Essen Museums — Former Coal Mines, Massive Art Collections

The Essen museums and galleries scene has a wonderful variety of collections for visitors to see. From the UNESCO-certified coal mine of Zeche Zollverein to the massive art gallery of Folkwang to a unique collection of poster art, Essen museums are an unforgettable experience.

Zeche Zollverein

The Zeche Zollverein (Gelsenkirchener Straße 181) is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a former coal mine, it was known as the most beautiful colliery in the world and also as an efficient coal-producing machine. (At one time, it was the biggest producer of this resource in all of Europe!) After being shut down in 1986, this building has since been transformed into a center for the arts.

Tours are available with guides only, allowing you to walk through dance studios, artists’ exhibits and stages.

Folkwang Museum

This Essen museum (Goethestraße 41) is a behemoth of 19th and 20th century art. This world-famous gallery features some of the best-known artists of the day. You’ll find the Impressionists well-represented with Cézanne, Monet, Manet and Gaugin.

20th century innovators Salvadore Dali and Andy Warhol are here as well. And the German Expressionist Max Beckmann and ever-popular Vincent Van Gogh are also on display.

Ruhrlandmuseum Essen

Found a stone’s throw away from the Folkwang, the Ruhrlandmuseum (Gelsenkirchener Straße 181) is an important center for archaeology, geology and history. This museum offers a survey of the natural history of the Ruhr region.

Some highlights include artifacts from 600,000 B.C. and an exhibit of the everyday life of early 20th century families.

German Poster Museum

Also located within the immediate area of the Folkwang Museum, the German Poster Museum (Rathenaustraße 2) is a unique collection. There are over 120,000 graphic posters archived in this museum. You’ll see such classic designs from the likes of Toulouse-Lautrec.

There are no permanent exhibits here so this Essen museum is always worth a second — or third — visit!

 

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