Ruhr
   HOME

TheInfoList



The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a
polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' ("many") and ''kentrikós'' ("center"). Polycentricism (or polycentricity) is the abstract noun formed from polycentric. They may re ...
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbati ...
in
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, ...
,
Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...

Germany
. With a population density of 2,800/km2 and a population of over 5 million (2017), it is the largest
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbati ...
in Germany. It consists of several large cities bordered by the rivers
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' (" ...
to the south,
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many si ...

Rhine
to the west, and
Lippe Lippe () is a ''Kreis'' (Districts of Germany, district) in the east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Herford (district), Herford, Minden-Lübbecke, Höxter (district), Höxter, Paderborn (district), Paderborn, Gütersl ...
to the north. In the southwest it borders the
Bergisches Land 275px, Iuliacensis et Montensis Ducatus, 1645, by Blaeu The Bergisches Land (, ''BergBerg may refer to: People *Alban Berg (1885–1935), Austrian composer *Berg (surname), a surname (including a list of people with the name) *Berg Ng (born ...
. It is considered part of the larger
Rhine-Ruhr , the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia File:Westfalenpark-100818-16757-Florian-Turm-cor.jpg, Aerial view of Dortmund The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region (german: Metropolregion Rhein-Ruhr) is the Metropolitan regions in Germany, larges ...
metropolitan region A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the cult ...
of more than 10 million people, which is among the largest in Europe. The Ruhr cities are, from west to east:
Duisburg Duisburg () is a city in the Ruhr metropolitan area of the western Germany, German States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lying on the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr (river), Ruhr rivers, Duisburg is one of the largest cities ...

Duisburg
,
Oberhausen Oberhausen (, ) is a city on the river Emscher The Emscher () is a river, a tributary of the Rhine ), Surselva, Graubünden, Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , gove ...

Oberhausen
,
Bottrop Bottrop () is a city in west-central Germany, on the Rhine–Herne Canal, in North Rhine-Westphalia. Located in the Ruhr area, Ruhr industrial area, Bottrop adjoins Essen, Oberhausen, Gladbeck, and Dorsten. The city had been a coal-mining and ra ...

Bottrop
,
Mülheim an der Ruhr Mülheim an der Ruhr (), also described as ''"City on the River"'', is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social S ...

Mülheim an der Ruhr
,
Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

Essen
,
Gelsenkirchen Gelsenkirchen (, , ; wep, Gelsenkiärken) is the 11th largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and its 262,528 (2016) inhabitants make it the List of cities in Germany by population, 25th largest city of ...
,
Bochum Bochum ( , also , ; wep, Baukem), with a population of 364,920 (2016), is the sixth largest city (after Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany, Germany's most populous States of Germany, state of N ...

Bochum
, Herne,
Hagen Hagen () is the Largest cities in Germany, 41st-largest List of cities and towns in Germany, city in Germany. The municipality is located in the States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is located on the south eastern edge of the Ru ...

Hagen
,
Dortmund Dortmund (; Westphalian language, Westphalian nds, Düörpm ; la, Tremonia) is the third-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne and Düsseldorf, and the List of cities in Germany by population, eighth-largest city of Germany, with ...

Dortmund
,
Lünen Lünen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located north of Dortmund, on both banks of the Lippe (river), River Lippe. It is the largest town of the Unna (district), Unna district and part of the Ruhr Area. In 2009 a Anaerobic dig ...
,
Bergkamen Bergkamen is a town in the district of Unna, in North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian: ''Noordrien-Wesfale''; Low German: ''Noordrhien-Westfalen''; Kölsch language, Kölsch: ''Noodrhing-W ...
,
Hamm Hamm (, Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

Hamm
and the districts of
Wesel Wesel () is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic ...
,
Recklinghausen Recklinghausen () is the northernmost city in the Ruhr-Area and the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (o ...
,
Unna Unna is a city of around 57,000 people in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, the seat of the Unna (district), Unna district. Geography Unna is situated on an ancient salt-trading route, the Hellweg, Westphalian Hellweg. Trade on this route and durin ...
and
Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis The Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis is a district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or County, count ...
. The most populous cities are Dortmund (with a population of approximately 588,000), Essen (about 583,000) and Duisburg (about 497,000). In the Middle Ages, the
Hellweg Image:Asseln, straatzicht Asselner Hellweg foto2 2012-03-25 10.56.JPG, Dortmund-Asseln, street: Asselner Hellweg, left In the Middle Ages, Hellweg was the official and common name given to main travelling routes in Germany. Their breadth was decree ...

Hellweg
was an important trade route from the region of the Lower Rhine to the mountains of the
Teutoburg Forest The Teutoburg Forest ( ; german: Teutoburger Wald ) is a range of low, forested hills in the Germany, German states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. Until the 19th century, the official name of the hill ridge was Osning. It was renamed ...
. The most important towns of the region from Duisburg to the
imperial city In the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle A ...

imperial city
of Dortmund were concentrated along the Hellweg from the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany The old states of Germany (german: die alten Länder) are the t ...

