Skip to main content
Zollverein coking plant

Zollverein coking plant

Visiting the German coking plant Zollverein

In 1993, the Kokerei Zollverein coking plant was at the end of its rope: the steel crisis of the 1990s caused the demand for coke to melt away.

However, production did not start until 1961. The design came from the drawing board of architect Fritz Schupp, who previously also designed the nearby headframes and coal preparation plant of the Zollverein coal mine.


From the start, the coking plant had 192 ovens. In 1973, the capacity expanded to 304 ovens.

In the ovens, coal was heated, causing the gas to escape and leave you with coke.

That coke was used in blast furnaces for the production of steel. The Kokerei Zollverein produced 8,000 tons of coke daily.

After its closure in 1993, plans circulated to sell the factory to China, but the idea quickly foundered.

Tourist repurposing

Instead of bulldozing the factory, the Kokerei Zollverein was given a second life as a tourist attraction.


Now, in winter, you can ice-skate past the six-meter-high ovens of the coking plant or climb on the Ferris wheel. In the summertime, you can take a dive in the outdoor swimming pool.

The efforts to repurpose the cokes plant were rewarded in 2002 when UNESCO inscribed the Kokerei and the Zeche Zollverein on the list of world heritage sites.

How To Get There?
Gain Access to all of the information!

  • Get access to all practical information to prepare your visit, for example addresses, GPS-coordinates and instructions how to legally visit this venue.
  • Discover this location on a detailed map.
  • Get instructions how to get there, together with extra info for walkers and bikers.
  • Discover more interesting places nearby.
  • Explore hundreds of other hidden landmarks on the interactive heritage map.
  • Download the Hidden Monuments 2024 travel guide with 10 hand-picked destinations off the beaten track across Europe.

Become a member only 49,90 euro / year

Already subscribed? Log In

Discover more

Find sites in or discover more

Latest from the blog