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Über Zollverein
Über Zollverein


All events at a glance...

... and the highlights in 2022 to come!

All events that take place at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein are included in our calendar – due to the large number of offers, however, the calendar is only available in German. This is why we are presenting the highlights of our 2022 programme here.

More information can be found in our calendar (German only).

PACT Zollverein

Performing Arts. Choreographisches Zentrum NRW. Tanzlandschaft Ruhr

Founded in 2002 and at home in the former pithead bath at Shaft 1/2/8, PACT Zollverein sees itself as an initiator, driving force, and stage for ground-breaking developments in the fields of dance, performance, theatre, media, and visual arts.

Three programmatic lines characterise the work of the institution, which contributes on a regional, national, and international level to the localisation and appreciation of dance and performance as art forms in their own right: PACT Zollverein creates a space for concentrated production processes within the framework of the ‚Residenzprogramm,‘ which is open to artists from all over the world. The ‚Plattformen‘ section initiates the interdisciplinary exchange between artists, scientists, and students as well as the critical questioning of their methods and results. A third focus is on a top-class stage programme comprising world premieres, co-productions, and guest performances.

Zollverein Concerts

Music for your ears

Listen to classical music, jazz, pop, and contemporary music where people used to labour: For more than 20 years, Zollverein Foundation has been inviting guests of all ages to the World Heritage Site. For 2021, the Foundation has once again put together a varied programme. Well-known co-operations and formats will be continued, and new highlights will be set.

Mustafa's Dream

Photographs by Henning Christoph on Turkish life in Germany 1977 – 1989 / 31 October 2021 to 30 October 2022

The German-American photographer Henning Christoph, born in 1944 in Grimma near Leipzig and winner of several World Press Photo awards, photographed the everyday life of Turkish migrant workers in Germany from 1977 to 1989, focusing on the Ruhr area. The exhibition features a video interview with the photographer himself in which he reports on the development of his long-term documentation of Turkish life in Germany. From 1977, having been commissioned by GEO magazine, he was able to spend a year and a half engaging in intense research and photography. The images appeared in 1979 in “The German Turks” – the first comprehensive photo feature on this subject. This legendary GEO feature is displayed in its entirety in the exhibition.

Beyond Emscher

Contemporary Photographic Positions / 12 May 2022 to 6 November 2022

The conversion of the Emscher and its tributaries has led to changes in the entire region. In 2015, the water management association Emschergenossenschaft started the “emscherbilder” project, in order to compile a documentary photographic collection that would provide information about the changes. This project is the starting point of the exhibition “Beyond Emscher”. After 30 years, the conversion of the river into a sewage-free watercourse is completed. On this occasion, Emschergenossenschaft and Zollverein Foundation decided to present the photo project at the premises of the Zollverein World Heritage Site, which is also a part of the rewilded Emscher system with the Katernberg Bach running through the district in its direct vicinity.

Design on Stage 2022–2023

21 June 2022 to 31 May 2023

Red Dot Design Museum presents the best product design achievements from all over the globe.

Milestones in Contemporary Design 2022–2023

21 June 2022 to 31 May 2023

The exhibition presents about 80 pieces that were awarded with the Red Dot Design Award 2022.

ExtraSchicht. The Night of Industrial Heritage

25 June 2022

200,000 visitors, 50 venues, 24 cities, one night: ExtraSchicht, the Night of Industrial Heritage, has been staging the Ruhr Metropolis since 2001. The cultural festival was conceived in 2001 with the idea of making the region’s industrial heritage visible and specifically networking it with each other.

A varied programme including guided tours, exhibitions, stage programmes, walk acts, and performances as well as art installations and participatory activities in front of the unique backdrop of Zollverein awaits the audience. The Ruhr Museum presents a varied programme with free admission to its permanent and special exhibitions as well as free short guided tours.

Works Swimming Pool

26 June to 14 August 2022

Bathing pleasure in a work of art: Leave all your cares behind at a glistening blue pool in the middle of the former coking plant: During the summer holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia, visitors to Zollverein can cool off, sunbathe, and relax in the Works Swimming Pool every day from noon to 8 p.m. Situated in a place full of contrasts in front of the coke oven battery, the 12×5-metre pool is one of the most exciting bathing locations in Germany. Where coal used to be baked into coke, two welded together overseas containers are now the summer meeting place in the North of Essen. The visit to the swimming pool is free of charge. The 2.40-metre deep pool is only suitable for swimmers, a pool supervisor is on site.

