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Über Zollverein
Über Zollverein


All events at a glance...

... and the highlights in 2024 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 2024 programme here.

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

Zollverein Concerts

Music for your ears

Listen to classical music, jazz, pop, and contemporary music where people used to labour: For more than 25 years, Zollverein Foundation has been inviting guests of all ages to the World Heritage Site. For 2024, 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.

Ruhr Museum

The regional museum of the Ruhr area

The Ruhr Museum, which opened at the start of the Capital of Culture year RUHR.2010, is the regional museum of the Ruhr area. It is located in the former coal washing plant of the Zollverein Coal Mine, Shaft XII in Essen. As a regional museum, it presents the entire natural and cultural history of the Ruhr region in its permanent exhibition. It does not see itself as a classic industrial museum, but as a memory and showcase of the Ruhr Metropolis.

The Ruhr Museum has extensive natural history, archaeological, historical and photographic collections, which are constantly being added to and thematically expanded. In addition to the permanent exhibition on the nature, culture and history of the Ruhr region, the Ruhr Museum regularly shows temporary exhibitions, also on topics that have no connection to the Ruhr region.

Red Dot Design Museum

The fascinating world of design

From robots, coffee machines and furniture to a gyrocopter hanging from the ceiling: over five floors and a good 4,000 square meters, the museum exclusively presents products that have been awarded by an international jury of experts in one of the world’s largest design competitions – the Red Dot Design Award. Thematic special exhibitions complement the inspiring insight into the world of design.

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.


24 March to 13 October 2024

The exhibition title „Alte Zeche – Junge Leute“ („Old Colliery – Young People“) conceals two series of images by photographer Norbert Enker from the 1980s: While the work „Menschenbilder“ is made up of portraits of young people from Essen, the series „Langenbrahm“ documents the current state and subsequent use of the colliery of the same name in Essen-Rüttenscheid, which closed in 1966.

The exhibition is part of the series „Aktuelle Fotografie im Ruhrgebiet. Pixelprojekt auf Zollverein“. The joint exhibition series organised by the Zollverein Foundation and Pixelprojekt_Ruhrgebiet focuses on contemporary positions and Ruhr area themes in the broadest sense. The works are selected by a jury made up of representatives from the Museum Folkwang, the Folkwang University of the Arts, the Ruhr Museum and the Krupp Historical Archive.


25 and 26 May 2024

The SchmuckProdukt workshop and gallery has been organising the biannual „Handverlesen“ designer market since 2004. The cooperative of various designers offers high-quality, innovative products suitable for everyday use from the fields of product design, jewellery design, painting, ceramics, fashion and much more in an appealing atmosphere. Catering is also provided during the designer market. Visitors are cordially invited to stroll around the market, take a look at the exhibits and make a purchase.

Local Hero Week

30 May to 2 June 2024

For 1999 years, the Industrial Culture Route has combined tourist attractions and living (industrial) history in an impressive themed route. To mark its 25th anniversary in 2024, numerous events and activities will be organised around the anchor points of the Industrial Culture Route. The celebrations throughout the Ruhr region will kick off at Zollverein, which has been an important part of the Industrial Culture Route as an anchor point from the very beginning.

The four-day anniversary celebrations will run from 30 May to 2 June 2024 at the World Heritage Site in the north of Essen: With a photo exhibition, events, the brand new 360° film experience, a family day and a big dance party! In addition, ExtraSchicht, the traditional Night of Industrial Heritage, will be held at the Zollverein site with a special anniversary programme to mark the route’s birthday.


1 June 2024

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.

In 2024, ExtraSchicht will not take place on the last Saturday of the month as before – this year, the cultural festival of the Metropole Ruhr will celebrate the Night of Industrial Heritage on the first Saturday in June to mark the 25th anniversary of Industrial Culture Route. The public can expect a varied program with guided tours, exhibitions, stage programs, walking acts and performances as well as art installations and hands-on activities against the unique backdrop of Zollverein.


6 July to 25 August 2024

Bathing pleasure in a work of art: 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.

Splash! Boom! Bang!

17 August 2024

The Cannonball-Competition in the city’s most beautiful pool is all about the perfect jump into the cool water. Who can do the perfect arse bomb? Who can create the highest water fountain? Who can make the biggest wave? You compete against each other and the jury decides.

If you prefer to live out your joy of jumping outside the water, the parkour summer festival right next door is the place to be: here, real professionals will show you how to conquer the 600 m² facility with the right jumps. There is also a varied supporting programme and plenty of opportunities to chill out – so come along and experience a perfect summer’s day at the World Heritage Site!


29 August to 1 September 2024

The chefs from „Essen genießen“ invite you to the Gourmetmeile Metropole Ruhr at the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site. From typical miners‘ fare to exotic delicacies, there is something for every taste.

Over the four days of the Gourmet Mile Ruhr Metropolis on the former railway boulevard at Zollverein Shaft XII, top regional restaurateurs will present their culinary skills. Lovers of regional miners‘ cuisine will also get their money’s worth: at least one typical miners‘ dish will be served at each stand.

World Heritage Run

14 September 2024

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

28 and 29 September 2024

On 28 and 29 September 2024, 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“.

Mouse day

3 October 2024

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 2024

9 to 13 October 2024

In October 2024, the International Literature Festival lit.RUHR takes place again in the whole Ruhr Area. Roundabout 70 events for adults, children and young people are planned.

Innovative Art Fair

25 to 27 October 2024

A fixed date for the international, national, and regional art scene is the autumn fair of contemporary art ruhr (C.A.R.): 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.

Ice Rink

4 December 2024 to 5 January 2025

Unique ice rink amidst spectacular industrial architecture: ice skating fans can once again look forward to the wonderful Zollverein ice rink against the impressive industrial backdrop of the Zollverein coking plant in winter 2024/2025.

The ice rink stretches 150 metres along the imposing coke ovens and chimneys of the Zollverein coking plant. In the evening, an installation bathes it in atmospheric light and cosy stands offer refreshments with hot drinks and snacks.