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Old October 23rd, 2008, 04:52 PM   #1
Grunnen
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Ruhrgebiet / Ruhr Area

The Ruhr Area... I lived there for about three years. I made quite some pictures there, and today I suddenly thought that I could make a nice showcase of them.

The Ruhr Area is a major industrial area in Germany, "famous" for its many coal mines and steel mills. When you say "Ruhrgebiet" to a Germans, they will immediately think of this:

[IMG]http://i38.************/2n0k1ow.jpg[/IMG]
(Not my picture - source)

But luckily, there is much more to it than only that.

Duisburg

I will start in Duisburg, the city where the above picture was taken. It is still quite an industrial city, with the Thyssen Krupp and the Mannesmann factories.

My first stop is the Landschaftspark, a park built around a now disfunctional steel mill.

[IMG]http://i35.************/j0jwpt.jpg[/IMG]
You can climb the stairs of one of the five steel ovens.

[IMG]http://i36.************/3143qcn.jpg[/IMG]
On friday, saturday and sunday nights the entire complex is colourfully illuminated.

[IMG]http://i35.************/30wp1fr.jpg[/IMG]
And when you have climbed all the stairs, you reach the outlook platform at about 60 meters height. From here you have a view over the entire region.

I think it is quite funny. Normally, abandoned industrial complexes feel unsafe. But not this one. It is, after the Cologne Dom (Cathedral), the most visited tourist attraction of NRW, and even after midnight plenty photographers with expensive cameras walk around there.

[IMG]http://i36.************/2m6sk1h.jpg[/IMG]
This is the theater in the city centre. The grass in the foreground is raised, with the sides illuminated with blue light when it is dark. It is called the floating grass.

[IMG]http://i34.************/13yf2bs.jpg[/IMG]
The Kaiserbrunnen stands at the crossing of the two main shopping streets.

[IMG]http://i36.************/10xy5tt.jpg[/IMG]
Duisburg is located on the river Rhine. Even with nice summer weather, the floodplains were completely quiet. Nice ...

[IMG]http://i35.************/fbe4bt.jpg[/IMG]
... laying in the grass, looking at the blue sky ...

[IMG]http://i35.************/119m5g9.jpg[/IMG]
... watching the ships and trains pass by...

But enough of Duisburg.

Essen

Next is Essen. Unfortunately, I do not have too many pictures from Essen...

[IMG]http://i33.************/a2fz4p.jpg[/IMG]
Essen Central Station, the underground part of it. The trams/streetcars and subway trains depart here.

[IMG]http://i34.************/2nv76a9.jpg[/IMG]
Zeche Zollverein. This disfunctional coal mine has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Small creative companies now use the buildings. This is one of the main reasons why Essen will be the European Capital of Culture in 2010.

[IMG]http://i37.************/f4pxrt.jpg[/IMG]
Another famous sight at Zollverein.

Wanne-Eickel

The last one and a half year that I lived in the Ruhr Area, Wanne-Eickel was my home. A nice town with about 80.000 inhabitants.

[IMG]http://i37.************/2uym0hs.jpg[/IMG]
"Nichts ist so schön, wie der Mond von Wanne-Eickel
Es ist so fein, ein Wanne-Eickeler zu sein!"

This song caused the moon to be something special in this town. The theater is now called the Moon Palace, and every year there are festivities called the Moon Nights.

[IMG]http://i37.************/2vd1bgw.jpg[/IMG]
Nightly street scene close to where I lived.

[IMG]http://i35.************/4v1ffd.jpg[/IMG]
The STEAG power station is located near the Rhein-Herne-Kanal.

[IMG]http://i35.************/6ql9bm.jpg[/IMG]
The Rhein-Herne-Kanal is one of the nicest parts of the town.

[IMG]http://i38.************/o8grww.jpg[/IMG]
Even though the canal is intensively used by ships, the water is crystal clear during the summer. Therefore, with sunny weather many people come here for sunbathing, swimming, and diving from the bridges. Although that last thing is in fact prohibited...

