When they hear the word "colliery", most people first think of the Ruhr region. But there is also one in the Münsterland: the "Westfalen" colliery in Ahlen. The former coal mine is now a monument, leisure area and commercial zone: markets, events, tourist attractions and high-tech companies characterise the image of the disused colliery. Experience one of the highest indoor climbing walls, play football in Germany's first soccerkaue or visit the Grubenwehr Museum. Cafés, picnic areas and long promenades round off the attraction.
The construction of the coalfield began in 1907, and the first coal was mined here five years later. A total of seven shafts were subsequently built. The colliery was not only one of the most modern mines of the late Empire, but also the deepest at the time. For in Ahlen the miners had to descend to a previously unattained depth of over 1 km. In the Ruhr area, by contrast, the "black gold" came almost directly to the surface in some places.
In 2000, the colliery was finally shut down. Little by little, the shafts disappeared. All that remains is the double shaft system I/II with the two remaining winding towers, which are listed as historical monuments. In addition, there are various other historic buildings to discover, for example the gatekeeper's building, the workshops or the locomotive shed.
"SO OR SO - your Münsterland". With this podcast from Germany's most beautiful region, you will experience a short acoustic tour of the colliery site in Ahlen. Come along and learn more about a piece of industrial culture in Münsterland in ten minutes: