Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The World's Most Photogenic Coal Mine

Back from a whirlwind trip to Germany! Just so you know - thanks to new highways springing up all over Germany and the Czech Republic, you can now drive from Prague to Essen in six hours and thirty-eight minutes. I do love the autobahn.

One of the highlights of our visit was a trip we took to the Zollverein Coal Mine. Closed since 1993 and a UNESCO site since 2001, its buildings have since been converted into museums and studios, but the iron works still stand. Saturday we visited an open-house pottery exhibition in one of the surrounding studio buildings, and took the time to take lots of pictures.

Clockwise from the top
1. View of the mining facility from the bus stop.
2. Lantern and wheel.
3. Giant drill bit.
4. Wheel mounted in concrete.
5. Ladders along a wall.
6. Side view of the main mine shaft. At its deepest, the mine is 500 meters deep.
7. Coke processing plant smoke stacks.
8. Old signs and reflections.
9. Entrance to Zollverein.


manuel said...

hi julia, thanks for taking the trip to visit us. jakob is still asking for caloline once in a while. by the way, the ceramic studio was called the Keramische Werkstatt Margarethenhöhe http://www.keramische-werkstatt-margaretenhoehe.de/ and since I am already at supporting the little things I love in our neighbourhood: the columbian pastry shop with the amazing passion fruit marshmellows is www.criolla.eu.

Julia said...

Hi Manny! Those are going up in today's post - thanks for the links!

We had a great time too - C keeps telling James than he needs to get his act together and play princess with her just like Jakub ;-).

Barrett Bonden said...

A blogger clearly influenced by Alain de Botton. And another point: nobody seems attracted to German as a language but the phrase keramische Werkstatt turns me on. But then so do Stanley knives.

tuckova said...

Are you going to meet the President? Apparently select Americans are. I am torn about going to see the speech... on the one hand, I've never seen a President give a speech in person, and it seems very exciting to have the opportunity, and one does want to turn out in droves of support. Also, how cool would it be for the boy to say he saw it; wouldn't it be like seeing the I AM A JELLY DOUGNUT speech? On the other hand: yikes crowds.

Julia said...

BB - German is Caroline's third language and she thinks it is mighty cool. Of course, this is strongly influenced by the fact that all the TV she sees is in German, so she has decided that German is the language of cartoons, kids and fun vacations.

Ann - No invite for me. Our local Dems Abroad tried to get a meeting but to no avail. I am torn also, the crowds will be huge. I know people flying in from all over Europe to go to see him speak. Or rather, go see the crowds watch him speak!

Eleanor said...

I was going to comment about the mine...but then I read about the passionfruit marshmallows...and then I started wondering about Barrett Bonden and his Stanley knife fetish and...um....have no idea what I wanted to write.

Zhoen said...

Mines seem very photogenic after they are closed.

Julia said...

Eleanor, when it comes to you, just let me know ;-). The marshmellows really were deliciously distracting!

Zhoen, it was in part the bauhaus design that made it so stunning, but you are right, I am sure it is more beautiful now than when it was a working mine.

Ellen said...

BB - have you read then AdB's latest? Do tell J he isn't as lecturing as she thinks he is...

taniad1992 said...

Wow...you can even take a coal mine and make it look interesting...you surely are blessed with an eye for photos!!!