Visit Dortmund, the City of Industrial Culture!

Today Dortmund is well known for it’s soccer club Borussia – but a few decades ago the city was one of Europe’s industrial hotspots; famous for the steel and mining company Hoesch. Nowadays mines, steel mills and many factories are closed but their remains are still visible. Find out about the highlights of Dortmund’s industrial heritage and how to get there in our short guide!

Industrial Museum Zollern Colliery (LWL-Industriemuseum Zeche Zollern)

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Zeche Zollern is often called „Schloss der Arbeit“ (chateau of work) because of it’s beautiful architecture

Zollern Colliery or Zeche Zollern, as we say in German, is one of the most beautiful relicts of the Ruhr area’s mining history. The buildings were designed and built in an Art Nouveau-Style to impress workers and competitors. Coal production with 1500 to 2500 workers started in 1902 and lasted until 1955 when it was centralised through the new Colliery Germania.

In 1969 „Zollern“ became a cultural heritage and ten years later the „Westphalian Industrial Museum“ was opened there. Today you can visit the impressing machine room, a mine head tower and several other buildings with exhibitions that broach the issue of mining history in the Ruhr Area and of course the history of Zollern Colliery.

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Impressive: The machine hall of the colliery

If you get hungry – no problem: Next to the Colliery there’s the restaurant „Pferdestall“ (horse stable) which offers local food and a cozy beer garden.

Adress: Grubenweg 5, 44388 Dortmund

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday  from 10 am to 6 pm.

Entry fee: 4 Euro

How to get there: Take the U-Bahn-Line 47 from the Central Station to „Huckarde Bushof“. Change into Bus Number 462 and get out at the stop „Industriemuseum Zollern“.

Kokerei Hansa (Hansa Coking Plant)

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Nature recaptured parts of the Coking Plant

Hansa Coking Plant was constructed at the end of the 1920s and was shut down in December 1992. Today most of the technical equipment and buildings remain mostly unchanged except of the nature which is capturing big parts of the coking plant. During a visit you can see the machine hall with it’s impressive steam engines, the coal-burning stoves and the renatured area.

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Steam engines in the machine hall

We recommend to book a guided tour to see all parts of „Hansa“ including the coal tower with a fantastic view of Dortmund.

Adress: Kokerei Hansa, Emscherstr. 11, 44369 Dortmund

Opening hours: April to October: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.

November to March: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.

How to get there: Take the U-Bahn-Line 47 from the Central Station to Parsevalstraße and walk (5 to 10 minutes) to the coking plant.

Blast furnace Phoenix West und Phoenix See (Lake)

The disused blast furnace Phoenix West and the artificial Phoenix Lake are remains of the once powerful industry in Dortmund-Hörde. From the federal highway you can still see the letters of „Hoesch“ on a gasometer in Hörde. The steel and mining company employed around 20 percent of Dortmund’s working population during the 1960s. Nowadays most of the old industrial buildings have been removed and parts of them have been reassembled in China.

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The last witness of the lake’s industrial past: A Thomas converter.

While the lake replaced the steel mills of Phoenix-East completely – a Thomas converter is the only artifact that reminds visitors of the lake’s industrial history –  two blast furnaces of Phoenix-West still exist. They can be visited through so called „Skywalk“-Tours. You have to book your ticket in advance.

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On a „Skywalk-Tour“ you can go into the blast furnace.

Tip: The Bergmann brewery is located next on the Phoenix West area. In their beer hall you can taste some refreshing local beers!

Adress: Phoenix See: Am Kai, 44263 Dortmund / Phoenix West: Hochofenstr. 35, 44263 Dortmund

Opening hours: The lake can be visited 24/7 but at weekends it’s quite crowded. You can find Skywalk-Tour-Dates and book tickets at Eventim (around 25 Euro).

How to get there: Take the U-Bahn-Line 41 from the Central Station to Hörde and follow the signs to Phoenix See. You can get to the blast furnaces by a 15 minute-walk from Hörde-Station. In front of the station take the street to the left until you reach a traffic circle. Take the „Hochofenstraße“ on the right and follow it until you reach Phoenix West.

Tip: Find more information in English about the Ruhr Region on the website of Metropole Ruhr.