From the U-Tower near the main station I started cycling straight north and soon came to the Fredenbaumpark and the Natural History Museum.
Behind the Natural History Museum they have set up an old Mine Head Tower, moved from somewhere else entirely, as the beginning of an outdoor exhibit on the history of mining in this area.
This tower was served for at least 72 years at a lead and zinc mine which closed in 1979. The tower is 10.6 meters high. It served to lower the miners into the mine, down to a depth of 314 meters, and also bring the lead and zinc ore up to the surface.
Second photo: Sign on the tower explaining where it was used (near a town called Untereschbach im Bergischen Land) and how it functioned.
Third photo: Side view of the mine head tower.
Fourth photo: Wagons that were lowered into the mine, filled with lead and zinc ore and then brought up to the surface. Each wagon could hold two tons of ore.
Fifth photo: The mine head tower and the Natural History Museum.
Münsterstraße 271, 44145 Dortmund
GPS 51°32'9.52" North; 7°27'30.40" East
Next: Bicycle routes in Dortmund
For anyone staying more than a day or two in Dortmund, I think it would be very worthwhile to invest in a proper cycling map or at least buy or print out some of the tourist office publications showing bicycle routes to points of interest in various districts of Dortmund.
Since I had only one day I just rode around more or less at random through the northern sections of the city, through a number of fine parks and through places like Wambel and Scharnhorst, which are districts within the city limits of Dortmund.
Second photo: This is a sign on the bicycle route R33, which encircles the city center and goes through the districts called “Inner city north, east and west”. I followed this route for a while, then lost it and went off somewhere else entirely.
Third photo: From one of the bicycle routes I saw these shiny new tanks, but couldn’t get to them because they were behind a field, a fence, a river and a motorway. Perhaps some local person can tell me what these tanks are and what they are used for?
Next: Adult Education Center
Every German city or county (Landkreis) has an Adult Education Center. The one in Dortmund is very centrally located near the main railway station and the RWE Tower, but they also conduct courses at over 80 other locations throughout the city, including the outlying districts.
Recently I counted through and discovered that I have been to at least one hundred and fifty Adult Education Centers in Germany, either to run workshops or do presentations or to speak with their IT people and have a look at the database system they were using.
Second photo: Entrance to the Dortmund vhs.
GPS 51°31'1.25" North; 7°27'48.25" East
Metropolradruhr bicycle station 7307 (RWE Tower)
Next: Dortmund Main Station
This famous U-building is near the railway station. I have seen it often as an empty shell from the car. Also I have taken this picture from the car. In autum 2008 there was major reconstruction going on. I don't know what they will make of it. We shall see.
Visit the gorgeous anteaters and their kids in Dortmund's Zoo.
The zoo is nothing too special, just a normal zoo with some funny kangaroos and huge giraffes - what made it special for me was to see the first anteaters in my life. They are so cool!!!
Certainly off the beaten track this. Tucked away in the suburb of Wellinghofen is one of the oldest churches in the whole area. Built in place of a 9th century wooden structure, the present church dates back to the 12th century, with some extensions from the 15th. It's small, cosy, and the best thing is that during renovations the original 12th century wall decorations were discovered and the whole interior redone in the original style. It also boast one of the biggest baptismal fonts ever, you can almost bathe in it.
Ask for the key at the parish hall opposite the church.
Not far from town, a pleasant place away from the concrete and the busy streets, this dam creates a lake very attractive to water sports or just only a picnic.
Coming from the city, sort of behind the Florian tower there used to be an industrial area. A lot of it is ruins and it remains to be seen what will be done with them.