EUROPEAN TOURING ROUTE ACCOMMODATION

SLEEP AT GREAT HOTELS

Your back is aching, your arms are shaking. A long days ride can take its toll, we present the best places to rest up, put the feet up and grab a refreshing beverage!

CULTURE

TAKE IN SOME LOCAL CULTURE

Tour in depth, and get immersed in local culture, wherever you stop. Enjoy the best aspects the diverse regions and people have to offer!

THE BEST OF EUROPEAN FOOD

DINNER TIME!

Europe is a place where travelling 50 kilometres, one can see the landscape, the language changing, and deliciously, the food also. The most mouth-watering delights await you. There is no hunger like a touring hunger!

ROUTES

THE BEST ROUTES

We do more than list off a load of directions, we curate our routes to include the absolute best that Europe has to offer.
We know this, because we have driven and ridden all of them ourselves, guaranteed!

GET MUSICAL

THE MUSIC IS IN YOU

Summertime in Europe offers many festivals and music events to take in. From Nordkapp to Cadiz, you will find the best places to take a pit stop and take in a festival that is to your taste!

ZOLLVEREIN INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX IN ESSEN, GERMANY

As part of an Industrial Heritage tour of Europe, I arrived at Zeche Zollverein in Essen at about 3pm, after a great ride through the backroads of northern Germany. I spent 6 hours that evening floating around the eerie, deserted landscape of Zollverein, a huge and widely spread mining complex.

ZOLLVEREIN, ESSEN, GERMANY

There weren't any other people there that evening, so I took the motorbike into tunnels and underground spaces that are ‘Verboten’ by day. Ears were filled with the silence of this post-industrial landscape, and the occasional grinding metal from inside the iron structures. As the Bauhaus-designed industrial architecture of Zollverein and it's peripheral buildings floated by in the evening sunlight, for some reason I felt strangely at home in this rusted iron forest, the smell of long-forgotten coal fired industrialism, still prominent in the air...

ZOLLVEREIN, ESSEN, GERMANY
The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex is situated in the north-east side of Essen, just two kilometres from my hotel. It has been on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since December 14, 2001 and is one of the anchor points of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. Good base to start from, for this trip...

ZOLLVEREIN, ESSEN, GERMANY

The first coal mine on the premises was founded in 1847, mining activities took place from 1851 until December 23, 1986. For decades starting in the late 1950s, the two parts of the site, Zollverein Coal Mine and Zollverein Coking Plant (erected 1957−1961, closed on June 30, 1993), ranked among the largest of their kinds in Europe. Shaft 12, built in Bauhaus style, was opened in 1932 and is considered an architectural and technical masterpiece, earning it a reputation as the “most beautiful coal mine in the world” for obvious reasons.

ZOLLVEREIN, ESSEN, GERMANY
The Zollverein site quickly gained notice for its simple, functional Bauhaus design with its mainly cubical buildings made of reinforced concrete and steel trusses. The shaft's characteristic Doppelbock winding tower in the following years not only became the archetype of many later central mining facilities, but a symbol of German heavy industry itself.

This symbol may have slowly been forgotten when German heavy industry started diminishing in the second half of the 20th century, but this shaft and especially its characteristic winding tower were to become a symbol of the Ruhr area's structural change. Zollverein survived the Second World War with only minor damages and by 1953 again placed on top of all German mines with an output of 2.4 million tons.

ZOLLVEREIN, ESSEN, GERMANY


After an expansion in the early 1970s, Zollverein placed among the most productive coking plants worldwide, with around 1.000 workers and an output of up to 8.600 tons of coke per day (not Cocaine) on the so-called ‘dark side’. The ‘white side’ of the plant (not Cocaine either) produced side products such as ammonia, raw benzene and raw tar.

When it closed, Zollverein was the last remaining active coal mine in Essen. Whereas the coking plant remained open until June 30, 1993, mining activities in shaft 12 stopped on December 23, 1986.

ZOLLVEREIN, ESSEN, GERMANY

I spent a couple of days riding through this post industrial landscape, as slowly as possible, stopping occasionally, to absorb nearly 200 years of progressive industrial development, and understand what it was that actually went on here... coal, iron ore and silver mines fueling global development, pushing humanity forward, some really hard physical work, a level and depth of which, we children of the revolution find hard to understand. You should experience it for yourself...


Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex


Essen
Germany

www.zollverein.de