Rhineland
to
Westphalia Westphalia (; german: Westfalen ; nds, Westfalen ) is a region of northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of and 7.9 million inhabitants. The territory of the region ...

Westphalia
. Since the 19th century, these cities have grown together into a large complex with a vast industrial landscape, inhabited by some 7.3 million people (including
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf ( , , ; often in English sources; Low Franconian and Ripuarian language, Ripuarian: ''Düsseldörp'' ; archaic nl, Dusseldorp) is the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state of Germany. It is the second-la ...

Düsseldorf
and
Wuppertal Wuppertal (; "''Wupper The Wupper is a right tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tr ...

Wuppertal
, large cities that are nearby but officially not part of the Ruhr area). The Ruhr area has no administrative centre; each city in the area has its own administration, although there exists the supracommunal " Regionalverband Ruhr" institution in Essen. For 2010, the Ruhr region was one of the .


Geography

The urban landscape of the Ruhr extends from the Lower Rhine Basin east to the Westphalian Plain and south to the hills of the
Rhenish Massif The Rhenish Massif, Rhine Massif or Rhenish Uplands (german: Rheinisches Schiefergebirge, : 'Rhenish Slate Uplands') is a geologic massif In geology, a massif ( or ) is a section of a planet's Crust (geology), crust that is demarcated by geolog ...
. Through the centre of the Ruhr runs a segment of the
loess Loess (, ; from German ''Löss'' ) is a clastic, predominantly silt-sized sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently sediment transport, transported by ...
belt that extends across Germany from west to east. Historically, this loess belt has underlain some of Germany's richest agricultural regions. Geologically, the region is defined by
coal Coal is a black or brownish-black , formed as called . Coal is mostly with variable amounts of other , chiefly , , , and . Coal is formed when dead decays into and is converted into coal by the heat and pressure of deep burial over mill ...

coal
-bearing layers from the upper
Carboniferous The Carboniferous ( ) is a geologic period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of divisi ...
period. The coal seams reach the surface in a strip along the river Ruhr and dip downward from the river to the north. Beneath the Lippe, the coal seams lie at a depth of 600 to 800 metres (2,000 to 2,600 feet). The thickness of the coal layers ranges from one to three metres (three to ten feet). This geological feature played a decisive role in the development of coal mining in the Ruhr. According to the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR, Ruhr Regional Association), 37.6% of the region's area is built up. A total of 40.7% of the region's land remains in agricultural use. Forests account for 17.6%, and bodies of water and other types of land use occupy the rest. The inclusion of four mainly rural districts in the otherwise mainly industrial Ruhr helps to explain the large proportion of agricultural and forested land. In addition, the city boroughs of the Ruhr region have outlying districts with a rural character. Seen on a map, the Ruhr could be considered a single city, since—at least in the north–south dimension—there are no visible breaks between the individual city boroughs. Thus the Ruhr is described as a polycentric urban area, which shares a similar history of urban and economic development. Because of its history, the Ruhr is structured differently from monocentric urban regions such as
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city limits. One of 's , Berlin is surrounded by the state of , and contiguous with , Brande ...

Berlin
and
London London is the and of and the . It stands on the in south-east England at the head of a down to the , and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The , its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the as ' and retains b ...

London
, which developed through the rapid merger of smaller towns and villages with a growing central city. Instead, the individual city boroughs and urban districts of the Ruhr grew independently of one another during the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
. The population density of the central Ruhr is about 2,100 inhabitants per square kilometre (about 5,400 per square mile)—low compared to other German cities. Between the constituent urban areas are relatively open suburbs and some open land with agricultural fields. In some places, the borders between cities in the central Ruhr are unrecognizable due to continuous development across them. Replanting of
brownfield land In urban planning, brownfield land is any previously developed land that is not currently in use that may be potentially contaminated. The term is also used to describe real property, land previously used for industrial or commercial purposes wi ...
has created new parks and recreation areas. The Emscher Landschaftspark (Emscher Landscape Park) lies along the river
Emscher The Emscher () is a river, a tributary of the Rhine ), Surselva, Graubünden, Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct dem ...
, formerly virtually an open sewer, parts of which have undergone natural restoration. This park connects strips of parkland running from north to south, which were developed through regional planning in the 1920s, to form a green belt between the Ruhr cities from east to west.