[IMG]http://i34.************/28sadtz.jpg[/IMG]
Halde Hoppenbruch is an old slag heap. Now that it isn't used anymore, many beautiful plants grow here. And they made nice mountain biking paths.

[IMG]http://i37.************/29kqh48.jpg[/IMG]
And finally the main street. Many people did not like it, because the large warehouses like Karstadt and Hertie closed down some 20 years ago. But I still like this street.

Bochum

Bochum is sometimes called the Grey Mouse between Essen and Dortmund. That is partly true. With 380.000 inhabitants, it does not even have one warehouse in the city centre. But on the other hand, it is praised for its night life in the so-called 'Bermuda Triangle'.

[IMG]http://i38.************/2ijpukz.jpg[/IMG]
Arriving by train...

[IMG]http://i35.************/bg6z5u.jpg[/IMG]
Street with houses near the city centre.

[IMG]http://i34.************/8xigbs.jpg[/IMG]
Kemnader Straße, leading south.

[IMG]http://i34.************/33z7e6d.jpg[/IMG]
The Ruhr-University was the first university in the region. It is famous for its ugliness and people call it a "concrete desert".

[IMG]http://i36.************/9iv9rq.jpg[/IMG]
Im Lottetal, an small road near the university.

[IMG]http://i36.************/6pylvq.jpg[/IMG]
A sluice in the river Ruhr, from which the region got its name.

[IMG]http://i34.************/fw55z4.jpg[/IMG]
The river itself. Remember, this is still the city of Bochum!

[IMG]http://i37.************/2vj8nl2.jpg[/IMG]
When you follow the river, you arrive at the suburb of Bochum-Dahlhausen. From there, you can climb the Eiberger Berg.

[IMG]http://i36.************/2uztm3q.jpg[/IMG]
A view over Bochum from the Tippelsberg hill, located almost at the other end of the city.

Dortmund-Nordstadt

I have not visited much of Dortmund, mostly the Nordstadt because I knew a nice pizza restaurant there. The Nordstadt is not the best neightborhood however. In fact, it is about the closest to a ghetto you can get in Germany...

[IMG]http://i37.************/zwdo9i.jpg[/IMG]
... and that is immediately apparent when you leave the train station and you see this huge, empty, vandalised building ...

[IMG]http://i37.************/a9tudj.jpg[/IMG]
This is not the pizzeria I was talking about. I just found the name so funny. Translated it reads: "Pizzeria under the Rain Gutter".

[IMG]http://i36.************/2lj6goy.jpg[/IMG]
Germans really like Italian ice. Me too.

[IMG]http://i33.************/1zqslma.jpg[/IMG]
Even though it is not a good neightbourhood, you can find very beautiful houses ...

[IMG]http://i38.************/2hz6b7c.jpg[/IMG]
... and nice parks ...

[IMG]http://i37.************/kcmezk.jpg[/IMG]
... and more beautiful houses ...

[IMG]http://i37.************/2w1w1w8.jpg[/IMG]
Now I'm afraid I cannot continue the story. My bank never gave me a Geldkarte, you see, and it appears I cannot buy another ticket without one.

The End
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 05:01 PM   #2
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I quite like the Ruhr area. The towns and cities around there have done a lot in recent times to smarten up and move away from their industrial roots - much the same as the north of England (Manchester in particular). When I consider that Essen is destined to be the next culture capital of Europe following Liverpool, I can't help but be amazed at the changes wrought.

Looking forward to more pictures.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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Nice reportage! I've been to most of these cities and I must say Ruhrgebiet is certainly not what it used to be 50 years ago. Most of the dirty industry is gone and the region has been revitalized to a large scale.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 07:26 PM   #4
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Nice phototour
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
I quite like the Ruhr area. The towns and cities around there have done a lot in recent times to smarten up and move away from their industrial roots - much the same as the north of England (Manchester in particular). When I consider that Essen is destined to be the next culture capital of Europe following Liverpool, I can't help but be amazed at the changes wrought.

