Sunday, August 30, 2009

Germany’s Industrial Heritage

One of the advantages of my work is that I get to go to some interesting places. This time Jane and I are going to the TICCHI conference in Freiberg and we have spend the last three days in the Ruhr Valley looking at some industrial sites and museums.

This is a view along one side of a truly huge bank of coke ovens at the Coke works which is part of the Zollverein Word Heritage Site near Essen. The coke works are relatively modern (1958 & 1961)but their size and scale is huge – quite different from the ones I worked on at Bowen.

The view is taken from the cafe where a nice meal and a beef can be had – imagine that on an Australian site.

Zollverein itself consists of the Coke works and two colliery shafts. The main shaft Shaft 12 was constructed between 1928 and 1932 to consolidate a number of other coal pits. The headframe and colliery buildings were designed by some famous architects and so the interpretation has tended to focus on the colliery design rather than anything else. Curiously for a World Heritage site the interpretation is mostly in German. I wouldn't have an issue with this except this is a world heritage site and presumably the visitors might come from the world.

This is the headframe and shaft buildings which are quite stark. I am not sure whether they were always that way or whether this is a result of conservation management.

This is the headframe of Shaft 1/2/8 taken from an elevated conveyor (now a a walkway) over railway sidings. Thee green are trees planted or self sown since the site stopped working. This is a modern headframe on a site that was operating from (supposedly)the 1840’s.