History

During the Middle Ages, much of the region that was later called the ''Ruhrgebiet'' was situated in the
County of Mark The County of Mark (german: Grafschaft Mark, links=no, french: Comté de La Marck, links=no colloquially known as ) was a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. B ...
, the Duchies of
Cleves Kleve ( , ; traditional en, Cleves ; nl, Kleef; french: Clèves; es, Cléveris; la, Clivia) is a town in the Lower Rhine region The Lower Rhine region in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany ">Germany.html" ;"title="North Rhine-Westphalia ...
and
BergBerg may refer to: People *Alban Berg (1885–1935), Austrian composer *Berg (surname), a surname (including a list of people with the name) *Berg Ng (born 1960), Hong Kong actor Former states *Berg (state), county and duchy of the Holy Roman Emp ...
and the territories of the bishop of Münster and the
archbishop of Cologne Cologne was one of the seven electorates of the Holy Roman Empire ('' Codex Balduini Trevirorum'', c. 1340) The Archbishop of Cologne is an archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepis ...
. The region included some villages and castles, and was mainly agrarian: its
loess Loess (, ; from German ''Löss'' ) is a clastic, predominantly silt-sized sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently sediment transport, transported by ...
soil made it one of the richer parts of western Germany. The
free imperial city In the Holy Roman Empire, the collective term free and imperial cities (german: Freie und Reichsstädte), briefly worded free imperial city (', la, urbs imperialis libera), was used from the fifteenth century to denote a self-ruling city that h ...
of Dortmund was the trading and cultural centre, lying on the
Hellweg Image:Asseln, straatzicht Asselner Hellweg foto2 2012-03-25 10.56.JPG, Dortmund-Asseln, street: Asselner Hellweg, left In the Middle Ages, Hellweg was the official and common name given to main travelling routes in Germany. Their breadth was decree ...

Hellweg
, an important east–west trading route, that also brought prosperity to the town of
Duisburg Duisburg () is a city in the Ruhr metropolitan area of the western Germany, German States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lying on the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr (river), Ruhr rivers, Duisburg is one of the largest cities ...

Duisburg
. Both towns were members of the
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=German language, Modern German, Deutsche Hanse; nl, label=Dutch language, Dutch, De Hanze; la, Hansa Teutonica) was a Middle Ages, medieval commercial and defensive confederation of merchan ...
. The development of the region into an urbanized industrial area started in the late 18th century with the early industrialisation in the nearby
Wupper The Wupper is a right tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river dr ...

Wupper
Valley in the
Bergisches Land 275px, Iuliacensis et Montensis Ducatus, 1645, by Blaeu The Bergisches Land (, ''BergBerg may refer to: People *Alban Berg (1885–1935), Austrian composer *Berg (surname), a surname (including a list of people with the name) *Berg Ng (born ...
. By around 1820, hundreds of water-powered mills were producing textiles, lumber, shingles and iron in automated processes here. And in even more workshops in the hills, highly skilled workers manufactured knives, tools, weapons and harnesses, using water, coal and charcoal. History has no established name for this phase of the industrial revolution, but one could call it the early water-powered industrial revolution. As the machines became bigger and moved from water power to steam power, locally mined coal and charcoal became expensive and there was not enough of it. The Bergische industry ordered more and more coal from the new
coal mining in the United States , Belgium Coal mining is the process of resource extraction, extracting coal Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata (Argentina Argentina (), officially the Arge ...

coal mining
area along the
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' (" ...
. Impressive and expensive railways were constructed through the hilly Wupper region, to bring coal, and later steel, in from the Ruhr, and for outward transport of finished products. By 1850, there were almost 300 coal mines in operation in the Ruhr area, in and around the central cities of Duisburg, Essen, Bochum and Dortmund. The coal was exported or processed in coking ovens into coke, used in
blast furnace A blast furnace is a type of metallurgical Metallurgy is a domain of Materials science, materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic Chemical element, elements, their Inter-metallic alloy, inter-m ...
s, producing iron and steel. In this period the name ''Ruhrgebiet'' became common. Before the coal deposits along the Ruhr were exhausted, the mining industry moved northward to the Emscher and finally to the Lippe, drilling ever deeper mines as it went. Locks built at
Mülheim Mülheim an der Ruhr (), also described as ''"City on the River"'', is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social S ...

Mülheim
on the Ruhr led to the expansion of Mülheim as a port. With the construction of the Cologne-Minden railway in the late 19th century, several iron works were built within the borders of the present-day city of
Oberhausen Oberhausen (, ) is a city on the river Emscher The Emscher () is a river, a tributary of the Rhine ), Surselva, Graubünden, Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , gove ...

Oberhausen
. Moreover, the
urbanization Urbanization (or urbanisation) refers to the population shift from rural A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000.">South_Karelia.html" ;"title="Lappeenranta, South Karelia">Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finla ...
also boosted the expansion of
railroad Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are located on tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the vehicles run on a prepared flat surface ...

railroad
connections. At the beginning of the 1880s, agricultural regions did not benefit from the newly built transport facilities as much as non-agricultural regions did. This in its turn increased inequality, and made
anthropometric Anthropometry (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
measurements, e.g. height, more dependent on
wage A wage is the distribution from an employer of a ''security'' (expected return or profits derived solely from others) paid to an employee. Like interest is paid out to an investor on his investments, a wage is paid (from company earnings) to th ...

wage
s. In the long run, however, effects of the railroad proximity diminished. Consequently, the population climbed rapidly. Towns with only 2000 to 5000 people in the early 19th century grew in the following 100 years to over 100,000. Skilled mineworkers were recruited from other regions to the Ruhr's mines and steel mills and unskilled people started to move in. From 1860 onwards there was large-scale migration from
Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe and East ...

