Monday, March 30, 2009

Germany - Zollverein Coal Mine (DE-303990)

This card is something very special in my collection, not only because it has enriched my UNESCO collection (Don't even ask me, how many UNESCO sites do I have in my collection now... I'll tell you when I reach 100, but I'm afraid it's not going to be soon). It's special for some other reason - it's my first card showing a coal mine and the first showing the beauty of industrial objects. My opinion about the heavy industry has always been that we obviously need it for our civilisation, but it's not pretty at all - just spoiling the landscape and polluting the enviroment. And, of course, in most cases it is like that. But, as you can see, even a coal mine may be beautiful and may be a World Heritage Site. If all the constructors cared to make the industrial objects not only useful, but also look at least normal - the industrial regions wouldn't be the scariest parts of many countries :)


The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex 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 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, 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 Bauhaus 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”.

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