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Cuxhaven’s Hinterland: Biking the Marshland



The countryside around Cuxhaven is a paradise for bike rides. A network of biking trails offers plenty of opportunities. The lush green marshland is flat, the geestland further inward has a few small hills. Perfect for families. Obtaining a two-wheeled means of transport for the day or for the duration of your stay is no problem at all. Bike rentals can be found at almost every street corner in Cuxhaven. I rented my bike, upon recommendation from my landlords, in Stickenbüttel just around the corner. I got a really fine bike that I would have loved to keep!

Three types of landscapes are characteristic for this region:

Marsh with drainage ditches and Geest hills in the background


Marsh is the area closest to the Elbe shore. The ground is slightly above sea level, but still very wet. A system of ditches and drainage channels is necessary to lead the freshwater out. Sea floods are a constant threat but the land is well protected by dykes. Sediments from the river created a rich, fertile black soil that makes good pastures and fields, great land for breeding cattle and horses.

The farmers in this part were wealthy and ambitious. Villages have a small centre around the church and long rows of farms along the roads to East and West – one village can have a total length of 15-20 kilometres. Houses and farms were built on Wurten, artificial hills, that protect them from floodings.

Geest is an untranslatable North-German term for the moraine hills that the last ice-age created. The advantage of the Geest is that the hills rise higher, your feet and your house stay dry. Small Geest hills within marsh or moor were happily used to build villages and hamlets upon. Larger Geest areas like the Wingst hills are covered in forest. On the other hand, the sandy soil of the Geest areas is not fertile and hardly suitable for agriculture, so the inhabitants were rather poor unless they had access to marshland for farming.


Moor is frequent further inland behind the marsh. There you are more or less tied to the narrow roads, which are built on dams, and very few farm trails - hardly an option to turn left or right. This land is partly below sea level. In former times it was flooded at least once per year. Most traffic, no matter is people or goods were transported, was done by boat.


This land by the coast is a wet country. It‘s not only the saltwater from the sea that the inhabitants have to protect themselves from, but just as well the freshwater from inwards. A network of ditches and canals has been dug and carefully maintained over the centuries. Parts of this land are below sea level. Drainage is essential for survival. The result is a landscape with many waterflows and streams, often accompanied by rows of bushes and trees. These are known as „Knicks“ and serve as windbreakers for the fields and pastures. Cyclists will welcome them, too.


Kopfweiden, pollard willows, can frequently be seen. This term does not describe a species but a particular shape of willow. Willows grow well in the wet soil of the marshland. Young willows are “beheaded” at a height of about two metres. They then sprout many thin new twigs from the cut which are harvested at regular intervals. Willow twigs are useful for many purposes. The thin elastic twigs are basic material for the weaving of baskets. They are also often used for building purposes, for example the fillings in the walls of half-timbered houses. Thicker, older twigs serve for example for the construction of fences or as broomsticks. Old pollard willows grow into bizarre shapes. At night they can look quite spooky. Their hollow heads provide homes for owls and bats.


The wet but nourishing soil of the marshlands grows fat pastures. Ideal conditions for the breeding of cattle and horses. Animals are grazing everywhere - horses, cows, sheep.



The typical villages have relatively small centres but extend along many many kilometres. People settled along roads and dams. Every house and farm was built on its own Wurt, an artificial hill, so it was high enough not to be flooded every winter. Some are still working farms, others have been bought by wealthy people from Hamburg or Bremen as their countryside residences, and well restored.

Most of these villages have majestic old churches. They may look plain from the outside, but their interiors are beautiful and ornate. Over the centuries the villagers have made rich donations for the furnishing of their churches. Lüdingworth and Altenbruch in particular deserve a mentioning. (I’ll better not start describing them in detail. These churches have been topic of a recent research work of mine and I do not want to bore you...)

On the Elbe Shore



Bike trails run along the shoreline, too, partly in the foreland outside the dyke, partly landside. The footpath on top of the dyke is not meant for cyclists, though. These trails continue all the way along the Elbe shore until the outskirts of Hamburg.

Altenbruch is Cuxhaven’s easternmost suburb, an old village that became part of the municipality in the 20th century. Located not far from the shore and the dyke, Altenbruch proudly claims to have its own beach by the Elbe. It is a green beach, though, a meadow instead of sand. At low tide a bit of mudflat falls dry. At high tide swimming is possible. However, as a beach it hardly classifies as „better than nothing“.

Four-legged Lawn Mowers



Everywhere on the dykes you'll see sheep grazing. By keeping the grass short they are doing an important work for the protection of the coastline which no other animal could do. Sheep bite the grass off without tearing out the roots. Their little hooves do not cause holes in the turf. A dense and solid turf cover is important. Any hole, no matter how small, may become dangerous in case of a storm tide. The waves may hollow out the dike and cause it to break.

Dear hikers and bikers, do not walk on the grass along the dikes. Stay on the paved paths, because your shoes may very well tear holes into the turf.

Fat Berta the Lighthouse



Die dicke Berta, "fat Berta", is the popular name of a stubby lighthouse on the Elbe dyke near Altenbruch. It is a nice addition to a bike tour along the Elbe. The railway line to Stade and Hamburg passes right by the lighthouse so you can spot it from the train.


Next to it there is a lock in the dyke to get freshwater out. The wet marshes have the choice to either drown in saltwater, which is prevented by the dyke, or to drown in freshwater from landside. Hence the elaborate systems of drainage ditches, and these locks that let freshwater out into the river at low tide and close at high tide to keep the seawater out. On the dyke nearby there are some wind generators used for research. The shipping channel of the Elbe is running right behind the dyke you you may catch some funny snapshots of ships running on top of the dyke.


Posted by Kathrin_E 03:38 Archived in Germany Tagged north_sea cuxhaven niedersachsen lower_saxony Comments (0)

A Day on Helgoland


A rock and a sand dune in the middle of the open sea – that’s Helgoland. Its mere existence is astonishing enough, the landscape and the colours even more: the red sandstone cliffs, the green meadows on top, the blue sea around.

Helgoland is a popular day trip destination from the seaside resorts on the German North Sea coast. From four different ports ferries come over to bring visitors. Most of them come only for the day, spend three or four hours on the island and then return to their ships and off they go. There is only one connection per day on each route so one is bound to the ship’s departure time.


