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Old October 13th, 2013, 02:26 AM   #41
Grotlaufen
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Regarding the "Amerikahaus" in Essen:

There were several "Amerikahäuser" around West Germany, one in every large city. Run by the United States Information Agency from the early 1950's until USIA closed in 1999.

Wikipedia as usual have an article about the Agencys' role:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...rmation_Agency

And a complete list for all places in (West)Germany:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerika-Haus

Apparently the one in Munich is still there but it's not financed by the US Government any longer but functions as a regular German-American foundation.

These houses were in the beginning a part of "The reeducation" of the German people in order to get rid of all Nazi resentiment (German article only).
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeducation
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Old October 13th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #42
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That is very informative. I've never heard much about the "re-education" efforts.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 04:16 PM   #43
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The Landshaftspark is a "park" in the northern section of Duisberg that is an old steel mill. Not a place to go play soccer but nevertheless very interesting:

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The old plant power station. I don't think any of the old equipment is in there and in any event the building was closed.

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This I actually know what it is - an old "Torpedo" car. It is where they put pig iron as it comes out of the blast furnace and then transport it to the basic oxygen furnace to make the pig iron into steel. It has that shape so that it can be easily tipped over to pour out the pig iron.

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It always amazes me the amount of pipes running around steel mills.

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Normally you could go to the top of one of the blast furnaces where I assume you could probably get an extremely nice view. Unfortunately, that was closed for renovation.

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An interesting attempt at artwork.

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My German sucks but I am guessing this solid concrete bunker is where they stored things like coke.

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Interesting valves that must be used to drain where ever liquids remain in the pipes.

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This looks quite interesting but I have absolutely no idea what it is. Note the fold out metal items on the sides.

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Look carefully and note the very interesting smokestack. There is what appears to function as one smokestack but is broken up into sections. Yet you can see that they intend for the smoke to go from each lower section up to the higher sections as they have wider sections to capture the smoke. At least that is what it looks like. Very strange.

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This of course begs the question of why they simply didn't make it one continuous stack.

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A "low-riding" rail car.

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Notice the brick work made to ensure lots of ventilation.

The park was nice but it was lacking in English singe (it had none) and it didn't have many old photographs or explanatory signs period. They definitely could do more to make this an educational place. Nice to visit if you are in the neighborhood but I wouldn't go far out of your way for it.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 05:54 PM   #44
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Very interesting. It does make me wonder, how do they manage to maintain all these sites? There is so much exposed metal it must be a nightmare to prevent corrosion.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 06:35 PM   #45
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That's pretty difficult. The old industrial sites in my country are very much rusting anyway, even if they're open to the public.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 07:09 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piltup Man View Post
Very interesting. It does make me wonder, how do they manage to maintain all these sites? There is so much exposed metal it must be a nightmare to prevent corrosion.
Yes, I guess this could be a problem. I think these sites haven't been abandoned all that long. Most closed in the early 1990s I believe. The ones like Zollerverien which are big museums and charge admission will probably do fine. The ones like the Landshaftspark will probably decay over time but I think they do get some money from the government for repairs. After all, they were doing a lot of maintenance work while I was there.

Finally, remember that these things were designed to take a LOT of wear and tear. Remember they had all sorts of caustic materials and extreme temperatures that they were subject to. Just being exposed to wind and rain is probably childs play compared to what they used to face.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 07:27 PM   #47
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Love this thread! It's amazing how big these mills are.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #48
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Being done with the steel mill I headed back to the center of Duisberg where I hoped to take a tour of the harbor.

First, I had to take a long walk to get back to the tram station. There was actually a tram I could have taken there, rather than walked, but that is part of being a tourist - you simply don't know the places where you are and how to best get around.

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Mainly it was just passing more garden apartments but there was also this school.

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Don't ask me why this tram has Dusseldorf on the side - it was definitely Duisberg.

I made it back to the center and started walking through the downtown area towards the pier where I would find the tour boat.

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Some history of the city.

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Many of the places the cruise would visit.

Unfortunately I got there too late for the morning cruise but too early for the afternoon tour. I had some time to kill so I decided to wander around the center a bit.

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The Rathaus, or town hall.

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ok, if someone could tell me some of what this sign says I would really appreciate it. Did Immanuel Kant really live here or something???

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An old cathederal next to the Rathaus.

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This was a small but quite noisy demonstration in front of the Rathaus.

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I think it was mainly senior citizens protesting budget cuts. But the above sign seems to be against building demolition.

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I think they all arrived in this "Pirate" party bus. Very strange. It is still hard to believe this "Pirate" party is not all a big joke, but apparently it isn't.

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A nice old post office. I can only imagine how spectacular all these cities would be if not for all the destruction from the war.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 08:55 PM   #49
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Nice photos again!

