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Über Zollverein
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All events at a glance...

... and the highlights in 2020 from July to September!

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 2020 programme here.

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

Please note: To slow the coronavirus outbreak, several events had to be cancelled. Please e-mail for more information. Museums and exhibitions are open again, please enquire about the hygiene measures in the respective institutions.

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 2020, 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.

SURVIVORS – Faces of Life after the Holocaust

Exhibition at Zollverein is now also virtual

Preserving humanity and dignity also under inhuman conditions: This experience was behind the close-up photographs with larger-than-life size of 75 survivors of the Holocaust, which from January until September 2020 were presented at the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage for the first time worldwide. The pictures were taken in Jerusalem, at Yad Vashem, where the internationally renowned photographer Martin Schoeller had visited the portrayed people and had taken very much time for the recordings.

Around 40.000 visitors attended the exhibition in the mixing facility at the Zollverein coking plant, the international media attention was enormous. „SURVIVORS is an important sign against forgetting, which we could successfully realize together with the Israelian Holocaust Remembrance Center Yad Vashem – initiated by its German circle of friends – as well as with our cooperation partners“, explains Walter Schmeling, Chairman of Stiftung Kunst und Kultur (Arts and Culture Foundation) Bonn, which besides Yad Vashem was the organizer of the exhibition in Essen. „It is a sign for open-mindedness, for engagement with history and for taking responsibility for the future.“

In order to continue this important project against forgetting and making the topic interesting especially for the younger generation, Martin Schoeller has set up a virtual reality tour through the exhibition at Zollverein, which he himself accompanies as the guide. The 40-minute tour with statements from the last contemporary witnesses, who are still alive, as well as with integrated additional films and information, can be made with VR glasses or with smartphones or tablets. Educational institutions in Germany have the possibility to use the tour as a kick-off for history lessons on YouTube, in order to make young people learn about the Holocaust and the topic of antisemitism again and again.

The project was a cooperation between Yad Vashem – International Holocaust Remembrance Center, Martin Schoeller and Stiftung Kunst und Kultur (Arts and Culture Foundation), Bonn. Partners are Stiftung Zollverein (Zollverein Foundation) and Ruhr Museum.

Project promoters
The exhibition and the accompanying programme were promoted and financed by RAG-Stiftung (RAG Foundation).

contemporary art ruhr (C.A.R.)

Innovative Art Fair 30 October to 1 November 2020

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.

Milestones in Contemporary Design

Exhibition / 23 June 2020 to 31 May 2021

The exhibition presents about 80 pieces that were awarded with the Red Dot Design Award 2020.

100 years of Ruhr Area

Exhibition / September 2020 to 16 February 2021

This exhibition of the Ruhr Museum presents the infrastructure, mobility, architecture and the societal relations that have given a modern structure to region and shaped the Ruhr metropolis until today.

Childhood in Ruhr Area

Exhibition / September 2020 to May 2021

This Gallery exhibition of the Ruhr Museum presents 70 exhibits with their personal background from the time between 1945 and 1989. It is intended that the items bring back childhood memories and are compared with the visitors’ own history.

lit.RUHR 2020

International Literature Festival / 5 to 11 October 2020

In October 2020, 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.

Next Level

Festival of Games / 12 to 15 November 2020

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.

Zollverein Ice Rink

5 December 2020 to 10 January 2021

In winter, the 150-meter-long Zollverein Ice Rink once again invites ice skaters and other ice sports enthusiasts to enjoy winter activities in the middle of the impressive coking plant.

According to the Marco Polo travel guide, „probably the most fascinating place in Germany for ice skating“: at Zollverein, Zollverein Foundation offers an opportunity for the whole family to ice-skate on the Zollverein Ice Rink for four weeks. Skating artists and anyone aspiring to become one can do pirouettes, whizz across the ice, or carefully take their first steps on the slippery surface.

In addition, the impressive industrial architecture, the icy 1,800-square metre area stretching alongside the impressive coke ovens, rust-red pipes, and high chimney stacks are also a unique experience for those watching. After dusk, when the light installation by Jonathan Speirs and Mark Major bathes the Zollverein Coking Plant in colourful light, the ice skaters experience a very special kind of winter romance.

New Year's Eve Run

Silvesterlauf / Sporting highlight at the end of the year

The New Year’s Eve Run around the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein is a must for ambitious sports enthusiasts of all ages: from the 400-metre Bambini Race to the 1-kilometre distance for schoolchildren, the 5-kilometre “Race for Everyone” to the 10-kilometre main race, all sports enthusiasts will find the right challenge!

The registration portal for the traditional race with the special charm in front of a wonderful Ruhr Area scenery opens at the beginning of October 2020. Registrations can be submitted until 25 December 2020 via Start and finish are in front of Hall 12 on the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein, changing rooms for the participants will be set up in Hall 5. The award ceremony will also take place there.