Looking forward to more pictures.
That's interesting. The university course I am now enrolled in (in Amsterdam) offers an Erasmus exchange programme with Manchester, and I am seriously thinking about taking that opportunity.

Anyways, it seems that I have less photos than I thought, so I can not post many more really new things. But I have done my best.

Zugabe

[IMG]http://i33.************/9lbexc.jpg[/IMG]
The Deutsches Bergbaumuseum in Bochum. It is a museum about coal mining, opened in 1930. Although it has never been a working mine, they did dig mine shafts so that the machines are displayed in their 'natural' environment. The explanations are in German and in English.

[IMG]http://i36.************/30277o7.jpg[/IMG]
Summer at the "concrete desert" university.

[IMG]http://i33.************/ws4w7p.jpg[/IMG]
This is during the Sommerfest. Especially the big fireworks are a good reason for coming.

[IMG]http://i35.************/2iasdup.jpg[/IMG]
This is actually not far away from the university. I think it is just hidden behind the hill on the left.

[IMG]http://i33.************/23vm9u8.jpg[/IMG]
Many of the empty spaces in Bochum have been designated to be protected landscape area's. Everywhere you find these green signs indicating this.

[IMG]http://i34.************/153tr49.jpg[/IMG]
Some nice old, rural houses.

[IMG]http://i34.************/fng607.jpg[/IMG]
A look at the Ruhr valley.

[IMG]http://i34.************/2n7ngo.jpg[/IMG]
On our way back to the city centre, we pass through Brenschede. Once it probably was an independent village, but now it is part of Bochum.

[IMG]http://i35.************/29dzoet.jpg[/IMG]
Another street in Brenschede.

[IMG]http://i35.************/jqrg47.jpg[/IMG]
Brenschede has its own station on the Stadtbahn. Whether it should be counted as a tramway or as a metro remains controversial, and I do not think this is the right place to argue about that.

[IMG]http://i36.************/2iiwj2p.jpg[/IMG]
The refurbished main station in Bochum.

For the rest, I think I made almost too many photo's in the Dortmund Nordstad. Oh well, maybe I post some more of them...

[IMG]http://i37.************/5pmoed.jpg[/IMG]
This is a station on the S-Bahn, between Bochum and Dortmund. Unfortunately, the S-Bahn in the Ruhr district is quite unreliable and unsafe. Trains are often delayed and cancelled, and many train sets have been vandalized with graffiti on the inside!

[IMG]http://i36.************/2e4g4ky.jpg[/IMG]
Hellweg, or better, Ostenhellweg and Westenhellweg, is the main shopping street in Dortmund. It is the second most visited shopping street in Germany!

[IMG]http://i37.************/35k3hjd.jpg[/IMG]
Nordstadt begins here. To revitalise the district, this modern cinema complex was built. It is located directly at the northern entrance of Dortmund main station.

[IMG]http://i35.************/2dt6l4h.jpg[/IMG]
A bit further you find the Linienstraße, the red light "district" of Dortmund. A steel wall has been placed at the entrance so that you can not look into the street without actually entering it, which is then prohibited for persons below the age of 18.

[IMG]http://i34.************/2h2qcgp.jpg[/IMG]
A nice façade in the Münsterstraße, which is the main shopping street of this district.

[IMG]http://i35.************/11c8w0g.jpg[/IMG]
Most people living in this district are foreigners, so it should not surprise anyone to find ethnic shops here.

[IMG]http://i34.************/2u7lpfn.jpg[/IMG]
The Mallinckrodtstraße. Looks can be deceiving, this road is a major throughfare. There has even been a deadly incident when a truck in the stop-and-go traffic did not see a child.
The little child will go to school for her first time, today. You can see that from the Schultüte, filled with candy.

[IMG]http://i34.************/71gz8o.jpg[/IMG]
Two more children on their way to school for the first time, also with their parents carrying a Schultüte.