I came over from Cuxhaven, had planned to take the fast katamaran both ways. I had not prebooked, so I got a ticket for the katamaran only for the way to Helgoland, for the return trip I had to take the ferry which takes twice as much time. On the other hand, this gave me the chance to experience and compare both.

It was a boiling hot day on the mainland so a trip to a high sea island seemed the best thing to do. Even Helgoland got 28 °C that day, not very much wind for a location in the open sea, and the sun was brilliant and very strong. In other words: Phew!


Three hours were all I had, and that’s enough to get an idea of Helgoland but far too short to cover all its attractions. If I ever go back I want to stay longer. The island will be a lot quieter after the day trippers are gone. I imagine sunset and sunrise to be spectacular, as well as the stars at night – if the sky is clear. What a pity one cannot book good weather in advance! Getting there in rough weather should be quite something.

The fastest connection to Cuxhaven is the katamaran "Halunder Jet" which takes you there from Cuxhaven in a little more than one hour. The katamaran runs at a speed of 35 knots (almost 70 kph), twice as fast as a normal ship. It actually starts in Hamburg, the only direct connection from the city to Helgoland. Unlike the ferry ships which have to moor outside the harbour and people change into small boats to reach the shore, the katamaran is the only vessel which enters the harbour and docks at the quay of Südhafen. From there it is a walk of a few minutes to the main port and the centre.


Fares are higher than for the slow ferries. Since it is a high-speed katamaran there are no open decks, you have to stay inside. Everyone has an assigned seat, which means that the tickets can sell out. In high season, prebooking at least four days in advance is recommended. I bought my ticket on the spot and was lucky to get hold of one of the last tickets for the ride to Helgoland, on the way back I had to take the ferry because the kat was booked solid. For people who are prone to seasickness, the katamaran will be more suitable than a ferry because it runs smoothly over the waves with hardly any swaying.

Ferries connect Helgoland with a couple of ports on the mainland, like Büsum, Cuxhaven, Wilhelmshaven, and Bremerhaven. In the summer half of the year all routes are served daily. In winter it’s one ship in two days, weather permitting.


All ships have to anchor out in the stretch of sea between the main island and Düne. The only ship that enters the port and drops you off right at the quay is the Katamaran. From all other ferries, and back to all others, you enjoy the the (in)famous pleasure of Ausbooten. All passengers have to change to small open boats which bring you ashore. I found the thought a bit scary, others think it is big fun. It was a clear day with little wind and calm seas, so it was easy, but I’ll rather not imagine doing this in rough weather...

Honestly, it is not really a problem. All you have to do is hold out your arms and make a big step, and four strong sailors will grab you and help you. They have, so far, gotten everyone on board, no matter how big or small, or how old and feeble.

Hint: Upon return, be at the port no later than half an hour before your ship’s scheduled departure time. Lines are long and the boating takes time. Check the board for the gate number of the landing where the boats to your ship depart.


Helgoland consists of two islands: the sandstone rock as the main island, and the small sandy one called Düne (dune). The existence of one single solitary rock in the middle of the sea is amazing enough, but I am even more astonished about the persistence of this patch of sand. Düne is the beach of Helgoland with white sands and clear waters for swimming. A ferry boat connects both islands every 30 minutes. There is an airstrip, a lighthouse, some holiday villages and campgrounds, a couple of restaurants. Düne is also known as home of a colony of seals (Kegelrobben). Unfortunately I did not have time to go over during my day visit.

Helgoland town is divided into three parts: the “upper land” (Oberland) on the plateau, the “lower land” (Unterland) on the Southern and Eastern shore around the port and, on the step halfway, the “middle land” (Mittelland).
Unterland has the port, the authorities and the busy shopping streets with loads of duty-free shops for day visitors.

Oberland has a more residential character and a quieter feel although it gets its share of tourism, too.

Mittelland only came into existence through the bomb detonations of 1947 that blew away a chunk of the rock in the South and created a terrace halfway up. Mittelland is of least interest to short-term visitors, there is a large clinic and a couple of houses, that’s about it. You will encounter these names everywhere, so it is good to know what they mean.

The Flag and the Colours


Everywhere on the island you’ll see the flag and the colours: green, red and white. There is an old verse:

Grün ist das Land, rot ist die Kant, weiß ist der Strand - das sind die Farben von Helgoland.

Green is the land, red is the edge, white is the beach - those are the colours of Helgoland.

The use of the flag has a lot to do with local pride, the constant quarels between Germany and Britain about possession of the island in history, and having lost their homeland twice during the World Wars.


The first attraction you reach upon arrival are the Hummerbuden round the port. The colourful shacks that are lined up in a long row along the quay once were the work sheds of the lobster fishers where they kept their tools and traps. The lobsters have become rare around Helgoland recently, though, and the trade is down. According to a documentary I recently saw on TV there is one single fisherman left who still uses his shack for the original purpose. He delivers most of his catch to the Biological Institute for breeding, as to reestablish the species in the wild. Nowadays new uses for the shacks have been found. They contain little shops, art galleries, eateries and such.

Helgoland is a duty-free zone. Instead of the usual souvenir shops which would usually assemble in tourist hotspots like this one, you have duty-free shops with cigarets and tobacco, alcoholic beverages, perfumes, chocolate and such, and a just small selection of souvenirs. The highest density ca be found around the port and in the centre of Unterland, and around the top end of the elevator in Oberland. Impossible to miss. Shop to your heart’s content but observe the limits for import set by German customs, as these apply although Helgoland is part of German territory: www.zoll.de Sometimes there are checks on the ship or in the ports of arrival.

Walking the Cliff Trail



Helgoland is not very big and if your walking abilities are at least moderate, your feet are the easiest and most flexible means of transportation. I highly recommend the round walk along the cliffs on Oberland.

The elevator

To save yourselves the 200+ stairs up you can take the elevator from Unterland to Oberland and back. The elevator to Oberland is located at the end of the shopping street – hard to miss, just follow the crowds from the port. Two lift cabins run all the time according to need and request. Both are manned, the guy inside will collect the tickets. On the way up you buy tickets from the cash box which is impossible to miss, on the way down you can buy tickets from the guy in the elevator if you don’t have yours already.

A walk along the Klippenrandweg around the edges of Oberland is a must. To reach it from the port you can either take the elevator or climb one of the three stairways. Its total lenght is approximately 3 kilometres, but plan enough time, I’d estimate about one and a half hours. There are plenty of viewpoints to all sides. The views of the cliffs and the sea are spectacular. As soon as you are at the top the walk is easy. The trail is smoothly paved with bricks and has very few short ups and downs. A shorter round is even marked as barrier-free.