The Pirate Party is real. Their topics focus on the internet, e.g. they want to revise the copyright so that you can legally share any media on the internet (like movies and music). They are called a protest party here because they appeal to voters that are unhappy with the bigger parties. They make a lot of promises but seem quite naive (the members are also quite young). For a short period they had some success but now they have lost a lot of voters.
The protest seems to be for more rights of older tenants and against a factory outlet.

As for the tram: it is part of the Düsseldorf tram network, which also reaches Duisburg and Krefeld.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 09:19 PM   #50
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Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr

Quote:
ok, if someone could tell me some of what this sign says I would really appreciate it. Did Immanuel Kant really live here or something???
It is a famous quote of him.
Translation:
"Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."
Kant stayed almost his complete life in Königsberg. I'am not sure if he ever left Ostpreußen (East Prussia). I do not think so.

Quote:
I think it was mainly senior citizens protesting budget cuts. But the above sign seems to be against building demolition.
They are demonstrating against a planned Factory-Outlet-Center which obviously requires to demolish some appartement buildings.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 09:19 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
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ok, if someone could tell me some of what this sign says I would really appreciate it. Did Immanuel Kant really live here or something???
I have never heard of Kant spending some time in Duisburg.
This is merely a quote from his "Critique of practical reason":

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and the more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within.

(Translation taken from English Wikipedia)
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Old October 13th, 2013, 09:56 PM   #52
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The plan for a Factory-Outlet Centre the demonstration was about (in German)
http://www.duisburg.de/micro2/pbv/pl...0000374722.php

Duisburg is a city which has stagnated for a long time and lost in population. That is why the city let developers demolish around 400 apartments in order to shrink the number of dwellings (as far as I understand it the city owns most apartments in Duisburg). To quote the website: "Der Aufgabe von Wohnungen steht allein im Bezirk Hamborn ein Leerstand von 2766 Wohnungen gegenüber. Stadtweit stehen 14 700 Wohnungen leer. " (The number of empty apartments in District Hamborn is 2766, for the whole city it's around 14700 empty apartments).

Am Zinkhüttenplatz on Google Streetview:
http://goo.gl/maps/4v2Vi
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Old October 13th, 2013, 10:04 PM   #53
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I'm also pretty sure that Kant never left Königsberg, which is today's Kaliningrad.

I'm looking forward to seeing the port of Duisburg. It's pretty famous for being the biggest (or one of the biggest) inland harbour in the world, but I have no idea how big it actually is. I'm not sure if I should be impressed, because I don't think it will come close to the size of a real sea port.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 10:29 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autostädter View Post
Nice photos again!

The Pirate Party is real. Their topics focus on the internet, e.g. they want to revise the copyright so that you can legally share any media on the internet (like movies and music). They are called a protest party here because they appeal to voters that are unhappy with the bigger parties. They make a lot of promises but seem quite naive (the members are also quite young). For a short period they had some success but now they have lost a lot of voters.
The protest seems to be for more rights of older tenants and against a factory outlet.

As for the tram: it is part of the Düsseldorf tram network, which also reaches Duisburg and Krefeld.
Thanks for the info.

It is amazing how close these cities are to each other. As it turned out it was probably a mistake to stay in Dortmund. I saw very little there and never made it to the Hansa Coking plant there (didn't need to really after I saw the Zollverrien). Staying in Dusseldorf or Essen or even Duisburg might have been better for purposes of getting around. As I'll mention later this choice made me miss at least one important sight that I wanted to see in the area.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 10:32 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grotlaufen View Post
The plan for a Factory-Outlet Centre the demonstration was about (in German)
http://www.duisburg.de/micro2/pbv/pl...0000374722.php

Duisburg is a city which has stagnated for a long time and lost in population. That is why the city let developers demolish around 400 apartments in order to shrink the number of dwellings (as far as I understand it the city owns most apartments in Duisburg). To quote the website: "Der Aufgabe von Wohnungen steht allein im Bezirk Hamborn ein Leerstand von 2766 Wohnungen gegenüber. Stadtweit stehen 14 700 Wohnungen leer. " (The number of empty apartments in District Hamborn is 2766, for the whole city it's around 14700 empty apartments).

Am Zinkhüttenplatz on Google Streetview:
http://goo.gl/maps/4v2Vi
Yes, I read about this stagnation of Duisberg. It is rather strange though. Because from what I understand Duisberg is about the only city in the Ruhr that has kept some of its heavy industry going. It has active steel mills and a big port. It really didn't look like a city down on its luck but maybe I didn't see the bad parts.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 10:33 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muc View Post
I have never heard of Kant spending some time in Duisburg.
This is merely a quote from his "Critique of practical reason":

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and the more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within.

(Translation taken from English Wikipedia)
Indeed Kant never did travel more than 10 miles from his home city in east Prussia. Interesting that they just put the quote here, though it is a very good one.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 10:56 PM   #57
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Next it was time to go back to the water and take the harbor cruise.

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This was a bridge right by where the cruise began.

