‘Holz’ was one of the ghost towns around the ‘Garzweiler am Rhein’ open cast brown coal mine. Already in 1950 they started to excavate the ground here for brown coal.

In 2000 they started ‘Garzweiler II‘. Until the year 2045 the mine will expand demolishing everything in its way. The towns of Garzweiler, Priesterath, Elfgen in Grevenbroich, Belmen and Königshoven are already gone.

In its three-shift operation system, the Garzweiler mine and its 1,400 employees extract around 35 million tonnes of lignite every year. It is transported by conveyor belt and industrial railway to the power stations at Neurath and Niederaussem, where it is used to generate electricity. 

12 ghost villages

On our exploration in 2007 we visited Otzenrath, Holtz and Spenrath. The village Otzenrath was already gone. Just one building, an old school was left, half demolished. The other towns were all abandoned. Doors and windows were shut with wooden boards. Signs warm looters for security and police. In total 12 villages will be demolished, almost 10 thousand people have to move for the quarry of 48 square kilometers. In the gallery you can find the last days of ghost town Holz in 2007, documented just before the monstrous machine excavated the ground of this village. Follow this link for more European ghost towns.

Built ?
Abandoned 2000
Demolished 2007
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