LWL Museum Henrichshütte in Hattingen
Iron is still melted down today during at the demonstration foundry
At the demonstration foundry watch as the iron is melted and then accompany your children to the play blast furnace – the Henrichshütte Ironworks in Hattingen are more than just a museum.
The LWL Industrial Museum at Henrichshütte in Hattingen keeps the centuries-old history of iron and steel works alive, and with it a large segment of the Ruhr Area’s history. For 150 years, the blast furnaces and casthouses of the Henrichshütte smelted iron and produced steel. Until 1987, 10,000 people worked in the huge industrial area, rolling, casting and forging metal.
The blast furnace at the industrial plant in Hattingen also serves as the museum’s largest and most important exhibit: it is one of the oldest of its kind to be preserved in the Ruhr metropolis. The permanent exhibition, “Der Weg des Eisens” (“The Path of Iron”) allows visitors to chart the course of materials from ore, coke and lime into hot metal. Taking a lift, the path initially leads up to the blast furnace and from there down the stairs to the casthouse, where molten iron was once cast at 1,400 degrees. Numerous photographs, films and interviews are used to convey the working lives of people who used to work at Henrichshütte and how their lives depended on and were influenced by their work.
One particular feature of the Industriemuseum is the demonstration foundry, which is still used to smelt iron. This allows visitors to see for themselves what working with hot metal was like at the time. The outdoor areas of the Henrichshütte are also worth a visit: After the Henrichshütte was decommissioned, nature was left to take its course, and the “Grüner Weg” path around the industrial complex now offers views of numerous rare flowers and animals, which first came to Hattingen with the raw materials from all over the world. The eco-workshop also provides visitors with background information.
Children can follow the Rattenweg (Rat's Path) through the LWL Museum at Henrichshütte in Hattingen: here the museum’s mascot, a blue rat, guides curious little steelworkers through many different stations, where they can test their metalworking skills and join in the action. A play blast furnace awaits on the playground for children to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. A giant slide ensures extra fun. Guided tours for families with children over age six are available every Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
As you can see, the Henrichshütte in Hattingen is not just a worthwhile destination for history buffs and those interested in industrial heritage, but also a great place for young families. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions; visitors are invited to look at Henrichshütte Hattingen’s website for more information.
Tuesday - Sunday and public holidays: 10 am - 6 pm
Friday: 10 am - 8 pm