Rheinische Stahlwerke

Built: 1901

Abandoned: 1985

Reconverted: 1999

Visited: 2007

Meiderich, Germany

The ‘Rheinische Stahlwerke zu Meiderich bei Ruhrort’ started in 1901 and became a daughter company of the Thyssen Group. Iron and coal came together, as symbolized by the pipeway which moved coke from neighbouring Friedrich Thyssen coking plant to the five blast furnaces in Meiderich. The mill produced pig iron mainly for processing in the Thyssen steel mills. As a result of overcapacities in the European steel market on 4 April 1985 the Meiderich mill was closed. Blast furnace No. 5 remained ready for a new blow-in. Following massive protests the plant was not demolished, but protected as an industrial monument. 5 acres of industrial wasteland with huge steel structures remained.

1990

Between 1990 and 1999, finally, Emscher-Park created a new type of park which achieves a symbiosis between man-made structures and natural flora. After a history of 82 years full of hopes and disappointments, the ‘Landschaftspark Duisburg’ was born. Divers filled the gasholder with 20,000 cubic meters of water and developed a fascinating underwater world and the former ore bunkers became a climbing garden. A visitor who climbs blast furnace No. 5 today can hardly imagine that the gigantic plant was still in operation until 1985. It had only been started up in 1973 and its modern cooling system and stoves satisfied high environmental standards.

The photos are taken during the Urbexation 2007 weekend what was held in the park. During the night several explorers from around the world climbed the blast furnace and had a meeting on top.

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