The round walk takes you past all attractions on Oberland, including Lange Anna at the far end, the bird rock, the lighthouse, the bomb craters etc. Pyramid-shaped information boards tell about Helgoland’s history, the landscape and nature. Helgoland consists of one single rock of red sandstone. Its layers show all shades of deep red with some white in between. The layers are slightly inclined, which explains the shape of the island with the steep cliffs in the north and west and the lower part in the southeast. The layers of rock form a striped pattern that continues over all the cuts and breaks caused by erosion.

Lange Anna, the iconic rock tower

Beware of the wind. The strong sea wind will grab everything. One easily loses lightweight pieces like hats, scarves, plush animals… Along the cliffs there is no way of retrieving a lost item. Secure your belongings. If you are lucky enough to catch a sunny day, definitely use sunscreen. Helgoland is famous for its clean air, but the consequence of clean air is a high intensity of UV radiation. Use a high protection factor. SPF 20 was hardly enough for three hours in August.

The rock pillar named Lange Anna is Helgoland’s landmark and most famous attraction. At the Northern tip of the sandstone cliffs this freestanding tower remained while the rocks around crumbled about 140 years ago. Some day it will crumble, too, although the bottom is protected by concrete barriers. The total height is 47 metres. The rock is a scyscraper for birds. To see it you have to walk to the far end of the island on the cliff walk. From the viewpoints you have a good view. The best view is of course from sea. There seem to be tours in small boats from the port but I do not know any details.

Lummenfelsen – The Rock of the Birds

















The bird rocks are a major attraction up here. Germany’s smallest nature reserve consists of one single rock. It is a it is a huge condo, densely occupied.

Five species of sea birds nest here: guillemots (Trottellumme, Uria aalge) and the closely related razorbill (Tordalk, Alca torda), kittywake (Dreizehenmöwe, Rissa tridactyla), a small seagull), fulmar (Eissturmvogel, Fulmarus glacialis) and Northern gannet (Basstölpel, Sula bassana).


The vertical rock is a densely populated condominium. Every niche and every tiny protruding bit of rock has at least one nest on it. The birds are used to tourists and happily ignore us. They know that the vertical rock, the air and the sea are theirs and that we cannot climb down to their nests.

When I visited in early August, only the gannets and the seagulls still had chicks in their nests, the others were already out. It’s hard to imagine even more nests on the rock as every suitable spot seems to be occupied by these two species.


Options for bird-watching and photography are plenty from the comfortable trail. You get several views onto the sides of the rock. A good zoom is useful to have for closeups.

The cliff trail even takes you very close to the top floor of the condo, where you are just a few metres away from the highest nests. Some seagulls even sit on the edge of the trail as if they were posing for photos, and hoping for a treat in return.


The gannets with their clown faces, light colours and elegant style of flying were my favourites among the sea birds of Lummenfelsen. Their clown-like faces and clumsy walk on the ground have earned them the German name "Tölpel" ("fools"). Nevertheless they are elegant flyers and very good fishers. Many of their nests were built from bits of fishing nets and ropes.


Each couple raises one single chick. They are still in the nest, already almost as big as the adult birds. They still wear the white fluffy downs that make them look like big cotton balls with black beaks. Underneath the real feathers are starting to grow. It can't take too long until they fledge.

The kittywakes occupy horizontal terraces, no matter how narrow, where they build rows of nests.

Gannets and kittywakes hardly intermingle, each species keps their terrace to itself. Nevertheless they are close neighbours on the various storeys of the big bird condo.


Even up here people cultivate their little gardens.

Allotment gardens are no Helgoland speciality, they are common and popular all over Germany, but I found these especially cute and worth a look.

They are perched on the edge of the cliff on the Northeastern side outside Oberland settlement. The round walk takes you right past them.

They are all walled in with high fences and hedges to protect them from the everlasting wind. Inside, people have created their little paradises: a garden hut, a place to sit, flower beds, some vegetables.

A place to forget the rough surroundings in the middle of the sea.


Walking further, I encountered a small herd of cute cows. I have no idea what a race this is! I assume it is an old, almost extinct one. These cows are whiteish and rather small. They have a curly, almost woolly fur which makes them look like big sheep. Three of them, a bull and two heifers, were in a pasture in Oberland by the round walk (close to the public toilets and the allotment gardens). They looked like gentle creatures, easy to handle animals from the distance – I did not seek a closer acquaintance with them, though.

The “Big Bang” of 1947


The ragged surface of the once smooth Oberland tells of World War II. It has been shaped by countless bomb craters. After decades of fights, occupations and returns the Brits, who had occupied Helgoland in World War II, planned to set an end to the German lookout in the middle of the North Sea, too close to their shores for their taste. The plan was blowing up the rock once and for all. A huge amount of explosives was strategically distributed all over the island, in the bunkers and catacombs, and ignited from a warship out at sea.

However, the rock withstood. The explosions have left their marks, the once smooth meadows of Oberland have been turned into a rugged series of bomb craters. In the South, a large chunk of rock was blown away to create a terrace at medium height, which is now called Mittelland.


The island had been evacuated in 1945 prior to the occupation. The community of Helgolanders sought refuge on the mainland, but they stayed in touch and hoped to return some day. Britain refused. In winter 1950 two young guys tried a private reconquista, went over to the island and raised the flags of Germany and Europe. They were driven away after two weeks, but their demonstration brought international attention to the Helgoland question. On March 1, 1952 Helgoland was finall restituted to Germany and reopened to its former inhabitants. March 1 is still a holiday on the island.


Due to the complete destruction of 1947, everything on the island was rebuilt from scratch in the post-war era. After Britain had given back Helgoland to Germany in 1952, the local population was able to return. They had to reinvent their home. Instead of “wild” building, careful urban planning was applied and a functional settlement was designed. The architecture was influenced by Bauhaus and Scandinavian models. The colours which we now consider so typical are the result of this 1950s planning. Helgoland is about the only settlement in Germany which is more or less completely preserved in the style of the 1950s and a protected monument of post-war architecture.

Town hall


The protestant church in the middle of Oberland settlement dates from 1959. It contains a couple of art works from the old church, like ship models, tombstones and a chandelier. Helgoland was christianized already in the 8th century. The old patron saint of merchants and sailors, St Nikolaus, is still the namesake of the protestant church. The church is surrounded by the modern cemetery. I could not see the interior, unfortunately, because there was a funeral service going on inside and I did not have time to wait. I would have liked to see it. Usually it is open in the daytime.



