The disused Zeche Zollverein colliery has been transformed into a cultural district. Between 1851-1986 coal was mined here. Since 2001 Zollverein is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most beautiful part is the tower of shaft 12, designed by the architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer in 1928 (Photo). Very impressive is the Zentralkokerei with 304 ovens, which were used until 1993. You can spend a whole day at Zollverein, there are also interesting museums and nice restaurants on the compound.
The Villa Hügel was built in 1873 by Alfred Krupp. It served as a residence and for representative purposes. The building includes 269 rooms on an floor space of 8,100 square meters. Today, the rooms are used partly as an exhibition area for cultural purposes.
Built in 1275 the Cathedral of Essen has long been only a collegiate church. In 1958 the Ruhr diocese was founded and raised the status to a cathedral. To enter the church you have to cross an atrium similar to S. Ambrogio in Milan. The main attraction of the cathedral is the Golden Madonna dating back to 980.
The "Schurenbachhalde" was piled up from 1920 on by the coal mine of "Neuessen". It reached its present size through the overburden of the coal mine "Zollverein". From the mid-1980s, the heap was planted with trees and transformed into a recreation area. The summit was not planted and resembles a lunar landscape with a great view over the industrial region. In 1998 the steel sculpture "Bramme" (slab) of Richard Serra was erected on the hill top.
The tower of the "Nordstern" coal mine was erected in 1952. The tower was jacked up in 2010 and expanded to include a lift with stairs. Since then there is a viewing platform on the 83 m high roof top. The sculpture "Hercules of Gelsenkirchen" by the artist Markus Lüpertz stands on top of the tower. The 10 m high Hercules is a symbol for the huge task of leading the rusty Ruhr region into a new era.
The mine "Zeche Zollern" was opened in 1898 and operated until 1966. It was planned to demolished the art deco mine, but after protests by the citizens it became a protected industrial monument. Now it is one of the top tourist destinations in the Ruhr region.
The Center for Art and Creativity in the old Union Brewery was created for the "European Capital of Culture" Ruhr 2010. The building houses the Ostwall Museum, exhibition space for contemporary art, gastronomy and a view over Dortmund and the eastern Ruhr area from the top floor. The building was erected in 1927 and used to serve as the fermenting and storage tower of the Dortmunder Union Brewery.
The "Bermuda3Eck" is a pub quarter at the end of the pedestrian zone in the city of Bochum. In recent years the "Bermuda3Eck" has developed into one of the most famous places for night owls in the Ruhr area. Numerous restaurants, bars, clubs and cinemas attract party animals.
The 50 m high tetrahedron is a project of the "IBA Emscher Park" from 1995. The steel framework of the architect Wolfgang Christ was designed together with the statisticians of Bollinger + Grohmann from Frankfurt. The mine dump "Beckstraße", on which the tetrahedron stands, rises about 90 m above the surroundings. With a clear view, you can even see the TV tower of Düsseldorf from up here.
The "CentrO" shopping mall was built in 1996 on an industrial waste land in Oberhausen. It is the biggest shopping center in Germany. In addition to the "Mall", there is an aquarium, a conference hall, a cinema center, a musical theater, an adventure pool and other attractions.
The large sculpture "Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain" by Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth was opened in 2011. The loops of the 20-meter-high sculpture are a reminiscent of a roller coaster. You can climb the stairs to enjoy the view from above.