“Etwas auf Halde legen” is a German saying for stockpiling something. The phrase originates from mining, where excavated earth was put in interim storage on slagheaps. The Ruhr area has about 250 of these. The former dumps have since been renaturalised, turned into public local recreational areas, and had gigantic arti installations installed on them. Each of them has its very own character and peculiarities, but they all share their all-round panoramic view of the entire Ruhr valley. It’s worth paying a visit to these slagheaps. Find the five most beautiful examples in urbanana below.
Part of the route of industrial culture, Halde Hoheward in Herten is one of the most important landmarks of the northern Ruhr area. A red dragon bridge leads up to its peak, with a plateau that holds a kind of modern-day Stonehenge made up of two gigantic steel arches forming a horizon observatory. An obelisk is casting its shadow onto an enormous sundial nearby while benches invite you to enjoy the view of the valley to your heart’s content.
150 m above sea level
51°34’07.05″N, 7°10’05.25″E Observatory
Halde Beckstraße in Bottrop houses what probably is one of the best-known landmarks: The tetrahedron on its peak can be reached either on a comfortable serpentine path or a stairwell with an impressive 400 steps. If you still don’t feel that you’re high enough up then, you can continue climbing up to the vantage platform mounted within the steel structure. Careful, though: make sure you’re not suffering from vertigo if you do. After sunset, the pyramid-shaped frame will morph into a 60-m-tall light installation that is visible across the entire area.
120 m above sea level
51°31’38.77″N, 6°57’34.34″E Tetrahedron
What probably is the most spectacular slagheap attraction is visible even from afar: the walk-on “Tiger&Turtle” rollercoaster on the Heinrich-Hildebrand-Höhe in Duisburg. The 20-m-tall sculpture even has a looping and is to symbolise the different impressions of speed. From afar, it looks fast as a tiger, while it’s actually rather turtle-like since it must be walked on foot. That’s where the name comes from.
90 m above sea level
51°22’32.04″N, 6°44’16.94″E – Tiger & Turtle sculpture
The Geleucht installation on the Halde Rheinpreußen is reminiscent of the most important mining utensil. The largest miner’s lamp far above the Zeche Moers is accessible during the day at certain times (depending on season). Illuminated at twilight, it shines long into the night, lighting the way for the nearby A42 motorway. With a bit of skill, you can take pictures that make it look as if you were holding the brightly red lamp in your hand in a Ruhr version of the Leaning Tower.
104 m above sea level
51°28’44.32″N, 6°39’02.32″E Geleucht
The highest slagheap in the Ruhr area that is currently accessible, and one of the most impressive ones as a result, is located at the border between Bottrop and Oberhausen. The climb to Halde Haniel is an exhausting one, but it pays off. The peak has an enormous crater edged by a colourful totem installation made up of painted former railway sleepers, with an amphitheatre recessed at the centre of the volcano-like crater. The wind is blowing quite strongly up there.
184.9 m above sea level
51°32’58.56″N, 6°52’34.78″E – Peak with totems