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Über Zollverein
Über Zollverein


All events at a glance...

... and the highlights in 2023 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 2023 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 25 years, Zollverein Foundation has been inviting guests of all ages to the World Heritage Site. For 2023, 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.

The Emscher. Pictorial history of a river

Special exhibition in the Ruhr Museum / 12 September 2022 to 16 April 2023

„Schwatte“, „Cloaca maxima“, „Köttelbecke“ or „the most expensive river in the world“: The Emscher has had many names throughout its history. In the impressive industrial setting of the former coal washing plant of the Zollverein colliery, the temporary exhibition from 12.9.2022 to 16.4.2023 presents the entire visual history of the Emscher from pre-industrial times through industrialisation to the current ecological conversion of the Emscher system. The focus is on historical and current photographs from the archive of the Emschergenossenschaft, which has been photographically documenting its construction projects for around 120 years. Historical paintings, graphics and maps also show the significant changes to the „river of destiny“ and the entire region.

Hands off the Ruhr Area! The Ruhr occupation 1923-1925

Special exhibition in the Ruhr Museum / 12 January to 27 August 2023

Hyperinflation, violence, economic standstill and abject poverty: the Ruhr Occupation not only stands for an exceptional situation, but is a central chapter in the history of the Ruhr region. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Ruhr Occupation, the gallery exhibition of the Ruhr Museum presents the everyday life of the occupation from 1923 to 1925, showing the experiences of the population and the occupiers as well as the events of these crisis years in six chapters. In the process, it also illuminates the moment in history when the Ruhr area emerged as a unified region and important foundations were laid for the Metropole Ruhr as an area of identification.

Sixteen Objects – Seventy Years of Yad Vashem

6 March to 29 May 2023

The sixteen objects represent different localities, one from each of the sixteen federal states in present-day Germany – a reminder that every town in Germany lost part of its history and identity in the Holocaust. The artifacts now return to Germany for the first time. Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, which marks its seventieth anniversary this year, preserves, researches, publicises and teaches these lost histories.

contemporary art ruhr (C.A.R.)

Photo/Media art fair / 10 to 12 March 2023

The first part of C.A.R. takes place since 2006 in the breathtaking spaces offered by the World Cultural Heritage Site Zollverein. Within the unique and impressive atmosphere of the exceptional architecture innovative exhibitors present the latest kinds of contemporary art.


1 June 2022 to 6 August 2023

NEW NOW is the Festival for Digital Arts at Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage in Essen. Every two years, it transforms the Mixing Plant on the former Coking Plant on the coal mine industrial complex into a production site for Digital Arts. NEW NOW invites artists to show new works in spectacular surroundings and to produce site-specific works.

Milestones in Contemporary Design 2023–2024

20 June 2023 to 31 May 2024

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

Design on Stage 2023–2024

20 June 2023 to 31 May 2024

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

ExtraSchicht. The Night of Industrial Heritage

24 June 2023

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 13 August 2023

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

13 July to 17 August 2023

From 13 July on, cinema films are screened on six Thursday evenings underneath the pusher machine, directly next to the works swimming pool.


5 August 2023

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.


13 August 2023

At the „WORLD OF HEADPHONES“ well-known producers, distributors and dealers show a large selection of mobile and stationary sound equipment. Here, headphone fans and anyone who wants to become one can take their time trying out which headphones suit them best.

Gourmetmeile Metropole Ruhr

24 to 27 August 2023

In August 2023, 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 / 9 September 2023

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

23 to 24 September 2023

On 23 and 24 September 2023, 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 2023

On 3 October 2023, 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 2023 – International Literature Festival

17 to 22 October 2023

In October 2023, 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.

contemporary art ruhr (C.A.R.)

Innovative Art Fair 27 to 29 October 2023

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.

Ice Rink

9 December 2023 to 7 January 2024

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