The Ruhr Museum at the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, Essen
Experience Ruhr Area history at its source
A museum at a former mining site with panoramic views: The Ruhr Museum provides a unique overall presentation of the history of the Ruhr Area.
The Ruhr Museum in Essen is one of the most important museums in the Ruhr metropolis. As one of the oldest museums in the Ruhr Area, it can look back over more than a century of history. The museum opened in its current location, in the old coal washing plant on the site of the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, at the end of 2010 to mark the start of the Ruhr’s year as the Capital of Culture.
The museum’s structure is particularly impressive: the old coal washing industrial plant was converted by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas and given a huge orange-coloured outdoor escalator. Inside the museum, around 6,000 exhibits allow visitors to discover the history of the Ruhr Area and industrialisation and understand the route taken by coal: the permanent exhibition is spread across several floors to trace different historical developments. Visitors start above ground at the museum entrance in the present and are led on a journey into the past below ground.
At the Portal der Industriekultur (Portal of Industrial Heritage) spectators receive a multimedia introduction to the topic and gain information on what the Ruhr metropolis and North Rhine-Westphalia have to offer in terms of industrial heritage through exhibits like the RUHR 360° film, which is projected around a full 360° screen. From here, the Denkmalpfad Zollverein heritage trail leads past the preserved machinery and conveyor belts of the former colliery to the viewing platform on the roof of the coal washing plant, which offers stunning views over the region.
With all it has to offer, the Ruhr Museum provides a unique overall presentation of the history of the Ruhr Area and also serves as the entire region’s memory. As well as the permanent exhibition, the Ruhr Museum also has comprehensive collections covering geology, archaeology and photography.
Open daily Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00