An industrial monument in Germany
My father was a passionate metal workman, which explains a lot of my own interest in industry and technique. Occasionally I was even allowed to accompany him to the factory where he worked and I could see the machines in their full splendor.
The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex is on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites and apart from being a beautiful industrial monument it is also a cultural hotspot.
Atmosphere varying from season to season
My husband and I have visited Zollverein several times, in all the different seasons. Interesting, even being an industrial area, one still gets a feel for the different times of year. The light is diverse, the growth – little as it is – is varied and the whole atmosphere is distinct in another time of year.
As you might know from some other articles I wrote, I like it most if I can combine cultural activities with hiking and nature activities. I can assure you: hiking is one thing you can do at Zollverein. The plant is big and it takes you at least 1,5 hours if you walk all around.
Do you like factories?
Or do you think they are a visual pollution?
Find your way
Several activities, varying from sports to art and culture
There are still many buildings that need to be restored
The area of Essen has been “European Capital of Culture” in 2010.
That doesn’t mean a place like Zollverein is finished. It’s an ongoing project of restoring and refurbishing. But it’s done with great care.
Parts of the buildings are restored in their old grandeur and tour guides will show you around and tell about the history.
For me the highlight is the Red Dot Design Museum, situated in one of the old factories.
The Red Dot Design museum in one of the former factories
Some of the old buildings now are workshops for visual artists and dancers. There are small shops where people sell posters or utensils in small quantities.
And there are several cafes and a fancy restaurant, so you won’t have to be thirsty or hungry.
On the premises is a little shop where you can rent bikes. This way you can cover a bigger area to explore. In the neighborhood are for instance old factories that have been turned into hotels and museums about the history of the region.
In short: I can really recommend a visit, there is a lot to see over there.