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 (12 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 (14 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 (14 months ago)
I can be there for days taking photos...
Dr. Melody Ann Ross (15 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 (16 months ago)
Beautiful, amazing place. Good for resting, exploring, just chilling, everything. It has some special vibe. Worth visiting. Definitely.
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