In Germany, there lies a treasure unlike any other: a coal mine. You might scoff at the idea, but the Zollverein Coal Mine in Germany is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also known as the most beautiful coal mine in the world.
Coal mining in this complex started in 1851 and was a vital part of Germany's history. The famed "black gold" was dug here to fuel Germany's industrial revolution, and during the Second World War, over 3.6 million tons of coal were produced.
Back then, the Zollverein Coal Mine was one of the most important industrial complexes in Europe, and for the years that followed, several more buildings and refurbishments were added to further increase the productivity of the place. For 135 years, the complex churned and the workers toiled in "Shaft XII" of the complex until it was decommissioned in 1986.
But why is it exactly dubbed as the most beautiful coal mine in the world? The whole premise was based on the architecture of shaft 12. It was considered an architectural masterpiece because of its "New Objectivity Style", thus earning the name of the most beautiful coal mine ever.
After it was decommissioned, it was abandoned for a couple of years until a foundation was formed in its name. The Zollverein Foundation dedicated their efforts to preserving the whole complex, thus the preserved Zollverein Coal Mine still stands today.
These days, guests can take a tour of the whole complex, learning about the history of coal mining in the place. For two hours, guests can tour the whole mine and learn about its age-old secrets, with the addition of cool background music and visual tricks.
Throughout the tour, guests can also watch a short film about the evolution of coal industry in Germany, and its development of the industrial architecture. The complex also houses the Red Dot Museum, the world's largest collection of contemporary design.
Guest must pay an admission fee upon entrance. A tour guide also accompanies you throughout the tour.