So finally I managed to organise a small explore in Germany with some fellow Germans, namely Paddy and Rubidium. I met Paddy at the Landschaftspark Duisburg, a huge area of abandoned factories which are actually open to the public. Photos of this might follow in the future, but the number of people walking around it made the place less exciting, particularly compared to what was to follow.
By now Rubidium had joined our small group and off we went to the site of the Sinteranlage.
I had heard and seen pictures of German abandoned factories before. So naturally I was expecting big rusty pipes, connecting even bigger buildings which once were used when heavy industry was still viable in Europe. However, all this had not prepared me for the sheer seize of the complex that suddenly appeared between the trees.
The buildings were still hundreds of meters in the distance yet the typical brown-redness of industrial rust shined through the green leafs. Its the seize and the amount of the rusted pipes, stairs and platforms that made this place so impressive and also so different to the rather dull mills I had seen before in England.
As we came from the west we started off with the chimney and the weird round building which is surrounding the base of it. Not having found any history on the place on the Internet I expect that the round base was build a while after the chimney to accommodate changing rooms and showers. Maybe the heat of the exhaust was also used to heat up the water supply. We headed for the circular rooftop, exchanging stories and taking pictures in the warm sun.
Back down the stairs, through some bushes and we arrived in one of the many basements of the huge main building. The compressors and pipes that once were used for the cooling process reminded me a lot of Pyestock. Due to a lack of a tripod and a good torch i couldn't take any pictures down there. A return trip is therefore definitely planned already.
The higher floors of the building are stripped from most of the equipment that was once used in the Sintering process.
On many floors there are voids in the floor that stretch through the whole length of the building and reach up to 4 floors down. On the top floors huge holes in the walls remind of the removal of the machinery which probably took place years ago.
The Sinteranlage was built in 1910, rebuild after the war and was shut in 1995 by Thyssen Krupp after the neighbouring steel works, which were fed by the Sinteranlage, closed their doors. (These steel works are now part of the industrial park that i had been to before that day)
Sintering is a method for making objects from powder. The powdered iron ore and coke is mixed, compressed and then heated inside the Sintering furnace shown below. The end product are solid pellets which are then further used in steel works.
|An attempt at HDR|
As the furnaces were suspended over a big drop, I'm guessing only few people have ever been inside them. Touching the inner walls of the furnace results in powdery material falling of the walls. Being surrounded by these thick heat resistant walls covered in dust, dust that has been there since the last day of Sintering probably back in 1995. And breathing in this dust that has not been moved since then, it was a surreal feeling.