[IMG]http://i37.************/30cb1af.jpg[/IMG]
A funny neighbourhood, I think. There are lots of beautiful old houses, but this one is not in a very good shape, unfortunately...

[IMG]http://i33.************/2lo69nt.jpg[/IMG]
But there is new development going on. New appartments have been built...

[IMG]http://i34.************/143okm1.jpg[/IMG]
... and a new shopping centre as well.

[IMG]http://i34.************/kn6g8.jpg[/IMG]
This is not a church, but the Hafenamt or harbour agency.

[IMG]http://i35.************/ekf2vn.jpg[/IMG]
To go back to the city centre, you can take the Stadtbahn. Dortmund has the most extensive system of all Ruhr Area cities, and it works really well.

Now I realise that these Nordstadt pictures are a bit depressing, so I'll finish with some more photos of my former home town Wanne-Eickel.

[IMG]http://i35.************/2dgp0f5.jpg[/IMG]
Zeche Unser-Fritz clearly copied their design from the famous Zeche Zollverein in Essen, which I have already shown in the first series.

[IMG]http://i35.************/15hmmuu.jpg[/IMG]
Mineworkers houses.

[IMG]http://i37.************/33kw08n.jpg[/IMG]
The road to Herten. Traffic jams are very unlikely here.

[IMG]http://i36.************/so0mfr.jpg[/IMG]
Sunset in Herten.

The End.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:35 PM   #6
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Just a further comment regarding the S-bahn, I always got the impression that it wasn't that unreliable compared to most international train systems! Auckland's urban rail system (with only 2.5 lines) is only on-time 82% of the time (on time is defined as within 6 minutes of expected time). Considering these lines run at 30 minute frequencies it surprises me that this is the case! As for graffiti, that's a problem with most urban rail systems the world over it seems - highly unfortunate. Scratched and tagged trains are common everywhere I've travelled (except Singapore )!

Looking forward to more pics!
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:59 PM   #7
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Try and get some more pics of Essen.I love that city.
Great pictures
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Old October 24th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #8
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I realize I might be one of only very few people to think so, but somehow the Pott has attracted me for quite a while. Nice pics!
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Old October 24th, 2008, 12:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Just a further comment regarding the S-bahn, I always got the impression that it wasn't that unreliable compared to most international train systems! Auckland's urban rail system (with only 2.5 lines) is only on-time 82% of the time (on time is defined as within 6 minutes of expected time).
Well, I've looked it up, and you are completely right. Sorry.

(85% of all S1 trains run on time, defined as within 3 minutes of expected time)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayo View Post
Try and get some more pics of Essen.I love that city.
Great pictures
Unfortunately, I have almost no pictures of Essen.

[IMG]http://i36.************/syqxz6.jpg[/IMG]
Ice skating on the Kennedyplatz. The high rise in the background is the town hall.

[IMG]http://i33.************/i22fit.jpg[/IMG]
This is the "before" picture. Taking an "after" picture will be difficult as there have been some little changes in this area...

But the next time I visit Essen, I'll do my very best.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #10
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Nice photos! If you have more, please post soon!
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Old October 24th, 2008, 11:00 PM   #11
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Thanks!

But still more pictures? Let's see...

Beautiful Ruhrgebiet

The Ruhr Area has an extensive, well-developed railway system.

[IMG]http://i34.************/14dhmj9.jpg[/IMG]
It has nice stations. This, for example, is at Hagen Main Station. Do you see the useful customer informations?

[IMG]http://i37.************/29z7vuu.jpg[/IMG]
The recently renovated Gelsenkirchen Main Station has even more exhaustive information panels.

[IMG]http://i36.************/20jsmit.jpg[/IMG]
There are many small branch railways. This is a train stop on the line Bottrop - Dorsten.

[IMG]http://i35.************/29o3o5t.jpg[/IMG]
This is a station on the extensive S-Bahn network of Essen.

