Visiting the Völklinger Hütte

This has long been on my bucket list: A visit to the Völklinger Hütte, an old ironworks, nowadays turned into a museum and a site for exhibitions and other cultural events. Originally built in 1873, in use until 1986 and since 1994 a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is located in the small town of Völklingen, near Saarbrücken close to the border to France and just about a two hour drive from my home.

You can visit almost the whole area today, walk through the old factory halls and even climb on top of the big blast furnaces. There is a total of 7000m of walkways through the facility, so take a bit of time for the visit. We went there on a rather cool day in october, weather wasn't perfect, very cloudy, but it was still quite impressive. I will let the pictures do most of the talking.

A model of the plant in the visitor center, bathed in blue light

OK, I don't even want to imagine how this could happen

Part of the factory is now used as an art gallery

Bottom of the blast furnace where the crazy hot molten iron (about 1200 °C) poured out.

Part of the coking plant

Let's climb up to the top of the furnaces

View from the top

This is the upper end of the elevator used to transport the ore to the top to fill into the furnaces

The ore was transported in these lorries

Cover of one of the furnaces

Nature already takes back some parts of the factory

In the neighborhood there is another ironworks plant still operating

Honestly I have no idea what a ship is doing here