Völklingen Ironworks

Völklingen, Germany

The Völklingen Ironworks in western Germany close to the border with France cover 6 ha and are a unique monument to pig-iron production in Western Europe. No other historic blast-furnace complex has survived that demonstrates the entire process of pig-iron production in the same way, with the same degree of authenticity and completeness, and is underlined by such a series of technological milestones in innovative engineering. The Völklingen monument illustrates the industrial history of the 19th century in general and also the transnational Saar-Lorraine-Luxembourg industrial region in the heart of Europe in particular. The Ironworks are a synonym for and a symbol of human achievement during the First and Second Industrial Revolutions in the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

The iron-making complex dominates the townscape of Völklingen. It contains installations covering every stage in the pig-iron production process, from raw materials handling and processing equipment for coal and iron ore to blast-furnace iron production, with all the ancillary equipment, such as gas purification and blowing equipment.

The installations are exactly as they were when production ceased in 1986. The overall appearance is that of an ironworks from the 1930s, since no new installations were added after the rebuilding of the coking plant in 1935. There is considerable evidence of the history of the works in the form of individual items that have preserved substantial elements of their original form. Large sections of the frames and platforms of the blast furnaces, for example, have not been altered since their installation at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. Much of the original coking plant survives, despite the 1935 reconstruction, notably the coal tower of 1898. Six of the gas-blowing engines, built between 1905 and 1914, are preserved, as are the suspended conveyer system of 1911 and the dry gas purification plant of the same time. In addition, remains of Buch´s puddle ironworks of 1873 are preserved in the power station below the blast furnaces.

Völklingen Ironworks was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1994.



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Founded: 1881
Category: Industrial sites in Germany
Historical period: German Empire (Germany)


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

gary crosby (7 months ago)
Another detour from route south, very much worthwhile. If you have any interest in engineering or past industrial heritage/history you must visit. Huge music exhibition where you wear head phones and walk around the large pump room to see visual displays. Has art exhibitions inside. Lots of walking and climbing stairs, part of it requires wearing a safety helmet. €11 entry, student €6 We had a great time. Large free car park to rear with motorhome parking
Saul Phizacklea (7 months ago)
What a fantastic place to visit, so many interesting things to see and interact with, extremely fun for the whole family, many viewing points to see the whole area and a lot of learning to be done, if you want a fun family day out this is the spot, took the kids here and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, nicely priced for such a large museum
S C (8 months ago)
If you are an engineer it's a wonderful place to visit. One can climb on top of the blow furnace!!! Plan for a good 4 hours if you want to see everything. If coming with kids - don't plan to see everything, kids will not handle all of it. Food is not so good there though.
Lauma Brežģe (8 months ago)
Absolutely epic! I knew before visiting that it was going to be quite impressive but when you're actually there in person, it's even more mindblowing. Make sure to have 4 hours to spend there at the very least, if you plan to look at the exhibitions as well. 5 hours would be much better (we left after 4 hours simply because the place was closing). The place is mostly very easy to navigate, only some parts were a bit more confusing, when you're not 100% sure where to go, but it's kind of impossible to get lost.
Steven Cain (12 months ago)
Saw the 'World of Video Music' exhibition. Was really awesome. Iconic videos from the 80s and every decade since and from many countries. Super entertaining. Liked the format with headphones. Spent three hours there Saturday. Tons of videos but some notably absent. Not one single Michael Jackson Vid. Curious - must be a licensing issue. Some other absent groups but overall totally awesome and worth it! Go!
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