Discover the rich cultural and natural history of the Ruhr region when you peruse the exhibits in this repurposed building in the former Zollverein coal mine.
The Ruhr Museum presents a unique showcase of the Ruhr region’s heritage and highlights the geology, archaeology and history of the area by reviving an old coal-mining building. Explore the fascinating industrial structure, formerly used as a coal-washing plant, and learn about the Ruhr region’s rich heritage through expertly curated exhibits.
First established in 1901, the museum’s collection moved through several different homes before settling in its current location in 2008. The Zeche Zollverein coal mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of great significance to the Ruhr region and was transformed to represent the identity of the area. Check out the coal-washing plant’s impressive industrial architecture, noting the long shaft that was used to transport coal. Today, climb aboard the shaft’s long escalator and be carried up to the foyer on the museum’s top level.
In the geological section, learn about the evolution of life in the Ruhr region and the wider world. This is entwined with the history of coal and carbon, which is presented in a large diorama. Check out fossils and geological exhibits that help to explain the region’s rich natural history.
Explore the region’s archaeological exhibits and find out about prehistoric life in the Ruhr region. Learn about the early histories of Asian and Egyptian cultures. Discover the history of the age of industrialization in the Ruhr region and trace a timeline from the 1900s to today. In this section, learn about life and work in 20th-century Essen.
Be sure to check out the museum’s temporary exhibits and special events. Take a break in the café or purchase souvenirs in the museum shop. The museum is a part of the Zollverein Heritage Trail and the Industrial Heritage Trail, so you can continue following these marked paths to learn more about Essen’s history.
The Ruhr Museum is located in the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen’s northeastern reaches. Access the museum easily by tram from the city. There is free admission for visitors under 18 years of age. The museum is open daily, except for several December holidays.