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Here is a "de-industrialized" section of the harbor that is converted into a modern, and probably upscale, residential area. Note they keep the cranes to give it a certain ambiance. I saw places like this all over Germany - Dusseldorf, Duisberg, Bremen and Hamburg.

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Good thing they kept the crane in front of that building. The building itself looks sterile and boring. The only thing that makes it look interesting at all is the crane.

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After a few minutes we cut out this non-sense of looking at stupid apartment buildings and turned back to go down the other way along the canal towards the Rhine river.

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The port had a lot of bulk products such as coal and scrap metal.

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Or coils of sheet metal. In the U.S. that would definitely be transported by truck or rail - it was cool to see it moving by canal barge.

BTW, note the coverings for the barges hold stacked up. I actually saw them moving those things around to open and close a barge. It is done pretty much by one person using a hydraulic lift which you can actually see in this picture (the light blue part).

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This place is not a museum or abandoned area by any means. The entire port seemed to be in full operation. Both cranes in this photo were working as we passed, as were most other cranes we saw.

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A big wharehouse that has a covered dock area too. Note the "UK +" on the building. I saw that all over the port. I think it has something to do with water levels but I'm not sure. Does anyone know? And what does the "UK" stand for?

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After passing a whole bunch of industry and docks we made it out to the Rhine where we would travel to other sections of the harbor.

One sad thing was the entire tour was narrated by a guide, but only in German. I could understand enough to know basically what they were talking about, but not enough to actually understanding. So I knew that the guides information was highly interesting (he seemed to be detailing what the products where at each site and giving lots of statistics) but I couldn't follow it. Pure torture.

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From the Rhine there are two or three sets of canals that branch off, plus the Ruhr river. I can't actually remember which is which in these pictures.

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Lots and lots of these canal boats that I love here. It was very multinational with large numbers of ones from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. There were even some from the Chzek republic.

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As an American it is still hard to get used to seeing farm animals in the middle of urban areas.

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Note the broad flat area on the far side of the bridge. I assume that is a flood plain that is part of the river at times.

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Some sort of chemical plant along the Rhine.

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An interesting way to mount a crane. Note how massive the steel beams are.

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Signs in case you are lost.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 11:14 PM   #58
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Continueing on:

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Scrap metal being picked up by a electro-magnet.

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A big looking fire boat. I guess they are prepared for big industrial and chemical fires. And oops, looks like I've been spelling the place's name wrong :-(

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If you love canal barges, and I do, you are probably not going to find more of them in any other place than you find here.

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This sure looks like coal and this machine was definitely piling it up.

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Quite an interesting contraption for loading and unloading bulk products. I wonder what is in the blockhouse on top?

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Another big contraption but I'm not sure what it would be used for.

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A barge fully out of the water to be worked on.

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These were like guard houses to a bridge crossing the Rhine.

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I never did understand some of the naming conventions I saw in this part of Germany. For example, what is the Ruhrort?

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Yet another set of canals we are entering.

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Here we are getting to more of the container part of the port. Again, note the "UK" notation on the crane.

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Maybe this notation signifies the height of the crane over the water??

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A police boat that needs to be spruced up a bit.

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Old October 13th, 2013, 11:21 PM   #59
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Quote:
I never did understand some of the naming conventions I saw in this part of Germany. For example, what is the Ruhrort?
The name of this city district.
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruhrort
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Old October 13th, 2013, 11:35 PM   #60
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Now we were back out in the Rhine heading back towards are starting point:

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Note how low in the water it is. It looks like it could be swamped and sink easily. I wonder if that ever happens?

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A working river.

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This one almost ran us over :-)

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Heading back in to the first canal:

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I wonder what Siemens is shipping from here.

Once we docked I promptly headed through the center to the train station. I was hoping to get to a vantage point that was supposed to have some good views of Duisburg's operational industry.

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A very colorful statue in the center of the city. It actually seemed to be some sort of symbol for the city.

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The very dull, post-war train station.

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But at least they had a VERY nice police car parked in front of it. Awesome paint job.

I next took a (expensive) taxi ride up to where some hill will supposedly you had good views. Saw lots of smokestacks belching smoke and other signs of industry from the taxi but as we were moving fast on a highway I couldn't get good pictures.

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Well, this being northern Germany even calling this thing a "hill" was a bit generous. Your average highway overapass is higher.

But indeed you could see some active industry here.

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I wonder how tall that smokestack is? It almost looks like a SuperTall!

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No shortage of steel and pipes here.

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The same tower that looks like it is made out of wood that I saw at Zollverien. I still don't know what it is though.

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After getting back into the city center I wandered around the main shopping area again (and finally found the tourist info center but only when it was too late and already closed - arghhh).

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An interesting looking building though I'm not sure what it is. Something to do with industry it appears.

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What in the world is "Handelskammer"?!?!?! Well, I didn't have a chance to hang around and find out. I had to catch a train back to Dortmund. So maybe someone here can let me know what it is.
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