The home of the Ruhr Museum could hardly be more spectacular. The Zollverein coal mine, Shaft XII, is the unique architectural expression of 20th century industrial modernism. It was built by the architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer on behalf of the "Vereinigte Stahlwerke" (United Steelworks) in pure functionalism from 1928 to 1932. The coal mine's output was 12.000 tonnes of coal a day. For decades it was the world's most powerful underground mine.
Since its closure in 1986, the Zollverein coal mine is under monumental protection and in 2001 it was, including the Zollverein Coking Plant, added to the UNESCO World (Cultural) Heritage List as a "representative example of the development of heavy industry in Europe". For a museum that has the Ruhr area as its theme, there is no more attractive, meaningful location.
For several years now, the Zollverein site has been converted into a centre for art, design, culture and history with funding from the EU, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the city of Essen. The Zollverein Foundation operates the entire site, organises cultural events and, in addition to renting out event spaces, offers a wide range of tours, including above all technical and industrial history monument tours that explain the "path of coal" from extraction to removal.