Der Oelchenshammer, der zum LVR-Industriemuseum Kraftwerk Ermen & Engels gehört, ist die letzte wasserbetriebene Schmiede im Oberbergischen Land., © LVR Industriemuseum

In­dus­tri­al her­it­age in the Rhine­land with a bi­cycle

Cyc­ling route con­nects LVR (Rhine­land re­gion­al coun­cil) in­dus­tri­al mu­seums

On the cycle path of the in­dus­tri­al mu­seums, it is pos­sible to cre­ate pa­per, to de-scend in­to a tur­bine cel­lar and to face the entry ex­am­in­a­tion to be­come a train­ee in the iron and steel in­dustry.

Discovering the history of the industrial heritage of the Rhineland by bike - well prepared with a cyclist’s route map of the LVR industrial museums. The 440 kilometre-long circuit connects seven sites of Rhineland industrial heritage and has a lot to offer in other respects.

Stars of heavy industry

A lot can be experienced on the trip, of course. The St. Antony ironworks in Oberhausen is the start of the trip back in time. Heavy industry's dazzling personalities worked and lived here in the Ruhr area: Haniel, Jacobi, Krupp and von der Wenge. Those who dare to step inside will rapidly find themselves in a crime thriller of fraud, violence and power, because all kinds of villains also influenced the development of the first ironworks in the area. Those who prefer things to be more elegant should stop by the textile factory of Cromford in the Neander Valley in Ratingen. It was the first factory on the European continent and is located by the little river Anger, surrounded by an old English landscape park.

Entry examination to become a trainee

The zinc factory Altenberg in Oberhausen is a further stop on the circuit, with its impressive, gigantic machines. Those who want to check whether the iron and steel industry at that time would have been the right profession for them should tackle the tasks for skill and strength that trainees had to pass at the entrance examination in the Gutehoffnungshütte. If the examination has been passed, it is possible to cycle on directly - ready to be hired at the drop forge Henrichs in Solingen, as today scissors are still produced here.

Stream courses and a rattling mill wheel

The Bergisches Land is, as the German name suggests rather hilly, and some altitude difference has to be tackled. A stop at the paper mill Alte Dombach is recommended to take a breather. Here visitors not only learn how paper used to be manufactured, they can also create their own. Half-timbered houses, streams and the rattling mill wheel bring visitors back to earlier times. Times gone by are more tangible than ever in the old textile mill Müller in Euskirchen. Where doors were long closed, attractive scarfs are once again in production. On so-called "Dampfsonntage" (steam Sundays), those who cycle past can experience a special highlight: on these days, the steam engine from 1903 is in full use again.

Castles and monasteries

Besides industrial museums, other locations of industrial culture can be discovered throughout the route. In some places, castles and monasteries also crop up. The easy tour predominantly runs on signposted tourist routes or on the NRW cycle path network and can easily be completed in four to six daily stages.

Map of NRW

Tour overview

Info, data & tour route

Distance in km
Duration in days
Walking/Journey time in hours

Highest point in metres
Uphill altitude difference
Downhill altitude difference
Tour Level
Level of difficulty
  • Round trip
  • Family-friendly
  • Wheelchair-accessible

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Radfahrer auf der Radstrecke in Oberhausen vor Industriekulisse, © LVR Industriemuseum
Der Oelchenshammer, der zum LVR-Industriemuseum Kraftwerk Ermen & Engels gehört, ist die letzte wasserbetriebene Schmiede im Oberbergischen Land., © LVR Industriemuseum
Radfahrer auf dem Museumsgelände des LVR-Industriemuseums Zinkfabrik Altenberg in Oberhausen, © LVR Industriemuseum
Fachwerkhäuser der ehemaligen Papiermühle Alte Dombach in Bergisch Gladbach, © LVR Industriemuseum

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