For decades the Rhein-Ruhr area (Ruhrgebiet) in Northrhine-Westfalia (NRW) and the Saarland were marked by intensive steel industry and coal mines. Due to globalization partially pared with cutthroat competition, this industry went into a deep structural crisis. A lot of companies had to close business in the early eighties. Subsequently countless heaps, previously used by the coal mines as slag heaps, were re-natured in the nineties. On some of these heaps artwork was constructed, landmarks, which can be seen from far in the Ruhrgebiet. Some of them are even illuminated at night. These heaps are center of attraction for photographers and people looking for recreation.

Slag Heaps


Tetrahedron

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Tetraeder on the slag heap Emscherblick in Bottrop, Germany

The steel monument 'Tetrahedron' in Bottrop was built in 1995 on the heap Emscherblick, Beckstraße. People can climb stairs to platforms on 18m, 32m and 38m height. These platforms offer a panoramic view over the Ruhrgebiet.

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Tetraeder

Location: Beckstraße, 46238 Bottrop, Germany

GPS: 51.527426, 6.959992

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f/4 IS USM

Date: August 16, 2014, 9:37pm

Exif: 24mm, f/13, ISO 400, 15 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Tiger & Turtle - Magic Mountain

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Tiger & Turtle - Magic Mountain on the slag heap Heinrich Hildebrand in the Angerpark in Duisburg, Germany

Tiger & Turtle - Magic Mountain looks like a roller coaster. The artwork was constructed in 2011in the Angerpark in Duisburg on top of the heap Heinrich Hildebrand. The monument can be walked completely, beside the looping in the middle part. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Tiger & Turtle

Location: Ehinger Straße 117, 47249 Duisburg, Germany

GPS: 51.375611, 6.738144

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f/4 IS USM

Date: August 9, 2014, 9:47pm

Exif: 24mm, f/4.0, ISO 5000, 1/40 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Rungenberg

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Night Sign or Nachtzeichen on the slag heap Rungenberg in Gelsenkirchen, Germany

The heap Rungenberg in Gelsenkirchen, Germany was used by the coal mine Hugo as waste dump until its closure in 1997. On top of the 110m heap the landmark Nachtzeichen (night sign) was installed. On top of two sides of an unfinished pyramid, two light beams were mounted, which plot the peak of the pyramid into the night sky of Gelsenkirchen. The illumination starts 30 min after the street lanterns are lit and continues until midnight. The heap Rungenberg is counted among the burning heaps, vegetation is still sparse. Several paths lead around the pyramid and invite to a long walk. The heap can be best assessed from Holthauser Straße from where stairs lead to the top of the heap.   

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Nachtzeichen Halde Rungenberg

Location: Zum Rungenberg 38, 45897 Gelsenkirchen, Germany

GPS: 51.564756, 7.041774

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f/4 IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: December 30, 2018, 6:36pm

Exif: 16mm, f/4.0, ISO 250, 30 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Haniel

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Totems on the slag heap Haniel in Oberhausen, Germany

With 160m heap Haniel is one of the highest slag heaps in Northrhine-Westfalia. From the top visitors have a wide panoramic view over the Ruhrgebiet. Beginning of the nineties a "summit cross" was constructed on the top, later followed by a amphitheater for 800 spectators, and in 2002 a installation called Totems, which surrounds the amphitheater in a semicircle on a small hill.

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Totems

Location: Kirchhellener Straße, 46145 Oberhausen, Germany

GPS: 51.553411, 6.874033

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f/4 IS USM

Date: August 9, 2014, 6:14pm

Exif: 24mm, f/4.0, ISO 100, 1/800 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Hoheward

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: The Horizon Observatorium on the slag heap Hoheward in Herten, Germany

The Horizon Observatorium is a astronomical instrument with a height of 45m. The artwork is a modern version of prehistoric stone circles and was constructed in 2008. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Blue Horizon  

Location: Am Handweiser 7 45699 Herten, Germany

GPS: 51.568613, 7.168112

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f/4 IS USM

Date: January 17, 2015, 5:37pm

Exif: 32mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 2 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Rheinpreussen

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Davy Lamp on the slag heap Rheinpreussen in Moers, Germany

The oversized davy lamp has a height of 28m. The tower was constructed in 2006 on top of the heap Rheinpreussen. Visitors can climb the tower to a platform at half height, which offers a good panoramic view over the Ruhrgebiet.  

