The Info List - Zeche Zollverein

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The Zollverein
Coal Mine Industrial Complex (German Zeche Zollverein) is a large former industrial site in the city of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It has been inscribed into the UNESCO
list of World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites
since December 14, 2001, and is one of the anchor points of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. The first coal mine on the premises was founded in 1847, and mining activities took place from 1851 until December 23, 1986. For decades, starting in the late 1950s, the two parts of the site, Zollverein
Coal Mine and Zollverein
Coking Plant (erected 1957−1961, closed on June 30, 1993), ranked among the largest of their kinds in Europe. Shaft 12, built in the New Objectivity style, was opened in 1932 and is considered an architectural and technical masterpiece, earning it a reputation as the “most beautiful coal mine in the world”.[1]


1 History

1.1 1847–1890 1.2 1890–1918 1.3 1918–1932 1.4 Shaft 12 1.5 1932–1968 1.6 1968–1993 1.7 Becoming a monument 1.8 Ruhr Museum

2 Footnotes 3 References 4 External links

History[edit] 1847–1890[edit] Zollverein
Coal Mine was founded by Duisburg-born industrialist Franz Haniel (1779–1868), who needed coke for steel production. Test drilling in the Katernberg region (nowadays a suburb of Essen) had revealed a very rich seam of coal, which was then named after the German Customs Union (Zollverein), established in 1834. In 1847, Haniel founded the bergrechtliche Gewerkschaft Zollverein
(a special kind of Prussian corporation for the exploitation of natural resources) and distributed the shares of the new company amongst the members of his family and the owner of the land on which the future mine would be constructed. The sinking of Shaft 1 began on February 18, 1847, with the first mineral coal layer being reached at a depth of 130 meters. The first mining activities started in 1851. Shaft 2 (which was sunk at the same time as Shaft 1) was opened in 1852. Both shafts featured visually identical stone towers and shared a machine house. This concept was to be adapted by many later twin-shaft coal mines. Starting in 1857, charcoal piles were used to produce coke. In 1866, these piles were replaced by a modern cokery and machine ovens. In 1880, the sinking of another shaft, Shaft 3, began in neighboring Schonnebeck. It had a steel framework to support its winding tower and was opened in 1883. By 1890, the three shafts had already achieved an output of one million tons, making Zollverein
the most productive of all German mines. 1890–1918[edit] Since the coal, iron and steel industries of the Ruhr area
Ruhr area
flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the mine was extended significantly. Between 1891 and 1896, the twin Shafts 4 and 5 were built on the edge of Heßler (nowadays a suburb of Gelsenkirchen). The two shafts had special shafts for extraction of coal, the transportation of Kumpels (mine workers) and ventilation, as well as a new cokery. Another shaft, number 6, was opened in 1897. By 1897, Zollverein
had long suffered from many mining accidents due to firedamp caused by ventilation problems. To resolve these problems, additional (mainly ventilation-only) shafts were opened close to the existing ones: in 1899, Shaft 7 was opened near Shaft 3, Shaft 8 near Shafts 1 and 2 (1900), and Shaft 9 near Shaft 6 (1905). Years of continuous renovation and further expansion followed. After the construction of Shafts 7, 8 and 9, the old Shafts 1 and 2 (including the cokery) were renovated, and one of the twin towers was even taken down and replaced by a modern steel framework. In 1914, Shaft 10 and a new cokery were opened, as was Shaft 9 (which had previously served only as a ventilation shaft). By the eve of the First World War, Zollverein's output had risen to approximately 2.5 million tons. 1918–1932[edit] In 1920, the Haniel family, who had been the owners of Zollverein until then, started cooperating with Phönix AG, a mining company that subsequently took over the management of the site. Under Phönix's management, several of the shafts were again modernized, and an eleventh shaft was opened until 1927. When Phönix merged into Vereinigte Stahlwerke in 1926, Zollverein
came under control of Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks-AG (GBAG) who started closing most of the now elderly coking plants. Shaft 12[edit]

Former boiler house of Shaft 12 in the typical Bauhaus
style with red steel trusses. Today it houses the Red Dot
Red Dot
Design Museum.

