Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex,UNESCO World Heritage Site, Essen Germany. Pictures taken August, 2012
I spent 8 days in the Ruhrgebeit, exploring sites on the European Route of Industrial Heritage as well as the Ruhr Route of Industrial Nature. What brought me to this part of Germany was hearing about the Duis-burg Nord Landschafts Park and the Zollverein Coal Mine Heritage Site. While I was in the Ruhrgebeit I was able to take advantage of the over 400 km of bike trails, the sites of the Emscher Landscape Park, the Oberhausen Museum and so many coal mining sites! (Which I will be posting about of course)
The Zollverein site was designed by bauhaus architects, it opened in 1932 “and is considered an architectural and technical masterpiece, earning it a reputation as the “most beautiful coal mine in the world.” It was both a coal mine and a coal refinery. The Master Plan for the site as World Heritage destination was conducted by OMA. the offices hosted artists’ studios, workshops and galleries and there is a huge museum onsite. There were so many people here, while I was visiting it was host to a festival of food and drinks, the energy was great. The site also hosts events as part of the Ruhr Triennale, a regional arts festival with its roots in the Emscher Park International Architecture Exhibition. It is on the edge of Essen, just a ride along the tram.
View of the stacks of the former coking plant.
A food and drink festival set up within the site’s industrial framework.