Silesia
,
Pomerania Pomerania ( pl, Pomorze; german: Pommern; Kashubian: ''Pòmòrskô'') is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea (in Latin ''Mare Balticum'') is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, ...

Pomerania
,
East Prussia East Prussia (german: Ostpreußen, ; pl, Prusy Wschodnie; lt, Rytų Prūsija; la, Borussia orientalis; russian: Восточная Пруссия, Vostóčnaya Prússiya) was a Provinces of Prussia, province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773 ...
and Posen to the Ruhr. Many of them were
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
speakers and they were treated as second class citizens. In 1899 this led to a revolt in Herne of young Polish workers, who later established a Workers' Union. Skilled workers in the mines were often housed in "miners' colonies", built by the mining firms. By the end of the Prussian Kingdom in 1870, over 3 million people lived in the Ruhrgebiet and the new coal-mining district had become the largest industrial region of Europe. During World War I the Ruhrgebiet functioned as Germany's central weapon factory. At a big Essen company, F. Krupp A.G., the number of employees rose from 40,000 to 120,000 or more, in four years. They were partly women, partly forced labourers. The
Spartacist Uprising The Spartacist uprising (german: Spartakusaufstand), also known as the January uprising (''Januaraufstand''), was a general strike A general strike (or mass strike) is a strike action in which a substantial proportion of the total labour (ec ...
in 1919, which originated in Berlin, became popular among the working class in the Ruhr, and the region quickly adopted Marxism. The uprising was defeated by the
Freikorps ''Freikorps'' (, "Free Corps") were irregular German and other European military volunteer units, or paramilitary, that existed from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. They effectively fought as mercenary or private army, private armies, ...
in less than a week, and the Weimar Republic established control over the Ruhr. The
Kapp Putsch '' associated with the German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont B ...
occurred in March 1919, when autocrats attempted to overthrow the Weimar government. The Weimar government defeated the putsch, albeit it advocated a general strike, which large parts of the working class participated in. The general strike effectively ended the Kapp government, but in the Ruhr, striking workers successfully managed to take government buildings in March 1920 shocking the rest of Germany. An armed revolt was then instigated, and the Red Guard installed a branch in the Ruhr. This became known as the
Ruhr Uprising The Ruhr uprising (german: link=no, Ruhraufstand) or March uprising (''Märzaufstand'') was a left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought w ...
. The workers councils that led the uprising declared the Ruhr to be a socialist republic, but the Freikorps and Reichswehr put down the rebellion in April 1919, and re-established the Weimar Republic's control of the Ruhr. In March 1921, French and Belgian troops occupied Duisburg, which under the Treaty of Versailles formed part of the demilitarized Rhineland. In January 1923 the whole Occupation of the Ruhr, Ruhrgebiet was occupied as a reprisal after Germany failed to fulfill World War I reparations, World War I reparation payments as agreed in the Versailles Treaty. The German government responded with "''passive resistance''", letting workers and civil servants refuse orders and instructions by the occupation forces. Production and transport came to a standstill and the financial consequences contributed to Inflation in the Weimar Republic, German hyperinflation and ruined public finances in Germany and France, as well as several other countries. Passive resistance was called off in late 1923, allowing Germany to implement a currency reform and to negotiate the Dawes Plan, which led to the withdrawal of the French and Belgian troops from the Ruhr in 1925. However, the occupation of the Ruhr caused several direct and indirect consequences on the German economy and government. Due to the lack of production caused by foreign occupation, the German economy lacked the domestic abilities to pay war reparations without intentionally causing inflation. Moreover, the government became increasingly unpopular due to its "passive resistance" to German production. The halt in domestic production made war reparations impossible to pay. On 7 March 1936, Adolf Hitler took a massive gamble by Remilitarization of the Rhineland, sending 30,000 troops into the Rhineland. As Hitler and other Nazis admitted, the French army alone could have destroyed the Wehrmacht. The French passed the problem to the British, who found that the Germans had the right to "enter their own backyard", and no action was taken. In the League of Nations, the Soviet delegate Maxim Litvinov was the only one who proposed economic sanctions against Germany. All restraint on German rearmament was now removed. France's eastern allies (the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia) concluded that since the French refused to defend their own border, they certainly would not stand up for their allies in the East. Hitler could now continue eroding the alliance system that France had built since 1919. On 16 October 1936, Belgium repudiated the 1921 alliance with France and declared its absolute neutrality. In October 1937, Belgium signed a non-aggression pact with Germany.German-Belgian Pact Concluded
13 October 1937
During World War II, the Battle of the Ruhr, bombing of the Ruhr in 1940–1944 caused a loss of 30% of plant and equipment (compared to 15–20% for German industry as a whole).Botting (1985), p. 125 A second battle of the Ruhr (6/7 October 1944 – end of 1944) began with an attack on
Dortmund Dortmund (; Westphalian language, Westphalian nds, Düörpm ; la, Tremonia) is the third-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne and Düsseldorf, and the List of cities in Germany by population, eighth-largest city of Germany, with ...