On the way back I had to take the ferry “Atlantis” because the katamaran was sold out. The ferry needs about two and a half hours for the ride between Cuxhaven and Helgoland, hence twice as long. The advantage, though, is that you are no confined to an indoor seat but you can move freely outside and inside, enjoy the transfer as a mini cruise on deck, watch ships and sea and breathe the fresh sea air. Inside, the decks are air conditioned. On the upper deck they have a restaurant where you are served food and drink at your table, the lower indoor deck and the outdoor decks have self-service counters where you can buy something to eat and/or drink, or consume what you brought with you, or nothing at all, just as you like. It was a pleasant ride in brilliant sunshine, ship and landscape watching inclusive. We arrived in the port of Cuxhaven, unfortunately at a different quay far from any bus stop, so a lengthy walk awaited me...

Kugelbake and Grimmershörn Bay seen from sea

Posted by Kathrin_E 15:03 Archived in Germany Tagged birds schleswig-holstein north_sea helgoland Comments (3)

Stade's Old Town: Bricks, Bricks, Bricks



Most cities have a particular colour, and Stade's is certainly brick red in all shades. Bricks are the favourite material in a landscape which has no stone quarries which would provide material for building, but at the same time lots of natural clay. Most houses are built from bricks, either pure or in combination with timberframe constructions. Even the pavement in the streets is partly made from bricks. Most timberframe buildings have the "fields" in the walls filled with bricks, often in ornamental setting.

Photographers may want to look for details to create a series. Doors, for example, are a rewarding topic, also details pf brickwork, or carved figures and ornaments on half-timbered houses.

A collection of doors
(And no, the ornament on the last one is not a Nazi swastika, it's much older. It's a sun wheel, an old symbol for eternity.)

The old town is full of discoveries, and the best thing to do is walking the streets and side lanes, strolling around, looking at the streetviews, the houses and their particularities. In this journal entry I am presenting a number of streets and buildings within the old town that caught my eye and interest. They are all just a short walk apart. Stade is not big and can easily be explored on foot. Comfortable walking shoes are nevertheless good to have because the cobblestone pavement is in parts very uneven.

So here we go...


Hökerstraße is the main street of the old town. It leads past the town hall and the entrance to the churchyard of St Cosmae slightly downhill to Fischmarkt and the old port. "Höker" in North-German dialect is just a neutral word for "merchant". To the rest of the country, though, it has the taste of a slang expression for a cheap or even dubious merchant (the verb "verhökern" means sell for a cheap, too cheap price).


Here, however, the name refers to the wealthy and hopefully honest merchants who built their houses along this street, the best address in town. It is still the backbone of Stade's shopping area and has several nice local shops together with some of the usual chains.

The wealthy merchants have left quite a number of interesting half-timbered houses with ornated facades. The most outstanding of them is the so-called Hökerhus, a late medieval house which survived the fire in 1659 and is one of the few older houses in town. The white timberframe structure is characterisitc for the landscape between Stade and Hamburg. It is now a cafe.


Spiegelberg is an artificial hill by the port and river. It was created in the early middle ages, probably around 900, to build a small castle on top. The castle is long gone. Nowadays it is a residential quarter with a handful of historical half-timbered houses. The general appearance is a bit run down. From the footpath in the back you have a view of the new port and the church of St Wilhadi.


The former Franciscan Monastery of St Johannis was closed down after the Reformation and became a hospital for poor people. Since the big fire of 1659 the church is gone, only the convent building was repaired as a plain half-timbered structure. Nowadays they host the offices of several social and cultural institutions. The modern town archive has been built next-door in the place where the church once used to be. In the courtyard in between, an "archeological garden" shows the ground plan of the basilica. Due to construction works in the street I could not enter the courtyard but that should be over soon. The building complex is surrounded by a rose garden in the South and a little park with old trees.


Bäckerstraße, the “bakers’ street”, is one of the finest streets in Stade’s old town with a number of interesting half-timbered houses. It leads slightly downhill and has a few light bends, which creates interesting photo perspectives.


The most imposing house is the large townhouse at the beginning of the street, No. 1-3, three storeys high. The beams are decorated with carved sun ornaments. An inscription mentions the date 1590 and a dendrochronology of the timbers has, according to my guidebook, proved that this was indeed the date when the house was built. Style and ornaments fit that era. The building actually consists of two houses that were joined, as the different levels of cellar and ground floor show. Note the beautiful front door. Bäckerstraße is a good place to start a photo collection of doors, as there are several other pretty ones.


The house No. 21 is even older, though refurbished later on. Its façade is known for the woodcarved figures of King David, St Peter and another saint attached to the consoles. Following the street further downhill it crosses a bridge over Schwinge river. The houses down there are smaller and belonged to less wealthy people.

Lämmertwiete is the smallest street in the old town with a name of its own - it is rather a narrow passage between two houses. It is completely harmless but rather dark and feels a bit creepy... Its width is less than two outstretched arms. The lane is a shortcut from Bächerstraße to Büttelbrücke and "Little Venice".


The beautiful half-timbered house named Knechthausen in Bungenstraße used to be the guild house of the brewers’ journeymen. The young craftsmen organized themselves – they had to travel and work in various workshops for some years after completing their apprenticeship to gain experience. They were young guys, new in town without family background. The guild house provided accommodation for newcomers until they found a job and a place to stay, and as meeting point for the members. The guild provided a network for company and exchange and help in all emergencies. From the beginning a pub was part of the guild house. The inn “Knechthausen” is still there.


Alter Hafen - Old Port



The old port in the middle of the old town is Stade's top attraction. Surrounded by historical houses from various eras, its setting is as beautiful and romantic as can be. Several restaurants, cafes, pubs have outdoor seating on the quay, so you can spend some enjoyable time there...

The port has been the cause for Stade's wealth and status since the middle ages. The first port on the river Schwinge was probably built around 900 when the castle on Spiegelberg hill was erected. In the 13th century the present basin was dug, its quays were first protected by wooden palisades, since 1870 by brick walls. The dimensions and curved shape of the old port still are those of the middle ages.


