important sites of culture, and commemorative places. The city experience with its rich culture is a particular part of this adventurous route that offers beautiful landscapes and sculptures on small detours and along the banks of the Rhine.
The exploration tour begins in Meerbusch’s contemplative Büderich quarter, where an old church tower with a cross-shaped sculpture stands by the village street. Joseph Beuys’ largest work in public space, it was created in his Kleve studio in 1959 to commemorate the men of Büderich who fell in World War I together with an oak portal also sketched by him. Lovers of art can learn more about the work here before cycling to the nearby riverbanks. The dyke along the Rhine welcomes cyclists with a large-scale granite sculpture of Beuys head, designed by Beuys’ master student Anatol Herzfeld to commemorate his teacher.
The next stop is in Düsseldorf, where cyclists can follow the artist’s tracks from his former living studio at Drakeplatz 4 in Oberkassel to the Art Academy, his former place of training and work in the metropolis on the Rhine. In the old town, they will learn about the pubs where this jack of all trades used to meet with his students after work to fuel up as well. Haroldstraße, at the fringes of Carlstadt, has an oak from what is likely the artist’s most important project: “7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung” (7000 oaks – city forestation instead of city administration). The Medienhafen with its architecturally valuable building ensemble begins just a few metres beyond this work, which shares more information on the multi-layered intellectual artist, inviting visitors to take a break there.
Speaking of students and their teacher: The Beuys & Bike Southern Route also passes the Museum Insel Hombroich in Neuss that Beuys’ student Anatol Herzfeld helped design starting in the 1980s. It still contains many of his works among its beautiful natural backdrop, bearing witness to the influence of lecturer Beuys.
A direct comparison with the jubilarian’s works is, finally, possible in the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach, now the owner of more than 200 pieces by Joseph Beuys. Travellers can also try out their Yona-App all around the renowned house of art designed in post-modernist architecture by Hans Hollein, discovering commemorative places in the vicinity and virtually augmenting reality. Further important stations on the return trip include the sculpture park in Viersen, the art museums of Krefeld, and the home of Beuys’ parents at Alexanderplatz. If desired, the traveller can also put in a few additional stops to enjoy recreation in nature on the last segment.
- Four nights, including breakfast, in four selected hotels along the route
- Admission to the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach
- Admission to the Kunstmuseen Krefeld
- Admission to the Museum Insel Hombroich
- Art:walk48 ticket in Düsseldorf with admission to six Düsseldorf museums within 48 hours
- A three-course menu in one of the hotels
- Digital Beuys tour via YONA app inMönchengladbach
- Maps, GPS track and tour description
approx. 161 km
Day 1 | Arrival Meerbusch
Day 2 | Meerbusch – Düsseldorf – Neuss (approx. 30 km)
Day 3 | Neuss – Mönchengladbach (approx. 38 km)
Day 4 | Mönchengladbach – Viersen – Krefeld (approx. 43 km)
Day 5 | Krefeld – Meerbusch (approx. 50 km)
Hotels 3-4* level
- Hotel Zum Deutschen Eck (Meerbusch)
- Holiday Inn Neuss
- Mercure Parkhotel Mönchengladbach
- Mercure Parkhotel Krefelder Hof
Double room per person from € 399,00
Single room per person from € 499,00
Any applicable visitor’s tax, bed taxes and parking fees are not included in the price and must be paid on site. All prices are subject to availability at the time of booking and in compliance with the Corona Protection Ordinance.
Additional overnight stay possible upon request.
02162 / 8179-333