Dortmund
. The devastating bombing raids of Dortmund on 12 March 1945 with 1,108 aircraft – 748 Lancasters, 292 Halifaxes, 68 Mosquitos – was a record to a single target in the whole of World War II. More than 4,800 tons of bombs were dropped through the city centre and the south of the city. In addition to the strategic bombing during World War II, strategic bombing of the Ruhr, in April 1945, the Allies of World War II, Allies trapped several hundred thousand Wehrmacht troops in the Ruhr Pocket. After the war, the Industrial plans for Germany, Level of Industry plans for Germany abolished all German munitions factories and civilian industries that could support them and severely restricted civilian industries of military potential. The International Authority for the Ruhr, Ruhr Authority, an international body to regulate the Ruhr's coal and steel industries, was created as a condition for the establishment of the West Germany, Federal Republic of Germany. During the Cold War, the Western allies anticipated that any Red Army thrust into Western Europe would begin in the Fulda Gap and have the Ruhr as a primary target. Increased German control of the area was limited by the pooling of German coal and steel into the multinational European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. The nearby Saar (protectorate), Saar region, containing much of Germany's remaining coal deposits, was handed over to economic administration by France as a protectorate in 1947 and did not politically return to Germany until January 1957, with economic reintegration occurring two years later. Parallel to the question of political control of the Ruhr, the Allies tried to decrease German industrial potential by limitations on production and dismantling of factories and steel plants, predominantly in the Ruhr. By 1950, after the virtual completion of the by-then much watered-down "level of industry" plans, equipment had been removed from 706 Factory, manufacturing plants in the west, and steel production capacity had been reduced by 6.7 million tons. Dismantling finally ended in 1951. In all, less than 5% of the industrial base was dismantled. The Ruhr was at the centre of the German economic miracle Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s and 1960s, as very rapid economic growth (9% a year) created a heavy demand for coal and steel. After 1973, Germany was hard hit by a worldwide economic crisis, soaring oil prices, and increasing unemployment, which jumped from 300,000 in 1973 to 1.1 million in 1975. The Ruhr region was hardest hit, as the easy-to-reach coal mines became exhausted, and German coal was no longer competitive. Likewise the Ruhr steel industry went into sharp decline, as its prices were undercut by lower-cost suppliers such as Japan. The welfare system provided a safety net for the large number of unemployed workers, and many factories reduced their labor force and began to concentrate on high-profit specialty items. As demand for coal decreased after 1958, the area went through phases of structural crisis (see steel crisis) and industrial diversification, first developing traditional heavy industry, then moving into service industries and high technology. The air and water pollution of the area are largely a thing of the past although some issues take a long time to solve. In 2005,
Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

Essen
was the official candidate for nomination as European Capital of Culture for 2010.


Etymology

The 1911 edition of ''Encyclopædia Britannica'' has only one definition of "Ruhr": "a river of Germany, an important right-bank tributary of the lower Rhine". The use of the term "Ruhr" for the industrial region started in Britain only after World War I, when French and Belgian troops had Occupation of the Ruhr, occupied the Ruhr district and seized its prime industrial assets in lieu of unpaid reparations in 1923. In 1920, the International Labour Office published a report entitled ''Coal Production in the Ruhr District''. In 1923, the ''Canadian Commercial Intelligence Journal'', Volume 28, Issue 1013, includes the article, "Exports from the Ruhr district of Germany". In 1924 the English and American press was still talking of the "French occupation of the Ruhr Valley" or "Ruhr District". A 62-page publication seems to be responsible for the use of "Ruhr" as a short form of the then more common "Ruhr District" or "Ruhr Valley": Ben Tillett, A. Creech-Jones and Samuel Warren's ''The Ruhr: The Report of a Deputation from the Transport and General Workers Union'' (London 1923). Yet "The report of a deputation from the Transport and General Workers' Union which spent a fortnight examining the problems in the Ruhr Valley", published in ''The Economic Review'', Volume 8, 1923, is still using the traditional term. In the same year, "Objections by the United States to discriminatory regulations on exports from the occupied region of the Ruhr" was published in ''Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States''. The 1926 ''Encyclopædia Britannica'', in addition to its article on the river Ruhr, has a further article on "RUHR, the name given to a district of Westphalia, Germany". Thus the name "Ruhr" was given to the region (as a short form of "Ruhr District" or "Ruhr Valley") only a few years before the publication of this edition of the ''Encyclopædia Britannica''. Even after World War II, the term "Ruhr" may not have been in general use for the region: it was defined in ''Documents on American Foreign Relations'' (1948): "For the purposes of the present Agreement: (i) the expression 'Ruhr' means the areas, as presently constituted, in Land North Rhine–Westphalia, listed in the Annex to this Agreement." However, Lawrence K. Cecil and Philip Hauge Abelson still write in 1967: "In the first place, the average person uses the term 'Ruhr' indiscriminately as the Ruhr River or the Ruhr district, two entirely different things. The Ruhr River is only one of half a dozen rivers in the Ruhr district, in addition to the Rhine. The Rhine itself runs through the heart of the Ruhr district." According to ''Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary'', a standard reference on place names around the world, the name "Ruhr" refers to the river. The name preferred for the region in this dictionary is "Ruhrgebiet", followed by "Ruhr Valley".