The most prominent building is certainly the Old Crane. A crane has been known to be in the port since the 14th century. Two years after the big fire of 1659 a new one was built. Being considered useless, it was demolished in the late 19th century. So the original crane is gone for good. The present one is a reconstruction which was built in the 1970s. It is just the empty shell without the machinery, though. Nevertheless it adds a lot to the flair of the old port. Inside there is an information centre and small exhibition about the history of the port.

The old port is surrounded by historical buildings. Many of them were the residential houses as well as shops and offices of wealthy merchants.


The most splendid facade around the port is the one of Bürgermeister-Hintze-Haus, the house of a mayor of the town and wealthy merchant. Originally it was a late gothic house but it received the new ornated facade in the renaissance style of the Weser region in 1621. The facade, however, is the only preserved part of the house. In the 1930 the house was heavily damaged due to bad foundations, had to be taken down and rebuilt in smaller size. Only the facade was saved. Behind it there is a new building.

The large building by the exit of the old port was erected around 1700 during the Swedish occupation, hence the name. It served as storage for supplies of the Swedish garrison. Nowadays the Schwedenspeicher hosts the historical museum of the town.

The small half-timbered house on the opposite quay used to be the seat of the port master who controlled the trade and the incoming and outgoing ships. The "tree" was a large wooden beam which closed the port entrance and had to be pulled up for ships entering or leaving. Unwanted vessels could be kept out this way. The monument next to it recalls the history of the sailboats that were used for all kinds of transport in former times.


One of these boats is still there. "Willi" is a historical sailboat built in 1926. This type of sailboat is named Ewer. They were used in the 19th and early 20th century for freight transport on rivers and close to the coasts. A typical Ewer is about 16 metres long and has one or two masts. Originally they were only run by windpower in the sails but in the 20th century most of them, like "Willi", were equipped with an additional diesel engine. I found "Willi" moored next to Schwedenspeicher but the ship seems to change its location in the port now and then. The sign with the explanations can be found next to the old crane.


A sculpture by the port depicts a woman selling fish. She proudly presents the largest catch of the day to all passers-by and potential customers. Note the cat who is clearly interested in stealing from the contents of her basket... The stature (1986) had a real model, a woman nicknamed "Mutter Flint mit dem Stint" who used to sell fish by the port before and after World War II.


Fischmarkt is the old market square by the port, where not only fish was traded but most goods which were unloaded from the ships here. The half-timbered building in the middle of the square is the scale where all arriving goods were weighed, controlled and taxed before merchants got the okay to put them on sale.

Nowadays there are several restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating around Fischmarkt and around the port - weather permitting, a nice spot for a lunch, coffee or dinner break.

Historical Museum Schwedenspeicher



The large building by the exit of the old port was erected around 1700 during the Swedish occupation, hence the name. Stade was ruled by the Swedes from the end of the 30 Year War until 1712. It served as storage for supplies of the Swedish garrison.
The building is rather plain, its only ornament is the baroque portal towards the quay. The relief above the portal contains the monogram of the Swedish king Karl XII.

In the 1970s the building was renovated and turned into a historical museum. Exhibitions on three floors present the history of the town and area from the Stone Age to modern times.

The ground floor has a fascinating exhibit of archaeological finds that were discovered during excavations in the old port: personal belongings that fell into the port by accident, broken pieces that people threw into the water on purpose, little things from all centuries. It also includes an interactive model of the historical town, and room for temporary exhibitions.

The first floor is dedicated to Stade’s history, in particular to the late middle ages and early modern era when the town was a member of the mighty Hansa.

The second floor with the prehistoric department has been totally refurbished and only reopened in spring 2015. The brand new permanent exhibition presents archaeological finds from the various prehistoric eras, from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages to the Viking, and explains their background. The early history was of particular interest to historians already in the 19th century and has been thoroughly researched. The region by the mouth of the river Elbe was settled in these early ages. The moors have preserved a lot of testimony, remarkable pieces among them like the four large bronze wheels.

Old Town Hall of Stade



Stade's town hall is a renaissance building, erected after the destruction of its precedessor in the big townwide fire of 1659. Wrought-iron anchors on the facade display the date 1667. The town hall is built from bricks, with whiteish sandstone ornaments and window frames, and resembles Dutch renaissance architecture. The sculpted portal shows the coat of arms of King Karl XI of Sweden, the then governor of the town.
Since a modern administration needs more room, a new town hall has been built beside the old one.

I could not resist the open door and poked my nose in; no idea if I was supposed to or not, but a town hall is a public building, after all. The entrance hall on the ground floor is dominated by the wooden staircase in the middle. Wooden doors, rather early baroque than renaissance, lead into the offices and whatnot. The main hall on the upper floor was unfortunately closed.


Port and Spiegelberg in the 17th century

The most interesting feature was the model of the old town. The entrance hall of the town hall hosts a large model of old Stade in a showcase underneath the stairs, opposite the main entrance. It shows Stade the way it was before the big fire of 1659 that devastated two thirds of the town. The church of St Wilhadi still has its pointed spire. In the location of the arsenal in Pferdemarkt you can spot the ruins of the convent of St Georg, abandoned since the reformation. The fortifications consist of wall and moat, the huge ramparts were built about a century later. The ground plan and outline, including the port and its surroundings, have not changed much.

Church of St Cosmae et Damiani


Short "St Cosmae", this brick gothic church is the oldest parish church of the town, and the most impressive. The first church here was already built in the 9th/10th century. The present church's nave dates from around 1250. Soon after it was extended by the transept and chour. Its most striking feature is the majestic tower above the intersection of nave and transept. The fire of 1659 damaged the church, which was repaired soon after. The baroque spire is an addition of the 1680s.


The whole medieval interior was destroyed in the fire of 1659, all the present interior except one chandelier dates from the baroque era. The parish community hired the best artisans from Hamburg and other surrounding towns to create a worthy environment for their worship. Note the details of the pulpit, a masterrpiece of woodcarving, its many figures are a summary of the Bible in best Lutheran tradition. The main altar (1674-1677 by the sculptor Christian Precht from Hamburg) may resemble Catholic altars but its scenes of the Passion and resurrection of Christ tell once more of Lutheran theology. Several galleries and boxes were installed to separate social groups and provide special seats for the town's V.I.P.'s. The brass chandeliers are a common feature in North German churches.

One single medieval piece is on display in the church: the altarpiece of St Gertrud, around 1500, which originally belonged to the church of St Nicolai. After the demolition of said church in the 19th century it was brought here and found its place in the chapel by the Southern transept.