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Halde Rheinpreussen

Location: Gutenbergstraße, 47443 Moers, Germany

GPS 51.478349, 6.650140

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Date: April 7, 2019, 8:23pm

Exif: 35mm, f/4, ISO 100, 30 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Norddeutschland

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Hallenhaus on the slag heap Norddeutschland in Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany

The heap Norddeutschland can best be climbed by taking the "sky stairs", steap 50m high stairs made out of metal. On top of the heap the you find the artwork "Hallenhaus", a metal skeleton in form of a house.  

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Hallenhaus

Location: Geldernsche Straße 166, 47506 Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany

GPS 51.465176, 6.566087

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: April 10, 2016, 3:42pm

Exif: 50mm, f/8, ISO 100, 5 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Brockenscheidt

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Spurwerkturm on the slag heap Brockenscheidt in Waltrop, Germany

The slag heap Brockenscheidt is located next to the former coal mine Zeche Waltrop, which was closed 1979. The slag heap is only 15m high and one of the smallest heaps in the area. In 2000 a artist constructed the Spurwerkturm, a sculpture of 20m height, which on purpose is "unfinished", as one can see at the top of the pyramid. Visitors can climb the stairs to a visitor platform at 12m height. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Space Craft

Location: Landabsatz, 45731 Waltrop, Germany

GPS 51.618275, 7.422059

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: July 17, 2016, 2:29pm

Exif: 16mm, f/8, ISO 100, 15 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Schwerin

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Sundial on the slag heap Schwerin in Castrop-Rauxel, Germany

The slag heap "Schwerin" is located close to Castrop-Rauxel. The name is derived from the former coal mine "Graf Schwerin", which closed business in 1967. The artist Jan Bormann constructed a sun dial on top of the heap at 150m height. The clock consists of 24 metallic pillars and a clock hand which points to the mid of the construction. The sculpture is 10 meters high and indicates the middle-European winter time. The sundial is not normalized to Castrop-Rauxel, but to the 15th degree of latitude, which determines the middle-European time. This is why the sundial is 30 minutes fast, as desired by the artist. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Clockwise

Location: Bodelschwingher Straße 98, 44577 Castrop-Rauxel, Germany

GPS 51.544428, 7.336445

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: July 17, 2016, 3:44pm

Exif: 16mm, f/18, ISO 100, 30 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Rheinelbe

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Sky Stairs or Himmelstreppe and Spiral Hill or Spiralberg on the slag heap Rheinelbe in Gelsenkirchen, Germany

The slag heap "Rheinelbe" is located next to Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf. The coal mine of the same name closed business already in 1928. The slag heap was used by other coal mines in the surroundings until 1974. End of the seventies the municipality started to revegetate the heap. But the former slag heap is burning in its inside. Remains of coal in the heap self-inflamed due to undesired access of oxygen. Authorities did not succeed to extinct the smoldering of the heap until today.  The spiral hill (Spiralberg) is located on top of the heap at 100m height. On top of this hill artist Herman Priegann constructed a sculpture out of debris of the former coal mine. Stairs made out of concrete lead to this landmark. The artwork is called Sky Stairs (Himmelstreppe).       

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Mirrored

Location: Leithestraße 186, 45886 Gelsenkirchen, Germany

GPS 51.487463, 7.108408

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: July 17, 2016, 5:24pm

Exif: 16mm, f/16, ISO 100, 30 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Großes Holz

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Blue Lighthouses and Adener Height on the slag heap Großes Holz in Bergkamen, Germany

The slag heap Großes Holz is located in Bergkamen, Germany. Blue lighthouses and blue blooming flowers are composed in a way that it reminds of a blue ribbon across the hill, a symbol of Bergkamen. The height Adener Höhe reaches high above the ground and allows a fantastic panoramic view over the region. A 30m high sculpture is constructed on top of the heap, which is illuminated at night. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Blue Lighthouse

Location: Waldstr. 21 59192 Bergkamen, Germany

GPS 51.623082, 7.613831

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

LEns: EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: July 24, 2016, 3:29pm

Exif: 16mm, f/18, ISO 100, 30 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Schurenbachhalde

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Bramme for the Ruhrgebiet on the slag heap Schurenbachhalde in Essen, Germany

With 100m length and 50m width, "Schurenbachhalde" is one of the bigger slag heaps in the Ruhrgebiet. The name is inherited from a small river on which the heap was built. On top of the heap there is a artwork "Bramme for the Ruhrgebiet", a rectangular piece of steel with a height of 15 meters, a width of 4 meters. The steel is approximately 10cm thick. The landmark was constructed in 1998 by the American artist Richard Serra. Irony is that the steel had to be produced in France, because there was no steel mill existing anymore in Germany, that had the capabilities to produce steel of this size.  

