Gelsenkirchen Travel Guide

  • Veltins Arena
    Veltins Arena
    by vichatherly
  • Veltins Arena
    Veltins Arena
    by vichatherly
  • Veltins Arena
    Veltins Arena
    by vichatherly

Gelsenkirchen Things to Do

  • Consolidation Colliery Shaft 9

    This tower at the Consolidation mine above shaft number 9 was built in 1922 and is now listed as a protected historical monument, together with its two engine houses.The other mining buildings in the immediate vicinity have been demolished, and the area has been made into a park, but the city plans to develop it into an industrial park for...

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  • Werner Ruhnau exhibition

    In 2007 there was an exhibition in the Musiktheater im Revier about Werner Ruhnau (born 1922), who was the chief architect for this opera house when it was built from 1956 to 1959. He was influenced not only by the Bauhaus movement of the 1920s, but also by the medieval Bauhütte, which was a sort of clandestine builder's guild with its own laws,...

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  • The make-up department

    Our tour also included a look at the make-up department, which is a very busy place in any opera house before a performance, especially if the entire chorus has to be made up in addition to the main singers.Work in this department gets really challenging when it happens that, for instance, a 28-year-old mezzo soprano has to be made up to look like...

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  • The costume department

    One of the highlights of any opera house tour is a visit to the costume department.Hundreds of costumes are kept here, sometimes for decades (the oldest one I noticed was from the year 1968), and the people in charge can always find individual costumes when they are needed. Additional photos: In the costume department.

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  • Touring the opera house

    On my second visit to Gelsenkirchen I happened to be there on a day when they were offering a guided tour of the opera house, including the backstage areas that most of us don't get to see very often. Second photo: Here some people from our tour group are standing on the stage set for Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. It consisted of about two dozen...

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  • The workshops

    At the end of our opera house tour we were taken through the workshops where the stage sets are made.For more behind-the-scenes opera house tours, please have a look at my Paris, Karlsruhe, Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main pages.Additional photos: In the workshops.

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  • Musiktheater im Revier (MiR)

    Thus far I have seen two operas here at the MiR in Gelsenkirchen. The first was Puccini's Turandot in 2002, and the second was Verdi's Simon Boccanegra in 2007.Most opera houses, including Frankfurt am Main, play the second version of Simon Boccanegra, which Verdi completed in 1881 using a revised libretto by Arrigo Boito. But the General Music...

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  • Veltins Arena

    Plans to construct a new stadium emerged in the late 1990s, as fans and managers sought to move out of the outdated Parkstadion, and create a thoroughly modern multifunctional arena. Following Schalke 04's historic 1997 victory in the UEFA Cup, and the club's upcoming 100th anniversary in 2004, the contract to construct a €186 million stadium was...

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  • Route Industriekultur

    Nordstern park is one of the important points of the Industrial Culture Cultural Route that criss-crosses the Ruhr region connecting various places of interest connected with the industrial past of the Ruhr. There are more than twenty thematic routes that connect almost 50 sites of interest. Information is available in several large visitor...

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  • Nordsternpark - Kinderland

    In southern part of the Nordsternpark a huge area is transformed into a children park - Kinderland. Here kids will find huge playgrounds, climbing hills, indian villages and artificial lakes which should keep them occupied for several hours, maybe even longer. On the photo is an artificial lake with wooden barrels turned into floating platforms -...

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  • Nordsternpark - viewpoints

    Industrial waste in form of slag hills was so big in quantities that it was impossible to get rid of it. "When you can't get rid of it, then use it!" was the concept of park creators. In Nordstern park huge slag hills got green cover on top and are used as viewpoints. Once you climb these pyramids you can admire other similar pyramids in the region...

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  • Open amphitheatre

    One of the main attractions of the Nordsternpark is an open-air amphitheatre that is located at the banks of the canal, next to the red arch-bridge. This modern amphitheatre seats more than 6,000 people and it is here where numerous concerts and events are held during the summer.