Climate

The Ruhr has an oceanic climate in spite of its inland position, with winds from the Atlantic travelling over the lowlands to moderate temperature extremes, in spite of its relatively northerly latitude that sees significant variety in daylight hours. A consequence of the marine influence is a cloudy and wet climate with low sunshine hours. Summers normally average in the low 20s, with winters being somewhat above the freezing point. From the onset of the 21st century, the effects of Climate change, global warming have become more profound. The area has been affected by severe droughts (like 2018), heat waves with temperatures above (2019) and severe weather events like the bow echo that hit the cities on June 9, 2014, and caused tens of thousands of trees to fall which was publicly dubbed the "Pfingststurm" (German for "Whitsun storm"). Winters have become more mild which poses a risk for crops such as apples whose blooms are vulnerable to late freezes if bud break happens too early.


Demographics

The ten largest cities of the Ruhr: The local dialect of German language, German is commonly called ''Ruhrdeutsch'' or ''Ruhrpottdeutsch'', although there is really no uniform dialect that justifies designation as a ''single'' dialect. It is rather a working-class sociolect with influences from the various dialects found in the area and changing even with the professions of the workers. A major common influence stems from the coal mining tradition of the area. For example, quite a few locals prefer to call the Ruhr either "Pott", which is a derivate of "Pütt" (pitmen's term for ''mine''; cp. the English "pit"), or "Revier". During the nineteenth century, the Ruhr attracted up to 500,000 ethnic Poles, Mazurs, Masurians and Silesians from
East Prussia East Prussia (german: Ostpreußen, ; pl, Prusy Wschodnie; lt, Rytų Prūsija; la, Borussia orientalis; russian: Восточная Пруссия, Vostóčnaya Prússiya) was a Provinces of Prussia, province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773 ...
and
Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe and East ...

Silesia
in a migration known as ''Ostflucht'' (flight from the east). By 1925, the Ruhrgebiet had around 3,800,000 inhabitants. Most of the new inhabitants came from Eastern Europe, but immigrants also came from France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It has been claimed that immigrants came to the Ruhr from over 140 different countries. Almost all their descendants today speak German as a first language, and for various reasons, they do not identify with their Polish roots and traditions, often their Polish family names only remain as a sign of their past.


Culture

The Industrial Heritage Trail (german: Route der Industriekultur) links tourist attractions related to the European Route of Industrial Heritage in the Ruhr area. Ruhr is known for its numerous cultural institutions, many of which enjoy international reputation. Ruhr has three major opera houses and more than 10 theaters and stages. * Schauspielhaus Bochum * Opernhaus Dortmund * Theater Dortmund * Deutsche Oper am Rhein, German Opera on the Rhine at Duisburg * Aalto Theatre, Theater Essen * Grillo-Theater at Essen There are special classical music halls like the Bochumer Symphoniker, the Duisburg Mercatorhalle, the Saalbau Essen or the Dortmunder Philharmoniker. Each year in spring time, there is the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in the Ruhr area with 50 to 80 events of classical and jazz music. With more than 50 museums, Ruhr has one of the largest variety of museums in Europe. * German Mining Museum at Bochum * German Football Museum at Dortmund * Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Museum of Art and Cultural History at Dortmund * Dortmund U-Tower, Ostwall Museum at Dortmund * Natural history museum at Dortmund * Museum Folkwang at Essen * Essen Cathedral Treasury at Essen * Museum Küppersmühle at Duisburg * Lehmbruck-Museum at Duisburg * Hagen Open-air Museum at Hagen Industrial Museum * Zollern II/IV Colliery at Dortmund * German Inland Waterways Museum at Duisburg * Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord at Duisburg * Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex at Essen * Gasometer Oberhausen at Oberhausen * Ewald Colliery at Herten, dedicated to green energy and a commercial and cultural park The city of Essen (representing the Ruhr) was selected as European Capital of Culture for 2010 by the Council of the European Union. In association football, the Revierderby is the rivalry between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04, and to a lesser extent between either club and/or VfL Bochum, MSV Duisburg or Rot-Weiss Essen (''kleines Revierderby'').


