Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Traveling: Zeche Zollverein, Essen
My favorite structure in this area is the coking plant ("Kokerei"). It is a large industrial complex which was used to transform coal in coke. You can see a long row of big ovens and lot of tubes that were used to transport the exhaust gases which were set free in the cooking & cleaning process of the coal.
It is amazing that the construction, which was originally built for banal purposes like transporting coal, coke, exhaust gases, water and energy, now looks like pieces of (modern) art. Was it done on purpose? Did the builders clandestinely put their pride into it? Did they deliberately shape the construction as modern art? Anyway now we can admire the aesthetics of the geometric structures.
The pleasure is greater now because parts of the industrial complex have been reconquered by nature. In some parts of the area fresh growing grass, weeds, flowers, bushes and trees add to the beauty of "Zeche Zollverein". And at night the structures are illuminated with blue and red lights giving the buildings a new character.
You can further indulge by visiting the cafés & restaurants there. Their official website lists 5 places for eating & drinking. My girlfriend and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at the patio of "Casino Zollverein" an up market place for lunch, dinner & parties. The ambitious place fits well into the now artsy area. Bon appétit!