When a steel production plant is not in use anymore, it is usually destroyed and replaced by something newer, nicer and more useful. This is not how the Rhur area would imagine treating what is here considered as an essential part of their culture and traditions.
Follow us for a visit in the breathtaking Landschaftspark Duisburg.
The rise and fall of a regional pride
Duisburg went through an intensive industrialisation in the early 1900s. The quantity of coal mines in the Ruhr area was setting the perfect ground to set a steel production plant, which requires enormous quantities of coal to keep the furnace at the adequate temperature.
This complex, spread over more than 200 hectares, worked at full capacity for about 8 decades.
As the European steel production massively declined, the Duisburg production plant was forced into closing. The park was left abandoned, as an gigantic wasteland as we only see them in video games.
Destroying this pride of the past was not an option for the working-class population of Duisburg. Proud of their industrial heritage, they fought to prevent this breathtaking infrastructure from demolition and turn it into an attraction that would attract thousands. “Landschaftspark Duisburg” was born.
An industrial jewel shining in the night
Turning a production plant into a sort of theme park is not an easy thing. How can such infrastructures would actually attract people?
The idea of the project initiators was simple but brilliant. They decided to keep most of the park in the exact state it was on the day it closed down.
The only improvement that was made was decorating the old metallic structures with colored lights, turning the complex into a decor worth of appearing in a fantasy-movie.
The old towers and their crates, chimneys, furnaces and coal trains can be explored freely. Numerous pathways and stairs that will take you through the park and up to a height of about 70 meters (on the platform of Blast Furnace No.5).
But the light show is not the only attraction of the Landschaftspark Duisburg. The former casting house and storage bunkers offer a big climbing park and via ferrata, while the old gasometer was turned into the biggest artificial diving center in Europe. The park also regularly welcomes concerts and festivals that are sure to give you a lasting impression.
Last but not least, the park is open throughout the entire year, has no closing times and is entirely free!
Want to find more to do in this region? Check our other articles on Düsseldorf and the Ruhr area.