UNESCO Word Heritage Site: Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex: #02 - Shaft 12

adalger @adalger
· October 2019 · 4 min read · Germany · #ocdb

Hello lovely Steemians


I would like to present to you the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (“Zeche Zollverein”). This huge complex is located in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, in Germany. The complex inscribed in the year 2001 in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. You can roughly divide the whole complex, which is the largest on of its kind in Europe, into three parts. Those are the Coal Mine Shaft 1/2/8 (since 1847), the Coal Mine Shaft 12 (since 1932) and the Coking Plant (since 1961).



I would like to show to you all of those location. However, as those will feature more than 100 pictures I will divide it into several post for the sake of readability, which I will sort chronological. This posts topic is the Shaft 12, which featured the characteristic “Doppelbock”, an iconic symbol of Germanys Heavy Industry and later the Ruhr area's structural change.




Coal Mine Shaft 12

1932 to 1968

In 1928, the GBAG started with the construction of Shaft 12, which opened in 1932. In 1937, Zollverein employed 7000 people and had an output of 3.6 million tons, whereby the new 12th Shaft contributed the majority of it. This Shaft 12 featured the characteristic “Doppelbock” winding tower, which later became the archetype of later central mining facilities and the iconic winding tower of Shaft 12 with inscription “Zollverein“ symbol of Germanys Heavy Industry those days and also the symbol of the Ruhr area's structural change later on. In 1967, the first 11 shafts were closed and Shaft 12 was the only one that stayed open. Thus, it became the main supplier of the new central coking plant, which was built in 1961 with 192 ovens. Then in the year 1968, Zollverein was handed over to “Ruhrkohle AG” (RAG), Germany's largest mining company.




1968 to Present

The mining activities of the Zollverein Coal Mine Shaft 12 lasted until December 23, 1986. An excellent date in my opinion, as all employers became officially unemployed on Christmas 1986. But the coking plant remained open until June 30, 1993. Initially the coking plant should have been sold to China, but in the end the state of NRW decided to set the coal mine on a list of future exhibition sites resulting in first gentle modifications and the coking plant became an official heritage site in 2000. Then in December 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared all sites, Shafts 12, Shaft 1/2/8 and the Coking Plant a World Heritage Site. The old Coal Washery from Shaft 12 now also hosts the “Ruhr Museum“, which is a permanent exhibition with more than 6,000 exhibits and is dedicated to the fascinating history of one of the largest industrial regions of the world, from the formation of coal 300 million years ago to the current structural change towards the Ruhr Metropolis. You can reach the Museum over a stairway through an old coal slide which is as high as 24 m.




Coal Washery

Jigging Sieves

The raw coal was sorted in a bath of water in the jigging sieves, where the pure coal became separated from dead rocks and the refuse. This was possible as pure coal has a different density than the other components in the raw coal. Dead rock was much heavier and sank to the bottom of the sieves, while the pure coal was carried upwards towards the surface on the waves of water along the sieves.




Coal Sieving Results

Here are some pictures of the Refuge, Middling, Nutty Slack and Lump Coal that were yielded due to the sieving process, which was highly effective.





Coal Transportation System

The purified and washed coal was then transported on conveyor belts to the coal slides from where it was then forwarded.




The main destination of the purified coal was the Coking Plant of the Zollverein Coal Mining Industrial Complex, which will be featured in the next part of this little "Zollverein" UNESCO Tour. I hope that you enjoyed this little trip ^^





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