The Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site in the north of Essen is one of the most impressive monuments of industrial culture – and clearly shows how nature and culture are reconquering the former industrial complex. From 1851 to December 1986, hard coal was mined here, a total of more than 240 million tons. Zeche Zollverein was once the largest coal mine in the world and is today a symbol of the Ruhr Area's transformation from a coal pot to a cultural hub. The area of the UNESCO Zollverein World Heritage Site includes the colliery site and the coking plant, which was once the largest in Europe. Between the steel and stone bolides, a diverse flora first developed imperceptibly, now it is clearly visible: domestic woods and exotic plants spread over former fallow land. A unique scenery has been created in the field of tension between historical industrial scenery and nature experiences.
At the coking plant and the Zollverein colliery – Glück auf!
Since 2001, the coking plant and the Zeche Zollverein are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Today, numerous entities in the cultural sector have settled on the site: The Red Dot Design Museum, the Choreographic Centre NRW PACT Zollverein and the Ruhr Museum are all internationally renowned. Guided tours through shaft XII, the heart of coal mining, bring you closer to life and work "at the colliery" and up to the roof of the former coal washing plant, where you can enjoy an impressive view over the Ruhr Area. In summer, the factory swimming pool at the coking plant and a diverse culinary offering entice the site's visitors; in the winter, an ice rink opens on which you can make your rounds against a spectacular backdrop. Culinary delights of the extra class are offered by the Casino Zollverein, which reinterprets regional cuisine in an industrial ambience. A visit to Zeche Zollverein is worthwhile at any time of the year.
Important information at a glance
Opening hours, entrance fees and all further information can be found on the website of the UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein.
The Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site is an anchor point on the Route of Industrial Heritage.