[IMG]http://i38.************/amyslc.jpg[/IMG]
When big industries closed down, so did the industrial railway branches like this one.

One of the advantages of the Ruhr Area is how easy you can find cheap housing.

[IMG]http://i38.************/oauijn.jpg[/IMG]
This single room appartment would only costs about € 200,- per month, plus gas and electricity.

[IMG]http://i33.************/5zff40.jpg[/IMG]
The house on the right was built during the "Gründerzeit" (1871 - 1914). During this period, most houses were beautifully decorated with Jugendstil ornaments.

[IMG]http://i34.************/2qdppc6.jpg[/IMG]
Another "Gründerzeit" house.

[IMG]http://i35.************/2vl4ei8.jpg[/IMG]
And yet another one.

[IMG]http://i38.************/25z3qtz.jpg[/IMG]
After the first World War, a new architectural style was coming up: "Neue Sachlichkeit". It focussed on straight lines and did away with the elaborate Jugendstil decorations.

[IMG]http://i38.************/efgn5x.jpg[/IMG]
Architecture was simplified even more after the second World War.

You wonder whether these photos are really supposed to be beautiful?

Well, then you are rightly doing so. These are actually the ugliest pictures I could find in my archive.

The little course in architectural history is completely true, though.

More city centres

[IMG]http://i36.************/j7cape.jpg[/IMG]
City centre of Witten, a town located between Bochum and Hagen.

[IMG]http://i35.************/2yklz7r.jpg[/IMG]
Downtown Duisburg street scene.

[IMG]http://i37.************/20jlpmw.jpg[/IMG]
Herne has invested quite some money in nice coloured street lights and other decorations. It was one of the few cities which was not badly damaged during WWII, so its city centre is full of beautiful Gründerzeit façades.

[IMG]http://i33.************/sxekua.jpg[/IMG]
This is the city centre in Essen-Steele. Although technically only a suburb, it has quite a nice city centre. There is even a Hertie warehouse! And it has a nice promenade along the Ruhr.

[IMG]http://i35.************/qzkkz5.jpg[/IMG]
Buer suburb in Gelsenkirchen also has a nice city centre. You can see part of the Karstadt warehouse, which was probably renamed to Hertie as well.

More of Bochum

[IMG]http://i37.************/2e38wna.jpg[/IMG]
The Jahrhunderthalle. A machine hall which was built for the World Exhibition in Paris, and used by a steel mill afterwards. Today it is used for special events.

[IMG]http://i37.************/becymd.jpg[/IMG]
The Planetarium.

[IMG]http://i36.************/2ev556h.jpg[/IMG]
After the Zeche Constantin exploded and burnt down in 1936, a large park was built at its place.

Moving on to Hattingen and Sprockhövel

[IMG]http://i33.************/16716gy.jpg[/IMG]
Bridge over the Ruhr near Hattingen.

Hattingen is a nice town, but I don't have any pictures of it. Sorry.

[IMG]http://i33.************/27ywuv7.jpg[/IMG]
From Hattingen you can bicycle to Wuppertal along an old dismantled railway line.

[IMG]http://i34.************/24xhnvm.jpg[/IMG]
You go through the Bergisches Land, a very scenic area with hills and forests.

[IMG]http://i34.************/302rouq.jpg[/IMG]
Shouldn't these cows be in the Netherlands?

This is still Ruhrgebiet, by the way. In fact, these photos were taken near Sprockhövel, where the coal mining originated. Today, Sprockhövel is an idyllic village in the hills. It has a nice open air bath, a church and an surprisingly many restaurants for such a small village.

Berliner Platz, part II

[IMG]http://i37.************/2wnsghf.jpg[/IMG]
I did already show the "before". This is the "during".

Ende

Last edited by Grunnen; October 24th, 2008 at 11:18 PM.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 11:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
The last one and a half year that I lived in the Ruhr Area, Wanne-Eickel was my home. A nice town with about 80.000 inhabitants.
Isn't Wanne-Eickel a part of Herne?
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Old October 25th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #13
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Theoretically, yes.