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  • The Red Bridge

    An elegant double arch bridge is constructed at the place where the main pedestrian and bicycle track crosses the Rhein-Herne canal. It has a suspended deck but it is its red-colored arches that give the main identity to this structure. The bridge has become one of the symbols not only of Nordsternpark but also of the town of Gelsenkirchen. From...

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  • Nordsternpark (landscape park)

    Large areas of the former colliery were cleaned up to give place to a huge Nordstern landscape park. It was one of the largest projects of the IBA Emscher park, designed for the 1997 National Garden Show. Park is divided in two by the river Emscher and the Rhein-Herne canal. In the northern part there are contemporary formal gardens, graffitti...

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  • Nordsternpark - office complex

    Nordsternpark was created within the framework of the IBA Emscher park in the 1990s on the premises of the former Nordstern coal mine. Industrial architecture was preserved and re-used for offices and park attractions. The THS main administration building is now located in newly refurbished winding tower. In the northern part, close to the business...

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  • Hans Sachs House

    Hans Sachs house was built in late 1920s by Essen architect Alfred Fischer. It is a huge multipurpose complex that has offices, concert hall, shops and cafe and even a small 10-storey office tower that was considered a skyscraper at the times the building was built. In the concert hall there is a famous organ designed in 1927 by the instrument...

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  • Musiktheater im Revier

    Not everything in Gelsenkirchen was the 1950s standard architecture. The main shopping street, starting in front of the train station ends with the Musiktheater im Revier - one of the jewels of the 1950s architecture. At the outside it has huge, clean, window-glazed facades. On the inside the theatre displays the successful symbiosis of the pure...

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  • Somewhere in Germany

    Getting out of the train station in Gelsenkirchen, you find yourself at the beginning of the main pedestrian street. Same department stores, same 1950s architecture like in so many places in Germany. Yes, this was an important industrial town. Its steel industry gave it the name "Town of Thousand Fires". Its economic importance was so well known to...

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Gelsenkirchen Hotels

Gelsenkirchen Restaurants

  • krisl's Profile Photo

    by krisl Written Aug 26, 2002

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    The park offers you a lot of food and beverage possibilities, all of them are related to certain themes. Most food is fast food style and relatively expensive... (Picnic is allowed) Two facilities are worth mentioning : The 'Warner Brothers Studio cafeteria' and the 'Gotham City Snacks'...

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Gelsenkirchen Transportation

  • Cycling in Gelsenkirchen

    I cycled to Gelsenkirchen from the adjoining city of Essen, where I had rented my bike at the main railway station.Unlike most of the other cities in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Gelsenkirchen does not have a bicycle station at its main railway station, but I'm told that some of the bicycle shops in Gelsenkirchen do have bikes for rent, not only for...

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  • Trains to Gelsenkirchen

    Gelsenkirchen main station is served by numerous local, regional and InterCity trains, typically twenty or more trains per hour.There are no direct trains from Frankfurt am Main to Gelsenkirchen, but numerous connections involving only one or two changes of trains, for instance in Cologne (Köln) or Duisburg or Essen.Second photo: Pedestrian zone...

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  • Cheap flights to Cologne

    For our 5-days "Tour of the Ruhr" trip we used cheap Germanwings flights from Zagreb to Cologne. On borders of the Ruhr region there are three large international airports (Dusseldorf, Dortmund and Cologne) so reaching it isn't a problem. After landing at Cologne we rented a car from Sixt rent-a-car (you get a discount as Germanwings passenger -...

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Gelsenkirchen Local Customs

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Solar energy near the old Consolidation mine

    by Nemorino Updated Nov 5, 2007

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    After coal was discovered in 1840, Gelsenkirchen rapidly changed from a small farming town to a center of coal-mining, coke-production and assorted heavy industry. In the second half of the twentieth century the coal-based economy went into a slow decline as the world economy switched to oil.

