Zollverein in the 21st Century

Preservation and Use of the UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein Site

Zollverein master planUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein


The publication of the master plan marks the beginning of a new conversion phase at Zollverein.
Until today, this plan has been the basis for all building activities at Zollverein. The aim is to develop the World Heritage Site into a centre for the design industry, for culture and tourism. 

One component of the master plan is places of special attraction for visitors. The former coal washing plant is to be converted into a museum for the entire Ruhr region and an international visitor center.

Shaft XII, coal washing plant in the year 2006UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

Under the motto “preservation through conversion,” various components of the master plan were implemented between 2002 and 2010: the renovation of the Coal Washery, the new SANAA building, the design of open spaces in the Zollverein Park and the first building of the Design City at Shaft 1/2/8.

Ruhr Museum on the occasion of the opening of RUHR.2010 – European Capital of CultureUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein


The 2010s had a spectacular start. On 9th and 10th January 2010, the Zollverein World Heritage Site celebrated the opening ceremony of the European Capital of Culture Year RUHR.2010, the opening of the Ruhr Museum, of the new Monument Path at Zollverein Shaft XII and of the Portal of Industrial Heritage.
By 31st December 2010, 2.21 million people had visited Zollverein – more than never before. 

Zollverein Coking Plant, group of visitors in front of the coke ovensUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

The development focus of the 2010s was on the Coking Plant, whose mighty “black side” with conveyor bridges, chimneys and the mixing plant was gradually refurbished.

Grand HallUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

The suction and compressor hall is being converted into a modern event hall, ...

Comb BuildingUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

... and the Comb Building has accommodated offices and studios for companies in the digital and creative industries since 2016.

Folkwang University of the ArtsUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein


New milestones were also reached in the quarter of Zollverein Shaft 1/2/8. The new building of the Folkwang University of the Arts was completed in 2018.

View of PACT ZollvereinUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

The artists‘ house and performance venue for contemporary performing arts, PACT Zollverein, and the Margaretenhöhe Ceramic Workshop have already been providing artistic impulses for decades.

Experiencing mining in the Interactive MineUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

The “Interactive Colliery” with experiential education programmes for families, children and young people complements the educational programme of Zollverein Foundation.

Projections on the occasion of “Ten past Ten”UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein


Today, the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site is again a place of work and production, but also a location for education, culture and tourism. Just as many people are employed above ground at the Zollverein World Heritage Site today as before the closure of the coal mine.

Station 1 along the Zollverein Monument PathUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein

The main focus of the future development are transformation and the digital economy. Two future milestones will be the opening of the central and visible depot and the further elaboration of the Zollverein Monument Path at the Zollverein Coking Plant.

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