Germany’s largest conurbation stretches deep to the west. The history of the Ruhr area is closely linked to German mining, which is considered to be the engine of German industrialisation. In order to relive a piece of German history, the International Office invited numerous guest students on an excursion to the former coal mine Zeche Zollverein. It was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2001 as the best known industrial and cultural attraction in the city of Essen.
During the guided tour “About coal and miners”, the group followed the route from the shaft hall, through the screening plant to the coal washing plant. The tour guide described the production processes at a surface plant that was still in operation until 1993. Against the backdrop of gigantic machines and conveyor belts, the students were given an impression of the risky work in the coking plant. Juan Pablo, a guest student from the UP Guadalajara, was very impressed by the tour: “The most fascinating aspect was to see how the mine coal worked in general and how the working conditions have been in the past”.