975 Kompleks Przemysłowy Kopalni Węgla Zollverein w Essen —  2001

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The Zollverein industrial complex in Land Nordrhein-Westfalen consists of the complete infrastructure of a historical coal-mining site, with some 20th-century buildings of outstanding architectural merit. It constitutes remarkable material evidence of the evolution and decline of an essential industry over the past 150 years.

Brief synthesis

The Zollverein XII Coal Mine Industrial Complex is an important example of a European primary industry of great economic significance in the 19th and 20th centuries. It consists of the complete installations of a historical coal-mining site: the pits, coking plants, railway lines, pit heaps, miner’s housing and consumer and welfare facilities. The mine is especially noteworthy of the high architectural quality of its buildings of the Modern Movement.

Zollverein XII was created at the end of a phase of political and economic upheaval and change in Germany, which was represented aesthetically in the transition from Expressionism to Cubism and Functionalism. At the same time, Zollverein XII embodies this short economic boom between the two World Wars, which has gone down in history as the “Roaring Twenties.” Zollverein is also, and by no means least, a monument of industrial history reflecting an era, in which, for the first time, globalisation and the worldwide interdependence of economic factors played a vital part.

The architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kemmer developed Zollverein XII in the graphic language of the Bauhaus as a group of buildings which combined form and function in a masterly way.
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Criterion (ii):

The Zollverein XII Coal Mine Industrial Complex is an exceptional industrial monument by virtue of the fact that its buildings are outstanding examples of the application of the design concepts of the Modern Movement in architecture in a wholly industrial context.

Criterion (iii):

The technological and other structures of Zollverein XII are representative of a crucial period in the development of traditional heavy industries in Europe, which were reinforced through the parallel development and application of Modern Movement architectural designs of outstanding quality.


The comprises all the elements of intensive 19th and 20th century industrial exploitation – the complete complex of buildings and equipment necessary for the extraction and treatment of coal and the production of coke, the required transportation network (in the case of railways) as well as the vast heaps of pit waste.


The Zollverein XII Coal Mine Industrial Complex has a high level of authenticity. The individual industrial components have inevitably lost their functional authenticity. However, a policy of sensitive and imaginative adaptive reuse has ensured that their forms survive intact, with significant items of the industrial plant preserved, and that their interrelationships remain visible in a clear and logical manner. In particular, the authenticity of the important group of industrial buildings designed for Zollverein XII by Fritz Schupp has been carefully conserved.

Protection and management requirements

The Zollverein XII Coal Mine Industrial Complex is a listed industrial monument according to paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Act on the Protection and Conservation of Monuments of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, dated 11 March 1980 (Protection Law).
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Building activities within the property and its buffer zone are regulated by paragraph 9 (2) of the Protection Law and through Local Building Plans.

The Zollverein Foundation, established and financed by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, is the owner of essential parts of the property and responsible for the management and the sustainable development of the World Heritage property. The Foundation acts in concertation with the regional and local historic monument władze konserwatorskie. System zarządzania składa się z zestawu środków konserwacyjnych i konserwacyjnych. Strategia ochrony kopalni skupia się na odpowiedzialnej przebudowie budynków dla celów kultury i projektowania, rozrywki i turystyki, realizowanej przez Fundację Zollverein.

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