    The last coke* factory in Gelsenkirchen closed in 1999 and the last coal mine in 2000. About the same time, new factories started producing solar energy panels and heat-exchange pumps for geothermal energy, and the city started pushing the use of renewable energy in public and private buildings of all sorts. Near the old Consolidation Mine there are new housing developments with solar panels on all the houses.

    Because of all its mines and heavy industry, Gelsenkirchen used to be called the "City of a Thousand Fires". Now that they can see the sun again, they have decided to become a "Sun City" -- sometimes also known as a "City of a Thousand Suns", which is not very logical but at least reminds people of the old slogan, to point out how much the city has changed in just the last few years.

    * For you young folks I should point out that the word coke, with a small c, does not mean the notorious sugary soft drink which is one of the causes of the worldwide obesity epidemic, but rather a sort of fuel made of coal which has been baked in an oven at high temperatures to drive off impurities so it can be used in blast furnaces for iron smelting.

    Thanks to VT member JLBG for pointing out that coke "has also a third meaning for youngsters!"

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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Gelsenkirchen Off The Beaten Path

  • Adult Education Center (VHS)

    This is my nomination for Germany's most conveniently located Adult Education Center. It's right on the same square as the opera house.In August 2007 the Adult Education Center celebrated the 35th anniversary of the opening of their building. Three of the singers from the opera house came to sing at the anniversary celebration, namely Jee-Hyun Kim,...

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  • Kueppersbuschgelaende

    IBA Emscher park dealt not only with the re-use of old industrial buildings but also with new construction, especially in the field of housing and office spaces. One of the best examples of new housing complexes was built in Gelsenkirchen in mid-1990s, at the site of the former factory. The complex was designed by Austrian (Graz) - based architects...

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  • Galerie Architektur und Arbeit GAAG

    The concrete - glass cubus of the Galerie Architektur und Arbeit in Gelsenkirchen was built in the courtyard next to one of the old winding towers that served extensive network of underground mine galleries. Close to the winding tower there is a beautiful art nouveau machinery building, that was built in 1908. Both the winding tower and the...

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Gelsenkirchen Sports & Outdoors

  • Veltins Arena - Schalke 04

    This magnificent stadium is home to German Bundesliga team Schalke 04.It opened in 2001 and it hosted the 2004 UEFA Champions League final and 5 matches in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, including a quarter-final. It has a league capacity of 61,482 (standing and seated) and an international capacity of 53,951 (seated only). The stadium is named after the...

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  • Arena Auf Schalke

    Arena Auf Schalke is the home of the FC Schalke 04, often called "The stadium for the new Millennium". Although Schalke is one of major German sports clubs and has numerous fans, Arena is more used as an event place (for concerts etc) than for football matches. So, what do you do with grass pitch during such events? No problem for those German...

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  • Schalke 04

    Koenigsblau and weiss is what the fans here bleed as they look forward to seeing their team strike down the opposition - especially Bayern Munchen or Borussia Dortmund. FC Schalke 04 has Germany's newest football stadium, the Arena auf Schalke - room for over 60,000, featuring a retractible roof. Learning from the problems of the stadium of Ajax of...

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Gelsenkirchen Favorites

  • Gelsenkirchen

    I spent only one evening here, so I do not know much about this place. What I do know that they have a new Stadium for football here, and if everything going as I plan, I will watch few of the 2006 World Cup games here.Check the city official site at:www. Gelsenkirchen.de

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  • You must attend a football...

    You must attend a football match at Auf Schalke Arena when Schalke plays - of course if could manage to find a ticket (60,000 of them are pre-sold before Bundesliga starts in August).You must not miss a Schalke-Borussia Dortmund or Bayern match or a Champions League match (if Schalke makes it to the CL next year)

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  • Admission fee : An adult...

    Admission fee : An adult ticket will cost you 42 DM, parking fee is 10 DM per car. Handicapped persons and 1 accompanying person have free entrance. Free entrance also on your Birthday.

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