Education

With 22 universities and colleges and more than 250,000 students, the Ruhr region has the highest density of further education establishments anywhere in Germany. These include five universities alone in the cities of Bochum, Duisburg, Dortmund, Essen and Witten. In addition, Folkwang University of the Arts is an internationally acclaimed art college with its base in the Ruhr region. Furthermore, the universities are not the only places in the Ruhr region where academic qualifications can be obtained. There are 17 different universities of applied sciences which offer students to have the opportunity to undertake practice-relevant and qualified studies in various subjects, such as economics, logistics, administration or management.


Universities

The Ruhr area has 5 major universities in 6 cities with about 120,000 students. * Ruhr University Bochum * University of Duisburg-Essen * Technical University of Dortmund * Folkwang University of the Arts * Witten/Herdecke University


UA Ruhr

The three largest universities (Ruhr University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, and the University of Duisburg-Essen) opened an alliance called "UA Ruhr". Students enrolled at one of the UA Ruhr universities can attend lectures and seminars at all three institutions without having to pay a visiting student fee. Consequently, they have many options to specialize in and to explore their chosen disciplines in depth. The UA Ruhr has three liaison offices for interested students in New York City, Moscow and São Paulo.


Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts


Bochum

* Bochum University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule Bochum, formerly ''Fachhochschule Bochum'') * Georg Agricola University of Applied Sciences (TH Georg Agricola) * Protestant University of Applied Sciences, Rheinland-Westphalia-Lippe (Evangelische FH Rheinland-Westfalen-Lippe) * Schauspielschule Bochum (Bochum drama school) * College of the Federal Social Security, Department of Social Insurance for Miners, Railway Employees and Seafarers (Fachhochschule des Bundes der Sozialversicherung, Abteilung Knappschaft-Bahn-See) * University of Health Sciences (Hochschule für Gesundheit)


Bottrop

* Hochschule Ruhr West


Dortmund

* Fachhochschule Dortmund * FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management, Standort Dortmund (Academy for management) * Fachhochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Academy for public administration) * International School of Management (Private academy focussing on management and economics) * IT-Center Dortmund (Private college)


Duisburg

* FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie und Management (Academy for management) * Fachhochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung (Academy for public administration)


Essen

* FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie und Management * Hochschule für bildende Künste * Orchesterzentrum NRW


Gelsenkirchen

* Westfälische Hochschule * Fachhochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung NRW (Academy for public administration)


Hagen

* University of Hagen * FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie und Management * Fachhochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung (Academy for public administration) * South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences


Hamm

* SRH Hochschule für Logistik und Wirtschaft * Hochschule Hamm-Lippstadt


Kamp-Lintfort

* Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences


Mülheim an der Ruhr

* Hochschule Ruhr West * Fachhochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung NRW (Academy for public administration)


Recklinghausen

* Westfälische Hochschule


Unna

* Hochschule Campus Unna


Transport


Public transport

All public transport companies in the Ruhr region are run under the umbrella of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr, which provides a uniform ticket system valid for the entire area. The Ruhr region is well-integrated into the national rail system, the Deutsche Bahn, for both passenger and goods services, each city in the region has at least one or more train stations. The bigger central stations have hourly direct connections to the bigger European cities as Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Vienna or Zürich. The Ruhr area also contains the longest tram system in the world, with tram and Rhine-Ruhr Stadtbahn, Stadtbahn services from Witten to Krefeld as well as the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn network. Originally the system was even bigger, it was possible to travel from Unna to Bad Honnef without using railway or bus services.


Road transport

The Ruhr has one of the densest motorway networks in all of Europe, with dozens of Autobahns and similar Schnellstraßen (expressways) crossing the region. The Autobahn network is built in a grid network, with four east–west (Bundesautobahn 2, A2, Bundesautobahn 40, A40, Bundesautobahn 42, A42, Bundesautobahn 44, A44) and seven north–south (Bundesautobahn 1, A1, Bundesautobahn 3, A3, Bundesautobahn 43, A43, Bundesautobahn 45, A45, Bundesautobahn 52, A52, Bundesautobahn 57, A57, Bundesautobahn 59, A59) routes. The A1, A2 and A3 are mostly used by through traffic, while the other autobahns have a more regional function. Both the A44 and the A52 have several missing links, in various stages of planning. Some missing sections are currently in construction or planned to be constructed in the near future. Additional expressways serve as bypasses and local routes, especially around Dortmund and Bochum. Due to the density of the autobahns and expressways, Bundesstraßen are less important for intercity traffic. The first Autobahns in the Ruhr opened during the mid-1930s. Due to the density of the network, and the number of alternative routes, traffic volumes are generally lower than other major metropolitan areas in Europe. Traffic congestion is an everyday occurrence, but far less so than in the Randstad in the Netherlands, another polycentric urban area. Most important Autobahns have six lanes, but there are no eight-lane Autobahns in the Ruhr.