But in practice, after 33 years the answer is still NO!

The city council tries very hard to make Wanne-Eickel part of Herne. They even make posters with "Cranger Kirmes in Herne", but there are enthousiastic people who "correct" every poster with graffiti.

[IMG]http://i38.************/2ymc32b.jpg[/IMG]
Also, recent attempts to rename the Hauptbahnhof to something like Herne-Wanne or Herne Hbf have succesfully been sabotaged.

[IMG]http://i38.************/35a6k44.jpg[/IMG]
Passing by on a ship? Then you see this beautiful sign.

And Wanne-Eickel also still has its own dial code prefix, its own phone book, its own social housing cooperative, ...
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Old October 25th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #14
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Thanks for the interesting photos. I have to say though, that despite all the hyped "renovation" of the Ruhr cities, they still come across in these photos as extremely depressing. Such a large population as well, but due to almost neurotic localism there is no true large center of dominance and therefore the region lacks an impressive focal point (the Wanne-Eickel story is a classic example of this). None of the cities look particularly interesting and the area surrounding them looks rough and unkept, examples shown here of the canals look like something every city around the world has in their industrial hinterland but nothing they would show the world. Here it seems to be their highlights.

It's a pity as I would really like to have more positive thoughts of this region. I have been to parts of the surrounding area like Hagen and Dusseldorf which are more pleasant and would like to explore more. But when it comes to making decisions of where to spend my free time and money, I just find so many other more attractive destinations that compel me.

I'll keep this thread subscribed to keep watching the photos and hopefully things will look a bit brighter. But thanks again for starting the thread. It may look depressing to me, but I am very interested still in this region.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 12:01 PM   #15
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We don't see this region here often. It's one of the most populated and industralised regions in Europe, but I never visited it.
So thanks for sharing those great pictures. Keep them coming!
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Old October 25th, 2008, 09:04 PM   #16
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Very ieresting pictures, keep on the good work!
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Old October 26th, 2008, 12:47 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Justme View Post
Thanks for the interesting photos. I have to say though, that despite all the hyped "renovation" of the Ruhr cities, they still come across in these photos as extremely depressing.
Well, what did you expect? That every house in the region has been rebuilt during the last decades?

Actually, the most popular tourist attraction in the Ruhr region is the Landschaftspark. Its main theme is nature claiming back the decaying industrial installations. That says enough, I think.

Quote:
None of the cities look particularly interesting and the area surrounding them looks rough and unkept, examples shown here of the canals look like something every city around the world has in their industrial hinterland but nothing they would show the world. Here it seems to be their highlights.
I liked to photograph everyday scenes. Therefore, I have almost no pictures of the popular tourist highlights. These are for example:

- The Love Parade
- Countless night clubs everywhere, like Delta (Duisburg) and Prater (Bochum)
- Cinemaxx (Essen), the largest multiplex cinema in Germany
- Lichtburg (Essen), the largest and most beautiful classical movie theatre in Germany
- Cranger Kirmes (Wanne-Eickel), the second largest (after the Oktoberfest) funfair of Germany
- Wananas (Wanne-Eickel), LAGO (Herne) and Heveney (Witten) subtropical swimming pools
- RuhrPark (Bochum) and CentrO (Oberhausen) American-style shopping malls
- Hohensyburg (Dortmund) casino
- Profi-Grill (Wattenscheid), a small snack bar where a former 3 Michelin star chief cook makes the best Currywurst of Germany
- Football clubs Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen, Borussia Dortmund and VfL Bochum are all in the 1. Bundesliga.
- ...

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Such a large population as well, but due to almost neurotic localism there is no true large center of dominance and therefore the region lacks an impressive focal point (the Wanne-Eickel story is a classic example of this).
That is entirely true. Everyone agrees that this is a big problem, but no one knows how to change something.

