The Duisburg Nord Landscape Park on the site of the former Meiderich ironworks is the most frequently visited sight in the Ruhr region. One of the largest ironworks in Germany has been transformed into a gigantic industrial museum covering more than 2 km². The highlight is the ascent of the 70-metre-high blast furnace and the colourful, eerie-looking illumination of the huge industrial plant at night. As far as we know, the landscape park has no opening hours, no fences and no entrance fees. Guided tours can be booked at the visitor centre (recommended).
Our tip: Brewery tour through Düsseldorf with free beer (Altbier): More info and online booking
The stairs up to the blast furnace are secured, but the walk up requires a head for heights (picture below right). On the first level, a few metres above the ground, you reach the casting hall where the molten iron at 2000 degrees flowed out of the blast furnace. If you climb to the top, you have a view of Duisburg and the entire western Ruhr region in good weather.
It is interesting to observe how nature is slowly regaining control over the industrial ruins 30 years after closure (picture below left). Some of the many bunkers (gigantic “storage containers” for coal and iron ore) have been converted into a climbing garden. Climbers from the flat Ruhr area train here for high mountain tours. The gasometer (gas tower) was filled with water. Among other things, a coral reef was created on the bottom of what is possibly the largest artificial diving area in the world.
You can also see old railway wagons. These (picture below left) were used to transport molten pig iron from the Meiderich ironworks throughout the Ruhr region and even as far as Belgium. From time to time, an old special train also visits the plant’s station.