In the weekend of 27-28 September 2014 I did a weekend trip with my daugther to the area around Dusseldorf. On the Saterday we visited the Augustusburg and Falkenburg palace and stayed overnight in Dusseldorf to visit the next day the Zollverein Essen. Both places are great to visit with kids.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited: Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (Essen) (see all UNESCO sites here)
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex was one of the largest coal mines in Europe and founded in 1847. It stopped it’s activities in 1993. The complex consists of various shafts for coal mining and a coking plant to make cokes out of the coal. Since 2001 the site is a World Heritage Site.
One can freely walk the territory and many buildings now have expositions of various arts and other activities. The coking plant can be visitors with guided tour only. During the tour the whole process of coking is explained in a way everyone can understand. Various activities, expositions are planned yearly and in summer there is even a swimming pool at the coking plant. The following map shows the layout of the grounds.
If you go for various expositions (not directly related to coal mining) and other activities one can spend here for sure a full day. We however went mainly for the coal mining history and we finished touring the site in about 4-5 hours. We had a great day and learned a lot about the coal industry my daughter of 9 years old including.