Once grey, now green: The Ruhr resurrected from its ashes

The transformation of the Ruhr area to bustling cultuurmetropool has an influx of domestic and foreign tourists to the former stinkzwam in Germany. And guess what: that tourists are not only interested in museums and industrial monuments, but also in hiking, shopping and other experiences.

Duisburg © Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Ruhr area is not the kolenpot of yesteryear. Ever gray and ugly, today blakend of health. Once grey, now green. Ever depressing, today is truly fascinating. The former industrial area, with numerous polluting chimneys, and large factories, is, from its ashes. The region in the federal state of North rhine-Westphalia, which in 2010 was declared a Cultural Capital of Europe, is today a breeding ground of art and culture. But that’s not all: in the slipstream of that cultural revolution has a thriving tourist industry developed in and around cities such as Bochum, Duisburg, Dortmund, Essen and Oberhausen.

Diving and climbing

The metamorphosis of the Ruhr area, is nowhere better visible than in Duisburg, the city on the Rhine, which is a huge shut down industrial complex is turned into the Duisburg-Nord. Visitors can spend hours in the green for walking and cycling. The former blast furnaces in the recreation park have an original new destination: in a gasopslagtank is a dive centre built in an old ertsbunker is climbing. Also in the Kaisergarten in Schloss Oberhausen can nature lovers to their heart’s content. Together with the children, they can be in addition to the zoo. The Ludwiggalerie of the neoclassical castle sets art from all over the world to exhibit.

Green light for clean air

The regional authorities in the Ruhr area have laudable efforts have been made to their natuurpatrimonium in glory. The Emscher, which, until recently, the dubious honor of being enjoyed dirtiest river in Germany, by 2020, fully purified. Idea is to have an attractive natural landscape to create. The main towns of the region are only accessible with the car as a fuel-emission sticker wear. In the city centres are zones created, where the air pollution is kept to a minimum.

Toppers for the whole family

The car-free centre of Dortmund, with its wide range of shops and boutiques, is a small paradise for shoppers. Their real paradise is just down the road in Oberhausen and is called CentrO, a mall with over 200 shops, numerous restaurants and a small amusement park. About theme parks: a 20-minute drive from Oberhausen (Bottrop) is Movie Park Germany, where young and old in the world of “Star Trek”, “Ice Age” and “Dora”, can immerse. Another winner for the family is the railway museum located in Bochum, a museum for kids and parents who are not of museums. No man remains indifferent when he is faced with the headlights of so many mighty locomotives and freight cars. Also the trip with the Ruhrtalbahn you will not soon forget.

The ultimate kick

An absolute highlight is the view over the Ruhr area from the viewing platform of the Gasometer in Oberhausen, a former gas tank that today serves as expohal. The same thrill you experience on the 209-metre high Florianturm tv tower in Dortmund, germany. If you’re looking for the ultimate thrill, you must go to the Signal Iduna Park, home of football club BVB Borussia Dortmund and the biggest football stadium of Germany. At each ” home up in the rafters. The sound of 81.000 fans suddenly begin to cheer, that he says, you have been through …

Dreams of Germany

  • Discover Germany at top speed
  • The land of Hansel and Gretel
  • Christmas markets in Germany: mulled wine and bratwurst
  • Once grey, now green: The Ruhr resurrected from its ashes
  • From coal to culture: The rebirth of the Ruhr area
  • Read all articles about Dreams from Germany

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular