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Den Haag Links

July 2001
Long, Sunlit Days
Almelo Re-visited
Plant Life
Ruhrgebiet Germany Weekend Tour
Landschaftspark Continued
"The Eiffel Tower of the Ruhrgebiet"
Zollverein Coking Plant
Kokerei Zollverein Continued
Krupp Villa Hügel
Duisburg Aupenhafen
Visit to Berlin, Germany
Reichstag, Berlin
East Berlin Places
Nighttime at the Potsdamer Platz
Day Two - Sanssouci Park
Funkturm and Berlin Wall
Other Months
Index page

Ruhrgebiet Germany Weekend Tour
Saturday, July 07, 2001; posted by Paris

Last weekend Lisa, Sebastian and I toured some of the old industrial sites of the Ruhr region (known by Germans as the Ruhrgebiet) which encompasses the land between the rivers Ruhr and Lippe in the Rhineland and Westphalia. We focused our efforts in Essen and Duisburg. I was expecting to crawl through gates and dodge security to get pictures of the old steel mills, and mining operations - known in this area as the "Cathedrals of Work". To my great surprise, many of these massive facilities have been preserved as industrial landmarks. The operations have since ceased, and many are now open to the public. Some of the sites have been transformed to serve a new purpose, for example one contains galleries for exhibitions on design. The old structures have been left in tact. At night, many of these places are illuminated with interesting light displays. The International Building Fair Emscher Park (IBA) focuses on restructuring derelict industrial landscapes to improve the quality of life through ecological reconstruction and the development of social and cultural facilities. Sebastian, who is from Essen, was an excellent tour guide for the area.

A couple of websites used to promote the preservation and tour activities are:

Industrial Heritage Trail.

Landmark Art.

We began our Saturday by getting up early and driving 2.5 hours to Duisburg. Sun, rain and thunderstorms pursued us throughout the day. The first place we visited was the Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord - The North Duisburg Landscape Park, a "steel mill as adventure playground". Lisa took most of the digital pictures, while I carried around two 35mm and two 120 format cameras.

Big towering metal things.

An old building which is decorated along the top with massive images done by Bernd Becher and Hilla Becher. These two photographers have spent the last 25 years photographing architectural sites like these - I highly recommend viewing their work. Click here to see a partial bibliography.

Base of the smokestack.

We could climb the stairs to get a view of the area.

Rusty bits.

Sun came out for a moment.