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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Details

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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Amelie Ppp (2 years ago)
My favorite museum ! I love to spend time there
Stephan Jourdan (2 years ago)
Great industrial complex with beautiful art exhibition s.
Jeff Stabb (2 years ago)
A really amazing site that’s been perfectly preserved. Much more of it was open to walking than I thought it would be. I visited on a Saturday morning in January and was the only car in the lot at 1030 (half hour after they opened). When I left at 1230 there were only 5 cars in the lot. Definitely visit if you get the chance!!
Deniz Rönsch (3 years ago)
This place is worth the visit. It is huge. The views from the top are impressive. Industrial landscapes as it's best. The exhibitions are included, but are nothing compared to this place itself.
Michael Hamel (3 years ago)
Just an amazing factory to explore. Well organized and well maintained. If you are okay with heights there are amazing views as well.
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