Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex

Essen, Germany

The Zollverein industrial complex, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, consists of the complete infrastructure of a historical coal-mining site, with some 20th-century buildings of outstanding architectural merit. It constitutes remarkable material evidence of the evolution and decline of an essential industry over the past 150 years.

The Zollverein is an important example of a European primary industry of great economic significance in the 19th and 20th centuries. It consists of the complete installations of a historical coal-mining site: the pits, coking plants, railway lines, pit heaps, miner’s housing and consumer and welfare facilities. The mine is especially noteworthy of the high architectural quality of its buildings of the Modern Movement.

Zollverein XII was created at the end of a phase of political and economic upheaval and change in Germany, which was represented aesthetically in the transition from Expressionism to Cubism and Functionalism. At the same time, Zollverein XII embodies this short economic boom between the two World Wars, which has gone down in history as the 'Roaring Twenties'. Zollverein is also, and by no means least, a monument of industrial history reflecting an era, in which, for the first time, globalisation and the worldwide interdependence of economic factors played a vital part.

The architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kemmer developed Zollverein XII in the graphic language of the Bauhaus as a group of buildings which combined form and function in a masterly way. 

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Details

Founded: 1847
Category: Industrial sites in Germany
Historical period: German Confederation (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

SALMAN DELIWALA (6 months ago)
A very Iconic place in Essen one should not miss this place if visiting Essen. The place is very vast lots of things to see around and there is no entry fee. There are few museums located within the premises which are accessible after buying the ticket though the place itself gives some idea about the history. There is a very huge escalator leading to Ruhr museum which again is unique within itself. The nearest public transportation is via Tram station zollverein which is close to the entrance to this building.
Tim Ole (8 months ago)
Very fun experience- part UNESCO world heritage, (small) part lost place. If you’re there please book a tour including a trip to the terrace offering a panoramic view and think about renting a bike at “Revierrad” on the premises to see all the cool places. You can learn lots about the coal industry, the Ruhr-area and much more or visit the Red Dot Design museum to catch an exhibition. There are lots of dining and snacking options as well. One caveat concerns smaller children: only one tiny playground is to be found - so look beforehand if you want to make a stop at the beautiful Kinderburg playground close-by.
Christopher Hoffee (8 months ago)
I can be there for days taking photos...
Dr. Melody Ann Ross (9 months ago)
A great place to visit during COVID. Lots of things to do outdoors, and all the indoor spaces are thoughtfully controlled to prevent over-crowding. The sculpture forest has an unfinished feel to it- I look forward to future visits over the years to see how it will mature. There are several different cafes and Biergartens, where you can enjoy a good NRW Pilsener and Currywurst. The signage is all in German but there are tourist maps in English available from any of the several information booths. My recommendation is to do the circle walk around the whole site, and then to go back and spend more time at the features that most interested you. It is easy to get here via public transit, but I also saw lots of people driving through the grounds- the carparks are quite large. Parents be aware! You cannot take a stroller/pram/Kinderwagen to the Ruhr Museum. But most of the rest of the grounds (not the sculpture forest so much) are very friendly to wheel users of all varieties. The baby changing table is located in the accessible toilet.
Vasilija Đorđević (10 months ago)
Beautiful, amazing place. Good for resting, exploring, just chilling, everything. It has some special vibe. Worth visiting. Definitely.
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Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.

Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.