Guided tours

Guided tours on the Heritage Trail ZOLLVEREIN®

The Heritage Trail ZOLLVEREIN® shows on authentic places the former “path of coal” in the colliery and Zollverein. Unless otherwise specified, the number of participants per tour is limited to 20 people. Sturdy footwear and seasonal clothing are recommended.

About coal and miners
The path of coal at the coal-mine


© Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein

On this tour, participants receive insights about genuinely preserved surface installations of Zollverein shaft XII.

The trail leads from the shaft house, where the coal once arrived, through the screening plant to coal washing plant, where the coal was subsequently processed and shipped. Participants will learn the production processes of once largest and most powerful coal-mine in the world and learn interesting details about the working and living conditions of the Zollverein-miners. The tour guide also provides interesting facts about architecture, nature and change of Zollverein from colliery into a modern cultural center.

This tour is available in german, english, dutch and french language!

Colliery shift
Tour for kids between 6 to 14 years


© Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein
On this “colliery shift” you will get a really good insight into the work at coal-mine. Equipped with a helmet and a mining jacket, you take the role of the miners and become active yourselves.

What a graft: While the Zollverein pals are on holiday, you take the job. The tour guide become a foreman and explain to you, what is important at work on the colliery: namely, to win as much coal as possible and to convey it. The tour guide has prepared many tips on how you can solve even the trickiest tasks. The team, which most wins the “black gold”, has won.

What is the coal doing in the coal-mine?
(Guided tour for children)

© Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein

You are between 5 and 10 years old and want to know the work of a miner? Then you have to roll up your sleeves and join us!

IDoes coal make you dirty? How does it get from below ground to the surface? And why does the coal has to be cleaned? These are only three of the many questions which are going to be answered during this tour.

Nightshift on Shaft XII
On tour with helmet and „Henkelmann“


© Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein
Zollverein from a different perspective: during the nightly expedition participants receive insight into hitherto unknown sides of the closed down colliery.

Equipped with a helmet and “Henkelmann”, it goes with your tour guide on the “third shift”. When by night the cages and conveyor belts stopped, no one rested at all on operating times; then, maintenance work was pending. Under expert guidance, the participants learn, how a tape roll was changed and how a trolley was cleaned, so that coal production could begin the next morning again.

The coaking plant in a different light
Night tour about work an change


© Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein
A highlight for night owls! In the special ambience of the evening’s coking plant, participants receive insights into the function and working on the once largest central coking plant in Europe.

In operating times the tough work on coking plant Zollverein was impressed by noise and heat. Today, the giant industrial monument transforms every evening into a work of art, whether the installation of the light artists Jonathan Speirs and Mark Major immerse the plant of the coke production in red and blue light. In this impressive atmosphere, the participants of the tour will gain insight into the function and work on the once largest central coking plant in Europe, walking into unusual places and routes and find out how the coal was processed into coke.

Foreman tour with coal-miner stories
A former miner showing his coal mine


© Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein
The participants of the tour explore together with the pitman genuinely preserved surface installations of Zollverein shaft XII.

The peculiarities of the once largest coal-mine in the world, coupled with personal experiences and vivid anecdotes – this is the visitors’ experience when they accompany a former miner on his “late shift”. They not only learn interesting facts about the production processes, but also get an insight into the world of work on the coal-mine. Following the tour the former miner will tell funny stories in a relaxed atmosphere when sitting together and explains e.g. what the “bucket major” or the “mother blocks” was all about.

New objectivity, Bauhaus and the Zollverein architecture

© Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein
Participants will learn a lot about refurbishing the buildings after the closure of the colliery, e.g. something about the spectacular extension of the coal washing plant, but also about new building projects like SANAA building.

Milestones and superlatives: The Zollverein shaft XII was not only the largest coal-mine in its time, but also set architectural standards. The new objectivity steel truss buildings brought her a reputation as “most beautiful colliery in the world”, already during production times, and affected the industrial architecture of future generations. During this tour, the visitors have the opportunity to get to know extensively the structures of the two industrial architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer. Their work was not only the basis to award Zollverein as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also provides a lot of inspiration for star architects like Rem Koolhaas, Norman Foster or SANAA.

Through coke oven and hot alley
The path of the coal in the coking plant

An impressive plant is waiting to be discovered – the formerly largest central coking plant in Europe with its unusual buildings, equipment and routes.

Until 1993 coal was refined to coke in the coke plant of Zollverein. The participants will get to know the production processes of the formerly biggest and most high-powered mine in Europe. Beginning with the making of coke on the „black“ hand, going on with the extraction of the minor products on the „white“ hand, the participants get to know important information about the technique and the history of Zollverein. Furthermore the guide will talk about the change of Zollverein frim a mine to a modern culural point of art.
The highlight of the guided tout will be the amazing view over the world cultural heritage area.