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Industry & monuments

Hardly any smoking chimneys are left, most winding towers stand still, steel hammers are silent. The days of heavy industry are over. Impressive buildings are still there, witnesses of days gone by, turned into unique visitor attracttions.

The Ruhr metropolis, once a center of coal and steel industries, has become one of the most thrilling cultural regions in Europe. Former industry plants are now home to arts and culture, entertainment, sport and relaxation. Prime example is Zollverein in Essen: what used to be the biggest and most modern coal mine in the world is now protected by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site.

Get ready for a unique experience discovering the industrial heritage of the Ruhr: breath-taking exhibitions in the Oberhausen Gasometer, climbing on top of the blast furnaces at Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord or ice-skating in front the old coke oven plant in Essen. Exciting discoveries any time of year!

Top highlights industry & heritage
  • World heritage Zollverein

    For many visitors the highlight of a city trip to the Ruhr area: Zollverein, once the most beautiful colliery of the world and today the best known industrial monument in the Ruhr Area and UNESCO world heritage.

  • Gasometer Oberhausen

    The Gasometer in Oberhausen is one of the most impressive exhibition venues in Europe. The former gas storage facility can be seen from a great distance, making it a high-visibility landmark for the Ruhr Area.

  • Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord

    As a decommissioned iron smelting works, the landscape park is now one of the most important industrial monuments, as well as being an excursion destination, a venue for events, climbing and diving.

  • Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

    With an exhibition space of 12,000 sqm the German Mining Museum is the most prominent mining museum in the world.

  • Zollern Colliery

    "Mansion of labour" is the name given by contemporaries to arguably the most beautiful colliery in the Ruhr area. Zollern colliery was famous in Dortmund above all for the plant floor, with its art nouveau entrance.

  • Schiffshebewerk Henrichenburg

    The Henrichenburg ship lift in Waltrop is a popular excursion destination in the Ruhr area not just for engineering fans.

Weitere Industriedenkmäler im Ruhrgebiet

Aquarius Wassermuseum

The Aquarius Water Museum in Mülheim an der Ruhr is one of the most popular museums in the Ruhr Area for families.

The Route of Industrial Heritage

The Route of Industrial Heritage is a regional tourist project in the hands of the RVR.

Camera Obscura

An insiders' tip amongst the museums in the Ruhr Area is the Camera Obscura at the Museum on the Prehistory of Film in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

Dortmunder U

The U-Tower has dominated the skyline of the city of Dortmund for decades.

Eisenbahnmuseum Bochum

The Railway Museum (Eisenbahnmuseum) in Bochum-Dahlhausen is one of the most popular museums in the Ruhr Area, particularly with families.

Jahrhunderthalle Bochum

The 'Jahrhunderthalle' in Bochum is both industrial monument and cultural highlight in one.

Kokerei Hansa

The Hansa coking plant in Dortmund is one of the highlights of industrial heritage in the Ruhr Area.

LWL-Freilichtmuseum Hagen

The LWL open air museum in Hagen is one of the most beautiful museums in the Ruhr Area.


The Rhine Industrial Museum Arena in Oberhausen is housed in the former Altenberg zinc factory, and the museum is one of the industrial heritage highlights in Oberhausen.

Ruhr Museum

The Ruhr Museum opened in the year of the Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 in the former coal washery in the Zollverein colliery in Essen.

Umspannwerk Recklinghausen

In Recklinghausen's transformer station the "Power and life" museum, with 2,000 sqm of exhibition space, takes its visitors on a journey through time to explain the history of electricity.

Zeche Hannover

Hannover colliery is a fascinating place of interest in the Ruhr area and an important industrial monument.
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Route of Industrial Heritage
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Go on a voyage of discovery through the Metropolis Ruhr with the RUHR.TOPCARD and experience the unbelievable cultural diversity and the impressive range of leisure activities.

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