Essen sights are a similar experience to other cities in Germany, with one major exception…
You’ll see the usual large Cathedral, an old Synagogue and some other beautiful architecture. But Essen’s uniqueness comes from its UNESCO World Heritage Site and special attraction — the Zollverein coal mine.
It is unusual for the sightseeing highlight of a city to be an old coal mine, but Essen is a unique place. This Essen tourist attraction is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, partly because of its aesthetics. Built in 1932 in the Bauhaus architectural style and closed since 1986, visitors can now tour the grounds and interior. Learn all about the fascinating history of this famous site.
Essen Cathedral and Cathedral Treasury
Like other German cities, another of Essen’s top sites is, of course, its cathedral. It was damaged during WWII but restored to its former glory, in the same style as it was in the 1400s. This Essen sightseeing stop also boasts a wonderful treasury with works of art like the Golden Madonna, an important relic of ancient German history and the child crown of Emperor Otto III.
Once known as the New Synagogue, the now-Old Synagogue is an important center of Jewish culture. It was set on fire during the racial tensions of the Nazi regime, but managed to survive the destruction caused by the Second World War.
This Essen sight is one of the largest Jewish monuments in Germany and it is currently used as an exhibition house.
Basilica St. Ludgerus
The Basilica St. Ludgerus is another architectural highlight. The Basilica dates back to the 1200s, with its foundations built upon an even older abbey from the year 796. This Romanesque gem, the Basilica, is also the burial ground for Saint Liudger.
Kettwig Town Center
This outlying suburb of Essen is also one of its top attractions. This Essen sight has managed to retain much of its old world charm and historic architecture. In Kettwig, you will see old timber houses and rococo style doorways as you step back in time.