Zollverein, 1949

In 1928, the GBAG voted for the construction of a totally new twelfth shaft designed as a central mining facility. When in the shaft opened in 1932, it had a daily output of up to 12,000 tons, combining the output of the four other existing facilities with 11 shafts. Schacht Albert Vögler, as the highly modern shaft was named after the director general of the GBAG, was designed by the architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer and quickly gained notice for its simple, functional Bauhaus
design with its mainly cubical buildings made of reinforced concrete and steel trusses. The shaft's characteristic Doppelbock winding tower in the following years not only became the archetype of many later central mining facilities but also became a symbol of German heavy industry.

The winding tower of Shaft 12 with inscription Zollverein
has become a well-known symbol of Essen
and the whole Ruhr area.

Whilst this symbol may have slowly been forgotten when German heavy industry started diminishing in the second half of the 20th century, it was this shaft and especially its characteristic winding tower that were to become a symbol of the Ruhr area's structural change. 1932–1968[edit] In 1937, Zollverein
employed 6900 people and had an output of 3.6 million tons, the majority of which was contributed by the new 12th shaft. The other shafts were not entirely closed, and some, such as Shaft 6, even received new winding towers (though in comparison to Shaft 12 they were far inferior). On the premises of the old coking plant of Shafts 1, 2 and 8, a small facility of 54 new ovens was opened with a yearly output of 200,000 tons of coke. Zollverein
survived the Second World War with only minor damage and by 1953 again placed on top of all German mines with an output of 2.4 million tons. In 1958, Shaft 1 was replaced by a totally new building; the complete reconstruction of the 2/8/11 shaft facility from 1960 until 1964 was again planned by Fritz Schupp. However, these renovations were to last only until 1967, when 11 shafts were closed, leaving Shaft 12 the only open one.

coking plant.

Shaft 12 thus became the main supplier of the new central coking plant from 1961 with its 192 ovens, which was again designed by Fritz Schupp.[2] After an expansion in the early 1970s, Zollverein
placed among the most productive coking plants worldwide with around 1,000 workers and an output of up to 8,600 tons of coke a day on the so-called dark side. The white side of the plant produced side products such as ammonia, raw benzene and raw tar. In 1968, Zollverein
was handed over to Ruhrkohle AG (RAG), Germany's largest mining company. 1968–1993[edit]

December 23, 1986: Final working day

RAG began a further mechanization and consolidation of mining activities. In 1974, Zollverein
was joined into a Verbundbergwerk (joined mines) with nearby Bonifacius and Holland coal mines in Kray and Gelsenkirchen, respectively. In 1982, Gelsenkirchen's Nordstern coal mine also joined that Verbund. The Flöz Sonnenschein coal layer in the north of the Zollverein territory was the last layer in which mining activities took place on Zollverein
territory, starting in 1980. The output of Verbundbergwerk Nordstern- Zollverein
was approximately 3.2 million tons, but this did not prove profitable enough and a complete closure of the Zollverein
site was voted for in 1983. When it closed, Zollverein
was the last remaining active coal mine in Essen. Whereas the coking plant remained open until June 30, 1993, mining activities in Shaft 12 stopped on December 23, 1986. Although it is the central shaft of the Cultural Heritage site, Shaft 12 cannot be visited as it continues being used as the water drainage for the central Ruhr area
Ruhr area
together with Shaft 2. Becoming a monument[edit] As with most sites of the heavy industries that had been closed down, Zollverein
was predicted to face a period of decay. Surprisingly, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
(NRW) bought the coal mine territory from the RAG immediately after it had been closed down in late 1986, and declared Shaft 12 a heritage site. This went along with the obligation to preserve the site in its original state and to minimize the effects of weathering. In 1989, the city of Essen
and NRW founded the Bauhütte Zollverein
Schacht XII that should take care for the site and which was replaced by the Stiftung Zollverein
(Zollverein Foundation) in 1998. After it had been closed down in 1993, the coking plant was planned to be sold to China. The negotiations failed and it was subsequently threatened to be demolished. However, another project of the state of NRW set the coal mine on a list of future exhibition sites resulting in first gentle modifications and the cokery also became an official heritage site in 2000. On its 25th session in December 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared both the sites of Shafts 12 and 1/2 and the cokery a World Heritage Site. Ruhr Museum[edit] The Ruhr Museum in the former Coal Washery, located on the UNESCO World Heritages Site Zollverein, is the regional museum of the Ruhr Area. In its permanent exhibition the Ruhr Museum presents, with over 6,000 exhibits, the fascinating history of one of the largest industrial regions of the world, from the formation of coal 300 million years ago to the current structural change towards the Ruhr Metropolis. The Ruhr Museum has extensive collections on the geology, archaeology, industrial and social history as well as photography of the Ruhr Area. In addition to its permanent exhibition, the Ruhr Museum regularly shows special exhibitions and offers a diverse programme with workshops, guided tours, excursions, lectures, movie nights, audio guides and the museum bag for families.

