A tourist guide to Essen
Essen is a beautiful city which lies on the River Ruhr, in the western part of Germany, more precisely in North Rhine-Westphalia. The city used to play an important role in Germany’s coal industry. Today, it is an important economical centre and also owns some magnificent tourist attractions, such as the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, Villa Hügel, Essen Cathedral, the Old Synagogue, the Grugapark Botanical Garden and so on. If you would like to visit the beautiful city of Essen, I suggest you to read this article first. It will serve as a great tourist guide to Essen. I am absolutely sure that you will find the attractions of the city spectacular.
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex
It is considered the best-known landmark of Essen. The coal mine used to be the largest of its kind in Europe for decades. It has become a landmark for the entire Ruhr area. Since 2001 it is also a World Heritage Site. The former industrial site was closed down in 1986. Today it is one of the most popular sites in Essen for tourists. There are great guided tours which present the visitors the major part of the complex, using video clips, authentic noises, models and interactive museum technology.
Built in the 19th century, the over 200-room Villa Hügel is an amazing mansion which used to be the Krupp family’s property. Today, the mansion includes the Krupp family’s historical archive and a fantastic art gallery. Situated on the grounds of a huge park, the mansion overlooks the Ruhr River. The beautiful Villa Hügel can be visited daily, except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00. (January 2013)
Also named Essen Minster, the cathedral can be found in the city centre, on the Burgplatz. It is a Gothic hall church of which actual form dates from its reconstruction after the World War II. The most beautiful highlight of the cathedral is the golden statue of Virgin Mary which is considered the oldest of its kind north of the Alps. During the weekdays the cathedral is open from 6:30 until 18:30, on weekends from 9:00 until 19:30. (January 2013)
The Grugapark Botanical Garden
Founded in 1927, the beautiful botanical garden of Essen is a major visitor attraction of the city. It includes numerous sections, such as the Asia section, the Conifers, the Alpinum, the Herb garden, the Rose garden, the Forest valley, the Rhododendron valley, the Climbing plants and others. The Grugapark Botanical Garden can be visited every day. (January 2013)