On the gallery in the Southern transept they had an exhibition about orthodox icons when I visited. This area seems to be used for exhibitions regularly. It is worth going up, even if you are not interested in the exhibition, for the view down into the church and a closer look at the votive ship.


Model ships can be found in many churches along the coast. They are reminders to remember and pray for the seafaring members of the community, and at the same time a symbol of the Christian community in general. They are usually private donations, often from sailors as sign of gratitude for rescue and protection. This one here, though, is rather young, it was created in 1960 and came into the church only in 1998, and it is a donation of the local savings bank. Well they can do with prayers, too...

The ship in St Cosmae is a four-masted tall ship named Hoffnung, hope. The best spot to see it is from the gallery in the Southern transept - pretend to be interested in the exhibition which is shown up there.

The church's greatest pride is their organ. The magnificent instrument fills the whole Western wall of the nave. It was designed and begun by the master organ builder Berendt Huß from Glückstadt in 1668. His assistant and cousin Arp Schnitger, who later became a master organ builder much more famous than his teacher and mentor, took an important part in the completion. In 1675 the organ was completed. During the following years Schnitger added some more features. After several repairs, changes and renovations the organ has recently been restored to its original shape and sound. - The three gilded statues on top symbolize the Christian virtues of Faith, Love and Hope.

In addition to seeing the interior, it is worth walking round the whole church on the outside. The surroundings offer some little discoveries. A house in the corner of Cosmae-Kirchhof to the street behind has a cute sundial high up on the facade. The sun is half-hidden but twinkling at you - exactly the weather I experienced that day.


A small half-timbered house in the corner behind the church of St Cosmae et Damiani. It has been well restored and served as a residential house now. A plaque on the wall tells that this was the former synagogue of the Jewish community in Stade.

Church of St Wilhadi



St Wilhadi is the other large medieval city church in Stade. It used to be the church of the Archbishop of Bremen, and parish church for the southern part of the old town. Since the reformation it has been a protestant church.

The gothic church is entirely built from bricks. The nave dates from the 14th century, the steeple might even be a bit older. In former times the steeple had a roof as high and pretty as St Cosmae, but it was destroyed by lightning in 1724 and substituted by the current low roof. Photographers: A fine view of the steeple can be caught when walking towards it along Flutstraße.


The church corresponds the “hall” scheme, i.e. three naves of equal height. While the architecture is medieval, the furnishing dates from the 17th and 18th century. They had to be renewed after a big city fire that badly damaged the interior of the church, although the brick structure withstood the blaze. Altar and pulpit were donated by a merchant from Hamburg and are the work of Hamburg masters. The magnificent baroque organ is often used for concerts.

Stade's 'Little Venice'



Every town with water must have a "Little Venice", LOL. Before entering the old port, the river Schwinge runs along a canal through the town. From the bridge in the middle, you have a view to both sides which reveal the houses' back fronts, balconies and gardens known as Klein-Venedig in Stade. I have seen many "Little Venices" in various places and this one qualifies as the most low-key one, LOL. Anyway, it is a nice walk and a convenient shortcut, as the bridge connects Bäckerstraße and Bungenstraße, two side streets with very interesting old houses.


Schwinge has no lock towards the Elbe, hence the water level changes with the tides. At low tide it is almost dry and even less impressive...

On the Ramparts of the Swedish Fortress


At the end of the 30 Year War Stade was occupied by the Swedes and remained in their hands for almost seven decades, from 1645 to 1712. Sweden used Stade as seat of the administration and, most of all, as a garrison town. The town was surrounded by huge fortifications, the necessarily ground for which was taken from private property without compensation. The citizens had to accommodate permanently about a thousand soldiers, many of them with wives and children. The arsenal building in Pferdemarkt is a testimony of the Swedish era, too, as well as the storage building in the port that hosts the museum.


The historical drawing, which is on display on an information board, shows an 18th century plan with the baroque fortifications. They covered more ground than the town itself and formed a tight belt that handicapped the town’s further development for centuries.

The fortifications were abandoned and turned into park promenades in the 19th century. They are still clearly visible in the town map and the townscape, though. The moat around the old town follows a zigzag line around what used to be the bastions of the fortress. The high and steep ramparts are used for a major road on the eastern and southern side, park walks on the other. One ravelin is still there, now simply called Insel (island) and occupied by the open-air museum.


Walking the promenade on the ramparts near Schiffertor, two animal statues catch the eye: a huge moose which is impossible to overlook, and a much smaller elephant among the lawns and flower beds a few steps further ahead.

The moose, together with the inscribed boulder next to it, is a memorial for the refuge at the end of World War II. Stade has a partner district in East Prussia, the town and district of Goldap, that the inscription on the boulder refers to: “Remember the lost homeland.” The moose is the iconic animal of East Prussia.


These “homeland” memorials often have a certain aftertaste. The associations of the war refugees from what used to be the easternmost parts of Germany are very conservative if not outright right-wing, still fret about the lost past and won’t accept that times have changed. Goldap belongs to Poland now. My father’s family are refugees from East Prussia themselves so I feel entitled to an opinion. Both sides have suffered and both sides have done wrong. We need to remember the bad things that happened but also discuss the reasons why, and accept the reality of the present.

The elephant probably has no particular significance, it is just a statue – maybe it is meant as a contrast to the moose. It has the size of a youngster, maybe half a year old, and looks very realistic. Seeing a young elephant promenading the park and aiming at the flower bed for a snack is quite a surprise... until you notice that he is not alive.

New Port and River Lock



Stade’s active river port is the so-called “new” port on the eastern side of the old town. It is entered from the Elbe through the mouth of Schwinge river, and open so the water level changes with the tides.

It is navigable for rather small vessels only. Small freighters are able to enter, a historical one docked along the quay and two cranes tell of the active times as a trade port. Sailboats and yachts use it, as well as the water police. I doubt there are too many goods loaded and unloaded nowadays.

On the opposite quay, modern and rather posh-looking apartment houses have been built.

Underneath the road bridge there is a lock that closes the moat behind and keeps the water level constant in there. The stronger and higher outward gate of the lock also serves as flood gate in case of storm surges.


Fish and Fisherman Fountain – A Fairytale


This fairytale is referred to in a fountain in Pferdemarkt square, the former horse market. This square is the entrance to the old town when you are coming from the train station. The lower part is occupied by the bus station and a taxi stand. Car traffic can enter this part and continue into a parking garage but not proceed any further. The rest of the square is for pedestrians only, as are the three shopping streets that begin here.


