The Ruhrgebiet is one of the most industrialized areas of Germany, mainly because of the natural resources available. Since the Middle Ages coal is mined in this region and the invention of the steam engine made comprehensive mining possible. Iron ore was also nearby and this combination made it the perfect region for steel industry. One of the main industrial giants that bloomed here are the factories of Alfred Krupp. They produced railway materials but also became specialized in the production of heavy artillery and armour.
In World War II the Ruhrgebiet became the center of war material production. The allied powers bombed it a lot, and in 1945 the area was in ruins. Rebuilding began shortly after the war and the industry bloomed once again, but the first coal crisis in 1957 made 35 mines shut down and 53.000 workers lose their job. It was followed by a steel crisis in 1974 and more factories closed their doors. Nowadays it’s still one of the biggest active industrial areas of Germany, but with a high unemployment rate and many derelict buildings.
The Sinteranlage is finished in 1957 after two years of building. In this factory a process called ‘sintering’ was used to make a very hard material. By heating material pallets to the point that they almost melt, the pallets are fused together into one solid piece. The product is used later on in blast furnaces. In 1995 the factory oficially closed its doors, and soon vandals and scrappers started to do their thing. It’s very trashed now and, in my opinion, not very photogenic. Still its size and a nice view over Duisburg makes it a cool place to explore!