Reminders of Germany's earliest industrial heritage: documenting around 1,000 years of mining history, the Mines of Rammelsberg on the outskirts of the beautiful old town of Goslar were once the largest interconnected repositories of copper, lead and zinc ore in the world. Energy for the mine was supplied by the Upper Harz water management system, the world's foremost pre-industrial water management system for the mining industry.

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The Völklingen Ironworks are the world's only surviving smelting works from the Golden Age of the iron and steel industry in the 19th and 20th century. In 1994 these gigantic ironworks covering an area of 600,000m² became the first industrial monument to be inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Today, they are a cultural attraction, themed discovery park and science centre rolled into one.

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In its day, shaft XII at the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen was the world's largest and most modern coal-mining facility and a leading example of the development of heavy industry in Europe. Today, with its Bauhaus-influenced design, the mine is a triumph of modern industrial architecture and a centre for art and culture.

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