Last edited by Grunnen; October 26th, 2008 at 12:55 AM.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 05:17 AM   #18
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For interests sake, when did you live in this area and how old are these photos?
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Old October 26th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grunnen View Post
Well, what did you expect? That every house in the region has been rebuilt during the last decades?

Actually, the most popular tourist attraction in the Ruhr region is the Landschaftspark. Its main theme is nature claiming back the decaying industrial installations. That says enough, I think.
Hey, no need to get too defencive here. My post was an honest opinion regarding this area. I don't expect every house in the region to be rebuilt. In fact, I find the residential area's in the Ruhr area to be quite fine and typical of anywhere in western Germany within the same class boundary's. My point is about the region as a whole and the city centers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grunnen View Post
I liked to photograph everyday scenes. Therefore, I have almost no pictures of the popular tourist highlights. These are for example:

- The Love Parade
- Countless night clubs everywhere, like Delta (Duisburg) and Prater (Bochum)
- Cinemaxx (Essen), the largest multiplex cinema in Germany
- Lichtburg (Essen), the largest and most beautiful classical movie theatre in Germany
- Cranger Kirmes (Wanne-Eickel), the second largest (after the Oktoberfest) funfair of Germany
- Wananas (Wanne-Eickel), LAGO (Herne) and Heveney (Witten) subtropical swimming pools
- RuhrPark (Bochum) and CentrO (Oberhausen) American-style shopping malls
- Hohensyburg (Dortmund) casino
- Profi-Grill (Wattenscheid), a small snack bar where a former 3 Michelin star chief cook makes the best Currywurst of Germany
- Football clubs Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen, Borussia Dortmund and VfL Bochum are all in the 1. Bundesliga.
- ...
All do respect, the Ruhr area (excluding the whole, larger Rhein-Ruhr) has something like 5.3million people. This makes it an urban area larger than Sydney, Melbourne, Barcelona, Madrid, Vienna etc. In fact, it puts it in the same category as most of the major cities around the world except the extremely large ones like Paris, London, NY, Tokyo etc.

What above is anything special for an urban area of this size?

Nightclubs: Every city has these and the Ruhr does not stand out nationally or globally.
A cinema complex? Where in the world is a cinema multiplex amongst the tourist attractions?
The Lichtburg: This is a nice cinema, but it is very average on a global scale. Even new world cities like Sydney, Auckland or believe it or not, Los Angeles have more elaborate and larger historical film palaces than this.

etc...

I'll be frank with you here. The rest of the tourist attractions listed wouldn't attract that many people at all. I don't travel half way around the world to see a multiplex cinema or visit a bland shopping mall (Ruhrpark) I mean, is this what you meant by the Ruhrpark? (photo from wikipedia)


Now, I don't want to be too critical of the Ruhr area. I have heard that it has improved dramatically over the years and is now a very pleasant place to live. I am also sure that some of the industrial sites would be worth a visit or two if there. But that said, I do feel that for an urban area this size, it really lacks real solid focal points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grunnen View Post
That is entirely true. Everyone agrees that this is a big problem, but no one knows how to change something.
I personally believe that this is the main problem and reason the area lacks a focal point. Every neighbourhood wants to be equally represented almost in a geographical form of communism. I don't think this will ever change. Germans in general are very provincial people and the Ruhr area seems to be the strongest example of this.

I do expect though that the Ruhr area will improve more over the years. It will become a pleasant place to live, I have no doubt about that. It's economy will improve as will it's appearance. But I don't think there will ever be any strong focal point. This urban area of 5.3million people will never have to offer the wonders and sights of any other equivalent sized urban area in the developed world, i.e. it will never be a Madrid, Barcelona, Sydney, Melbourne, Boston, Rome, Berlin, San Francisco or Toronto. I don't think even it will ever be a Vancouver, Auckland, Perth, Lyon, Birmingham, Valencia or San Antonio despite being much larger.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #20
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The reportage pretty much confirmed what I expected. A run down and depressed area. Probably the worst Germany has to offer.

I really couldn't live there. Would get depressions everyday.
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