Air transport

Düsseldorf Airport is the intercontinental airport for
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, ...
and is within 20 km of most of the Western Ruhr area. It is served by the Düsseldorf Flughafen railway station, Düsseldorf Flughafen and Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminal railway stations, with its several parking lots, terminals and stations being connected by the ''H-Bahn, Skytrain''. Dortmund Airport in the Eastern Ruhr is a mid-sized airport, offering scheduled flights to domestic and European destinations and its approximately 1.9 million passengers in 2013. Dortmund Airport is served by an express bus to Dortmund Hauptbahnhof, Dortmund main station, a shuttle bus to the nearby railway station ''Holzwickede station, Holzwickede/Dortmund Flughafen'', a bus connecting to Stadtbahn line U47, as well as a bus to the city of Unna. File:VRR Linien-Netz 2014.svg, Public Transport Rhein-Ruhr File:Ruhrtalbruecke-Sonnenuntergang.jpg, Bundesautobahn 52 in
Mülheim Mülheim an der Ruhr (), also described as ''"City on the River"'', is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social S ...

Mülheim
File:Schnettkerbruecke West.jpg, A40 motorway (Germany), A40 in
Dortmund Dortmund (; Westphalian language, Westphalian nds, Düörpm ; la, Tremonia) is the third-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne and Düsseldorf, and the List of cities in Germany by population, eighth-largest city of Germany, with ...

Dortmund
File:Flughafen Dortmund.jpg, Located in the East of the Ruhr is Dortmund Airport


See also

* Ruhr pocket *
Rhine-Ruhr , the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia File:Westfalenpark-100818-16757-Florian-Turm-cor.jpg, Aerial view of Dortmund The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region (german: Metropolregion Rhein-Ruhr) is the Metropolitan regions in Germany, larges ...
* Metropolitan regions in Germany * Occupation of the Ruhr (1923–1924) * Ruhrpolen * Silesian metropolitan area * Upper Silesian Coal Basin


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Kift, Roy,
Tour the Ruhr: The English language guide
' (3rd ed., 2008) () Klartext Verlag, Essen * Berndt, Christian. ''Corporate Germany Between Globalization and Regional Place Dependence: Business Restructuring in the Ruhr Area'' (2001) * Crew, David. '' Town in the Ruhr: A Social History of Bochum, 1860–1914'' (1979) () * Fischer, Conan. ''The Ruhr Crisis, 1923–1924'' (2003) * Gillingham, John. "Ruhr Coal Miners and Hitler's War", ''Journal of Social History'' Vol. 15, No. 4 (Summer, 1982), pp. 637–65
in JSTOR
Chauncy D. Harris, "The Ruhr Coal-mining District", ''Geographical Review,'' 36 (1946), 194–221. * Gillingham, John. ''Industry and Politics in the Third Reich: Ruhr Coal, Hitler, and Europe'' (1985) () * Pounds, Norman J. G. "The Ruhr Area: A Problem in Definition," ''Geography'' 36#3 (1951), pp. 165–178
online
* Pounds, Norman J. G. ''The Ruhr: A Study in Historical and Economic Geography'
(1952) online
* Pierenkemper, Toni. "Entrepreneurs in Heavy Industry: Upper Silesia and the Westphalian Ruhr Region, 1852 to 1913", ''Business History Review'' Vol. 53, No. 1 (Spring, 1979), pp. 65–7
in JSTOR
* Royal Jae Schmidt. ''Versailles and the Ruhr: Seedbed of World War II'' (1968) * Spencer, Elaine Glovka. "Employer Response to Unionism: Ruhr Coal Industrialists before 1914" ''Journal of Modern History'' Vol. 48, No. 3 (Sep., 1976), pp. 397–41
in JSTOR
* Spencer, Elaine Glovka. ''Management and Labor in Imperial Germany: Ruhr Industrialists as Employers, 1896–1914.'' Rutgers University Press
(1984) online
* Todd, Edmund N. "Industry, State, and Electrical Technology in the Ruhr Circa 1900", ''Osiris'' 2nd Series, Vol. 5, (1989), pp. 242–25
in JSTOR


External links






Ruhr Delegation of the United States of America, Council of Foreign Ministers American Embassy Moscow, March 24, 1947

Draft, The President's Economic Mission to Germany and Austria, Report 3, March, 1947; OF 950B: Economic Mission as to Food…; Truman Papers.


Describes the contest for the Ruhr and Saar over the centuries.

{{Authority control Ruhr, Coal mining regions in Germany Regions of North Rhine-Westphalia Metropolitan areas of Germany Cultural landscapes of North Rhine-Westphalia