The Völklingen Ironworks are the world’s only surviving smelting works from the Golden Age of the iron and steel industry.
In 1994, these gigantic ironworks – a legacy of the industrial age that covers an area of 60 hectares – became the first industrial monument tobe inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Closed in 1986 and placed under preservation order, the former pig iron production facility is now an exceptional monument and visitor attraction that hosts prestigious cultural exhibitions and other exciting projects. The colossal machines in the 6,000m2 blasting hall, the six blast furnaces and a remarkable sloping ore lift from the beginning of the 20th century are outstanding feats of engineering. The 240m long charging platform, just under 30 metres high, where the coke and ore were poured into the blast furnaces, is surpassed in height only by the viewing platform on the hot-blast stoves that towers to a staggering 45 metres. The tour of the site comprises over 6,000 metres of fascinating and well-signposted paths that also take visitors to ‘The Paradise’. Here, in the former coking plant, a unique dialogue between industrial culture and nature has been created – the first of its kind in the world.