The most prominent building is the former arsenal (Zeughaus). The large white building was built in the era of the Swedish occupation shortly before 1700. It served as arsenal for the troops in the fortress. The inscription on the portal contains the date 1698. The relief in the gable shows the monogram of the Swedish King Carl XII and the royal crown. The arsenal now contains a number of shops and some gastronomy. The Italian ice cream parlour on the front side towards the square deserves an honourable mentioning! Get yourself a sweet and cool treat between sightseeing, sit down by the fountain and read a fairytale...


The fountain with the fish and the fisherman (unfortunately without water when I took the photos) refers to a fairy tale from the collection of the Brothers Grimm: The Fisherman and His Wife, De Fischer und sine Fru – originally told in North German dialect. Here is the tale in a summarizing translation by yours truly.

A poor fisherman lives in a shabby hut by the seashore together with his ambitious wife. Every day he goes fishing. One day he catches a large golden fish. The wish is bewitched, he can speak, and he begs the fisherman to set him free. The fisherman is a kind and gentle guy and lets the fish go.

When he returns home and tells his wife, she gets angry at him: “Didn’t you at least make a wish? He would surely have granted you a wish for his freedom!”
“Oh well, what should I wish for”, says the fisherman.
“Now look, husband, we are living in this shabby dirty shed – I want a nice house with a garden and a courtyard for chickens and ducks.”
The fisherman returns to the seashore and calls the fish:

“Buttje, Buttje, Timpetee, Buttje, Buttje in de See,
mine Fru, de Ilsebill will nich so, as ick wohl will.”
(My wife Ilsebill doesn’t want what I want.)

“So what does she want”, asks the fish. – “Well, since I set you free she keeps lamenting that I should have made a wish, she so much wants a nice little house…”
“All right”, says the fish, “go home and see.”
And indeed, he returns home and finds his wife in a pretty cottage surrounded by a blooming garden.

All is well and they live happily – for a fortnight or so. Then the wife suddenly finds the house too narrow and the garden too small. She wants a palace.
Unwillingly the fisherman goes back to the sea shore to speak to the fish again. This wish is granted, as are the further ones. She wants to be King, then Emperor, then even Pope – everything is fulfilled. But the wife still can’t get enough. In the end she wants to be like the Lord.

And poof – they are back in their poor shabby shed.

Posted by Kathrin_E 22:17 Archived in Germany Tagged north_sea stade niedersachsen lower_saxony Comments (0)

Dirty Coal Pot? Outdated Image of an Underrated Region

Are we in the Coal Pot? Ruhr lake in Kettwig

Monument to the coal miners in Essen

The Ruhr District, nicknamed the Kohlenpott (coal pot), is one of the most underestimated regions in Germany and beyond. The general image involves coal and steel industry, bad air, grey cities and no green at all in those few bits of landscape that are left between cities. This was valid three, four decades ago but is long outdated. Since the late 1980s the Ruhrgebiet underwent a profound change from an industrial zone to a region of culture and high tech.

1950s postage stamp

The coal ressources were exploited by around 1985/1990. First the mines died, then the steel mills. There is some coal remaining along the northern edge of the area but it is deep down and accessible only with enormous efforts, costs and dangers. In 2010 only four mines were still working but with high state subventions. EU politicians have recently decided to close them down, despite protests – the very last is to be closed in 2018. The death of the heavy industries led to high unemployment and hopelessness at first. However, things and ideas have changed and the region is on the way into a new future.

Landschaftspark Nord in Duisburg

Today's „Coal Pot“ is a green landscape with clear sky, lakes and rivers. The change started with the International Architecture Exhibition (IBA) and the ambitious project Emscher Park. The Emscher is a river that became a canalized drain through the worst part of the industrial zone. This underdevelopped area with its factory and mine ruins was to be turned into the „Route of Industrial Culture“, with technical monuments, attractions, new housing quarters and green nature. The planners' imagination found new uses for the huge, impressive buildings of mines, steel mills, factory halls, gas tanks, power plants. They became art exhibition halls, dance clubs, cinemas, freeclimbing centres, concert halls, museums, landscape parks... The flagship, Zollverein coal mine, achieved the status of UNESCO World Heritage in 2001.

Green landscape in Essen

The Ruhrgebiet consists of 53 separate cities. Dortmund and Essen are the biggest with more than 500,000 inhabitants each. Each of them offers everything city life requires. The density of opera houses, first and second league soccer stadiums, museums, shopping centres, nightlife... is higher than anywhere else. Cultural life is as varied and vibrant as in a metropolis like Berlin, Paris, London. There is heaps to do and see within short distances. All cities are well interconnected by trains and S-Bahn so city hopping is easy. One would need a year to see them all and do them justice.

Ruhrpott Melting Pot: International Workers‘ Culture

5 million people live in „Germany's biggest village“. People are down-to-earth, open-minded, rough but hearty. Although there are the usual rivalries between neighbouring suburbs and cities, and of course between the fans of neighbouring soccer clubs, there is a general „Ruhrpott“ identity.


The booming industry of the Ruhr district needed manpower from the beginning. In the late 19th century immigrants came from Poland, Silesia, rural Prussia and other regions in the East to work here. During the „economic miracle“ after the War again more workers were needed. The so-called „guest workers“ were invited first from Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Greece) and then from Turkey. Many families in the Ruhrpott have some kind of migration background (latest pc term for immigrants and their descendants) - the population is international and multi-culture but at the same time the region is a melting pot. Those who speak the purest Ruhrpott dialect may well be dark-haired, dark-eyed people with a mediterranean or middle-eastern appearance who were born in the Ruhrgebiet and spent their entire lives here.

Lots of symptoms of that cultural mix can be spotted. Like the latest invention of a kebap stall in Essen: the Pomm-Döner. It involves döner (Turkish), French Fries (Belgian/generally Western European) and Tzatziki (Greek), all served together in paper bag.

Mural in Dortmund

Football, or soccer, is almost a religion. Football unites them all. This area has the highest density of stadiums and professional teams in the country.

In Bundesliga there are currently three teams: Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach. Leverkusen and Köln are, strictly speaking, not part of the Ruhrgebiet, but close enough to be involved in fan culture and fan rivalry.