The Frankfurt-based artists Dirk Paschke and Daniel Milohnic created the Works Swimming Pool in 2001 as part of the „Contemporary Art and Criticism“ art project. Since then, the blue pool, framed by impressive industrial architecture, has stood symbolically for the structural change in the Ruhr Area.

Open-air Cinema Zollverein

14 July to 18 August 2022

From 18 July on, cinema films are screened on six Thursday evenings underneath the pusher machine, directly next to the works swimming pool.


23 July 2022

Splash! Boom! Bang! Jump into our swimming pool and make sure that the water splashes as much as possible! Our summer party takes place at the unique swimmingpool in the middle of the coking plant and there will also be a Parkour-Jam at our parkour facility right next to it.

Gourmetmeile Metropole Ruhr

25 to 28 August 2022

In August 2022, the chefs of „Essen genießen“ invite everyone to the Gourmetmeile Metropole Ruhr at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein. From typical miners‘ dishes to exotic delicacies, there is something for every taste.

During the four days of the Gourmetmeile Metropole Ruhr on the former Track Boulevard at Zollverein Shaft XII, top regional restaurateurs present their culinary skills. Lovers of regional miner’s cuisine also get their money’s worth: At least one typical miner’s dish is served at each stand. In addition to culinary temptations, a stage programme and a firework display on Saturday evening await guests and gourmets from across the region.

Welterbelauf Zollverein

Zollverein World Heritage Run / 10 September 2022

As in previous years, the motto of the Zollverein World Heritage Run is: Taking part is all that counts! All races lead along the impressive architecture of the industrial monument: along the Circular Walk, past the Twin Pithead Frame, the SANAA Building, across the Zollverein Spoil Tip, and the former Shaft 1/2/8. Start and finish are located on the premises of RAG Montan Immobilien GmbH at the Zollverein Coking Plant. The International Competition Rules of the German Athletics Federation (DLV) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) apply.

Großes Zechenfest

25 to 27 September 2022

On 25 and 27 September 2022, the advertising associations of District VI – Zollverein, in cooperation with Zollverein Foundation are inviting to the Großes Zechenfest at the World Heritage Site. More than 50 events on several stages ensure excellent entertainment.

The organizers again expect well over 30,000 visitors to Zollverein Shaft XII. Where fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers once worked hard, a weekend is spent celebrating, dancing, and laughing. With a lot of creativity and in good cooperation, the three advertising associations from Katernberg, Schonnebeck, and Stoppenberg, together with Zollverein Foundation, are putting together a varied programme in keeping with the motto „Tradition with a future“.

“Türöffnertag” der Sendung mit der Maus

3 October 2022

On 3 October 2022, the motto throughout Germany is again „Doors open for the Mouse!“

For children and the whole family, Zollverein Foundation and the Ruhr Museum offer many exciting hands-on activities on the “ Türöffnertag“ (Door Opener Day) of the „Sendung mit der Maus“ (TV series for children called Mouse TV outside of Germany). For an entire day, a free, varied programme awaits all fans of the Mouse aged five and over at the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site.

lit.RUHR 2022 – International Literature Festival

19 to 23 October 2022

In October 2022, the third International Literature Festival lit.RUHR takes place again in the whole Ruhr Area. 40 events for adults and 35 for children and young people are planned. Zollverein is the festival centre, in addition there are other venues in Essen.

contemporary art ruhr (C.A.R.)

Innovative Art Fair 28 to 30 October 2022

A fixed date for the international, national, and regional art scene is the autumn fair of contemporary art ruhr: innovative galleries for contemporary art, institutions, art projects, and selected talents participate year after year. At the same time, special exhibitions, the C.A.R. Video Lounge, and a supporting programme featuring performances and workshops take place.

Next Level

Festival of Games / 25 to 27 November 2022

NRW KULTURsekretariat, the City of Essen and Zollverein foundation invite friends, fans and experts of digital gaming culture to enter the next level – for the second time at Zollverein World Heritage.

Skating Rink

18 December 2022 to 8 January 2023

Skating artists and anyone aspiring to become one can do pirouettes at the SkateJam workshops or carefully take their first steps on their skates at the SkateJam rollerdisco.