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Bramme

Location: Fritzstraße 19, 45329 Essen, Germany

GPS 51.510200, 7.014272

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM

Date: 6.08.2017, 16:24

Exif: 50mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 1/640 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Lothringen

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Über(n) Ort by artist Kirsten Kaiser on the slag heap Lothringen in Bochum, Germany

The heap Lothringen in Bochum, Gerthe is part of the former coal mine Lothringen I/II, which was closed down in 1957 already. On top at 136m height there is the 200m installation "Über(n) Ort", created by the artist Kirsten Kaiser. 23 yellow pipes with increasing height from West to East are connected with a horizontal pipe. The installation was initially illuminated, but due to vandalism the night light is out of order since quite some time. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Halde Lothringen

Location: Kirchharpener Str. 51, 44805 Bochum, Germany

GPS 51.518300, 7.286162

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: January 6, 2019, 4:21pm

Exif: 16mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 30 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Three Tall Men

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: The Three Tall Men on the slag heap Lothringen in Bochum, Germany

On the premises of the former coal mine Lothringen I/II, opposite to the slag heap Lothringen, they built a steel construction with the title "The three tall men". The artwork symbolizes the three equally sized chimneys of the former coal mine, which was distinctive for the industry site, closed down in 1957. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Die drei großen Herren

Location: Kirchharpener Str. 51, 44805 Bochum, Germany

GPS 51.518300, 7.286162

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: January 6, 2019, 3:44pm

Exif: 21mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 25 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Tippelsberg

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Tippelsberg in Bochum, Germany

The Tippelsberg ("foot-it-mountain") in Bochum is actually not a slag heap, but a natural hill with a dump on top. The cut of the construction of the Bochum Metro was dumped here. On top at the height of 150m there is a installation consisting out of a wooden cross lying on the ground and eight steel steles standing in a circle around the cross. Gaps and holes in the steles point to different places of cultural interest in and around Bochum. Some giant footprints made out of concrete are distributed across the hill. They shall remind visitors of an old folk tale. A giant called Tippulus is told to have rested here on a longer trip. He removed mud from the soles of his shoes which actually formed the hill Tippelsberg. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Tippelsberg

Location: Hiltroper Str. 150, 44807 Bochum, Germany

GPS 51.505484, 7.230120

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Date: January 6, 2019, 5:49pm

Exif: 16mm, f/11.0, ISO 100, 6 sec., +2/3 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Duhamel

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Tippelsberg in Bochum, Germany

The Saar Polygon is a walk-through large-scale sculpture on the slag heap Duhamel in Ensdorf in Saarland, Germany. The transversal legs of the 30m high landmark provide various motifs when changing perspective. The artwork is illuminated and can be seen from a distance in the Saarland at night. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Saarpolygon

Location: Starenweg, 66806 Ensdorf, Germany

GPS 49.318157, 6.785645

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Date: July 10, 2019, 10:24pm

Exif: 16mm, f/8.0, ISO 200, 15 sec., +1 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Lydia

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Tippelsberg in Bochum, Germany

The slag heap Lydia was part of the pit Camphusen in Quierschied in Saarland, Germany. With a height of 120m the heap surmounts the environment by far. A high cross is the only object on top of the 12ha plateau. The dark grey surface with the sparse vegetation is a strong contrast to the green surroundings of Saarland. Round water basins called "sky mirrors" are reflecting blue sky and clouds, when filled with water. During my visit the basins however were dried out after a long period without rain. 

 

Link: Saarland.de

 

Photo: 

Title: Halde Lydia

Location: Parking  Netzbachtal, L127 / L260, 66125 Saarbrücken, Germany

GPS 49.292835, 7.023169

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: July 11, 2019, 4:07pm

Exif: 24mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 4 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Halde Grühlingstraße

The culture of Slag Heaps in the Ruhrgebiet, NRW in Germany: Tippelsberg in Bochum, Germany

Die slag heap Grühnlingstraße was used by the pit Jägersfreude. Pluvial erosion cut deep furrows into the southern slope and gave nick name to the location: Elephant heap. A steep path at the northwestern corner of the heap leads to the top. At a height of 60m a high cross is installed. 

 

Link: Saarland.de

 

Photo: 

Title: Elefantenhalde

Location: L127, 66115 Saarbrücken, Germany

GPS 49.263780, 6.991218

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: July 11, 2019, 6:04pm

Exif: 20mm, f/9.0, ISO 400, 30 sec. 

© Christian Twehues


Slag Heaps Gallery