Then there are the Second League teams: Fortuna Düsseldorf (also, strictly speaking, just outside the Ruhrpott), VfL Bochum, MSV Duisburg – Fortuna being at the top and ready to make the jump to Bundesliga – other traditional clubs and teams like Rot-Weiß Essen, Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, Wattenscheid 09, and countless big and small amateur clubs.

Borussia fan shop, a small part of their shop window

Posted by Kathrin_E 13:19 Archived in Germany Tagged nordrhein-westfalen ruhrgebiet Comments (1)

Zollverein: Coal Mine in Bauhaus Architecture



The flagship of the Ruhr District's industrial heritage with the status of UNESCO World Heritage: Zollverein coal mine. The famous part is shaft XII, called „the world's most beautiful coal mine“ - designed in pure Bauhaus style by the architects Martin Kremmer and Fritz Schupp in 1927. When it went in operation in 1932 it was also considered the most efficient and modern coal mine in the world.

All buildings consist of steel framework with brick fillings. The head frame has become the landmark and logo not only of the Zollverein site but the entire industrial heritage trail through the Ruhr district.


Historical photo of Zollverein mine in operation (from an information board)

To learn more about the history and the architecture, join a guided tour. The tours take you into the mine building next to the shaft where the coal first arrived - these buildings cannot be entered on your own. Details about tours and a contact email are on the website.

Inside Kohlenwäsche


Walking the grounds of the former mine can be done for free and on your own. The area covers a total of 100 hectares and includes shaft XII with its Bauhaus style buildings, shaft 1/2/8 further north, and the coking plants. All industrial activities have ceased. On rare occasions a tourist train runs along the outer track. Other former railway tracks have been turned into footpaths. A network of paths and trails takes you almost everywhere. Take your time, walking the entire area can occupy you for hours. Get hold of a leaflet with a plan of the grounds at one of the info points.


Grab your camera and catch the impressive views of the giant industrial buildings. Also have a look at what is growing here. The soil in former mining areas is rich in nitrate. After the end of mining a secondary ecosystem has developped with a special vegetation.

When I first visited in 2005 some trails were still rough and strolling around on my own felt almost scary, especially in the coking plant area. In the meantime, due to the upcoming year 2010 as cultural capital of Europe, it has almost become too polished, too cleaned up and tidy.

The former Kohlenwäsche contains the visitors centre, the information portal with the movie theatre, and the Ruhrmuseum (see below about the latter, I highly recommend it). The huge building behind the head frame served for cleaning the coal that came out of the shaft from rock and soil, thus the name. In recent years the block underwent refurbishing measures and was turned into the present museum and exhibition building which has been opened in spring 2010.

Access to the visitor centre on the 4th floor, where you buy tickets and then continue to all other attractions, is via a long escalator. It has been coloured and lit in orange to recall glowing coal and hot steel. A cool sight.

The orange escalator


The Information Portal has some interactive information boards about places and topics connected with the Ruhr district and mining (sorry to admit I didn't really figure out how they work), and a small 360° movie theatre. The movie they show is about the Ruhrgebiet and its recent changes. It lasts about 20 minutes. The first part consists of just pictures without comment and a boring music - nice to look at but little to no information content. In the second part local people appear and give short statements about their personal view of the Ruhrgebiet (in German resp. local dialect, of course). The movie theatre has only 31 seats. In the morning it was half empty but later in the day, especially on weekends, lines can be expected. If you have to wait, skip it.

The (only) interesting bit of the information portal, which is worth the 1 € they charge as entrance fee, is the viewpoint on the roof at a height of 45 metres. The platform provides a bird's eye view of the entire mine and its surroundings and over to the skylines of downtown Essen and industrial complexes in the neighbouring cities. The landscape is amazingly green. The former grounds of mine, cokery, mining dumps and railway tracks is covered in trees, shrubs and wildflowers.



The coal from the shafts of Zollverein was transformed into coke, as was needed in the steel mills, on the spot. The coking plant (Kokerei) is located next to the mines. It is probably the most impressive building complex on site due to its sheer size and the complicated maze of steel structures, ovens, chimneys, tubes and tanks.


From Shaft XII the coking plant can be reached in a short walk - follow the signs to „Kokerei“. Visiting the coking plant is highly recommended to anyone who has a camera. The complex is full of pictures worth taking. You can walk the alleys on your own and for free. Guided tours take you inside the coking plant buildings if you want deeper insight. They start at the information desk next to the cafe.

Recent development lead to lots of changes within the former factory complex. A cafe has been established in the head building. The ferris wheel is currently out of operation. Behind it, there is a swimming pool among the steel giants. An event agency has moved into one of the side buildings. For the summer an open-air cinema has been established. And so on...

Open-air cinema in Kokerei

Website: http://www.zollverein.de

Ruhrmuseum Essen in in Zollverein



The newly installed exhibition halls of the Ruhrmuseum fill three floors of the coal washing plant below the visitors centre. They are based upon the collections of a much older museum. The Ruhrmuseum has been founded some 100 years ago as a museum of geology, culture and history with the purpose of „educating the workers“.

There is a lift but if you can, walk. The orange staircase downwards from the visitor centre is IMHO far more impressive than the orange escalator outside!


After walking down you reach the first hall which is dedicated to the present situation of the Ruhrgebiet. It starts with a photo exhibition, sorted by many topics. At first the long rows of rather smallish photos appear boring and tiresome but as soon as you have a closer look at them they become more and more fascinating. They tell about the life of local people, their work and their leisure, the appearance of the cities, nature and environment, art projects and sports... Explanations are provided in both German and English. Religious items and sports trophies are also on display.

The back half of the upper floor is filled with glass columns, each with one item: minerals and fossils, old toys, household items and treasures that are unique and have a special menaning in the life of a special person. Full of discoveries and stories.

Henkelmann: Miners' lunch pack


The middle floor gives an overview of the history of the region before the industrialization. It also shows the museum's old collections of archeology and art.


The bottom floor is dedicated to the topic of coal mining. It begins with the forming of coal millions of years ago, fossils found among the coal, and a geology display with many varieties of coal and ore. The history of industrialization is then presented in many details with a lot of background about the political changes in the late 19th and 20th century to the present.

Take your time. Four hours are easily spent in the coal washing plant with movie, viewpoint and Ruhrmuseum - or longer.
Website: http://www.ruhrmuseum.de/en/

Posted by Kathrin_E 14:04 Archived in Germany Tagged essen nordrhein-westfalen ruhrgebiet Comments (1)

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