Historic former coal mine in the city of Essen
in North Rhine Westphalia

Photographic impression of the coking plant which had been a “no-go-area” until mid-1993. The artificial channel is opened for ice skating in the winter.

Rear view of shaft 12


Escalator to former coal washing plant

Escalator to former coal washing plant


^ "European Route of Industrial Heritage". En.erih.net. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Industriedenkmal-Stiftung NRW. "Industriedenkmal-Stiftung Denkmale Kokerei Zollverein
Geschichte". Industriedenkmal-stiftung.de. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 


Most sections of this article are translations from the German Wikipedia. The versions used can be found under the following links: [1], [2] and [3]. The original authors of the German-language version can be found here [4].

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zollverein
Coal Mine industrial complex.

Official website

v t e

World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites
in Germany

For official site names, see each article or the List of World Heritage Sites in Germany.


Fagus Factory
Fagus Factory
in Alfeld Berlin Modernism Housing Estates Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar
and Upper Harz Water Management
System Speicherstadt
and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus
in Hamburg St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Michael's Church at Hildesheim Hanseatic City of Lübeck Historic Centres of Stralsund
and Wismar


and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz Dresden Elbe Valley
Dresden Elbe Valley
(delisted in 2009) Luther Memorials in Eisleben
and Wittenberg Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski1 Collegiate Church, Castle, and Old Town of Quedlinburg Wartburg
Castle Classical Weimar


Aachen Cathedral Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey Cologne Cathedral Upper Middle Rhine Valley Speyer Cathedral Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier Völklingen Ironworks Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe Zollverein
Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen


Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier
The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier
(Weissenhof Estate) Town of Bamberg Frontiers of the Roman Empire:2 Upper Germanic & Rhaetian Limes Maulbronn Monastery
Maulbronn Monastery
Complex Margravial Opera House Old Town of Regensburg
with Stadtamhof Monastic Island of Reichenau Pilgrimage Church of Wies Würzburg Residence
Würzburg Residence
with the Court Gardens and Residence Square Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps3 Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura


Ancient Beech Forests4 Messel Pit Fossil Site Wadden Sea5

1 Shared with Poland 2 Shared with the United Kingdom 3 Shared with Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland 4 Shared with Slovakia and Ukraine 5 Shared with the Netherlands and Denmark

v t e

The Industrial Heritage Trail
The Industrial Heritage Trail
– Visitor Centres, Anchor Points, Theme Routes

Visitor centres and anchor points

German Inland Waterways Museum Duisburg
Inner Harbour Oberhausen Industrial Museum Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord Gasometer Oberhausen Aquarius-Wassermuseum Villa Hügel Nordsternpark World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
Zeche Zollverein Marl-Chemiepark Power Station Bochum Dahlhausen Railway Museum Henrichshütte Jahrhunderthalle Bochum Umspannwerk Recklinghausen Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Zeche Nachtigall Henrichenburg boat lift DASA Kokerei Hansa Zeche Zollern
Zeche Zollern
II/IV Hohenhof Hagen Open-air Museum Lindenbrauerei Unna Maximilianpark Hamm Halde Rheinpreußen

Theme routes

Duisburg: Town and Harbour Industrielle Kulturlandschaft Zollverein Duisburg: Industriekultur am Rhein Oberhausen: Industrie macht Stadt Krupp und die Stadt Essen Dortmund: Dreiklang Kohle, Stahl und Bier Industriekultur an der Lippe Erzbahn-Emscherbruch Industriekultur an Volme und Ennepe Sole, Dampf und Kohle Frühe Industrialisierung Geschichte und Gegenwart der Ruhr Auf dem Weg zur blauen Emscher Kanäle und Schifffahrt Bahnen im Revier Westfälische Bergbauroute Rheinische Bergbauroute Chemie, Glas und Energie Arbeitersiedlungen Unternehmervillen Brot, Korn und Bier Mythos Ruhrgebiet Historische Parks und Gärten Industrienatur Landmarken-Kunst