The Zeche Zollverein

Zollverein1Exposure time: 8 seconds

I’ve always been interested in industrial buildings, even though I have no interest in all the technical stuff that happened in and around those buildings. It’s more the look and the feel that interests me. The Zeche Zollverein in Essen, Germany had been on the top of my “to photograph” list for a while. When a friend and I were planning a photo trip so we could spend some time together, I suggested this location. She immediately said yes. Together with my husband we drove to Germany on a chilly Saturday in October.

The Zeche Zollverein is an old coal mine. Before it was shut down in 1986, it was in use for about 135 years. These days, the mining complex is on the Unesco list of World Heritage. The buildings, in Bauhaus style, were built between 1927 and 1932. These are still intact, and very beautiful. Part of the complex is given back to nature, with trees and bushes covering the train tracks and other parts of the complex. The cokes factory part of the complex is currently being restored. It is a large complex with much to see. Some of the buildings are now in use as a museum area, galleries and restaurants.

Zollverein2Exposure time: 70 seconds

The downside was that we couldn’t get into most of the buildings. They looked like a great opportunity for an explore. It is possible to do guided tours which lead into some of the buildings. I guess photography is possible in the buildings during the tours, but I doubt if pinhole photography will be possible. I might go back and find out…. But then again, we walked around for most of the day, so there’s plenty to see without the tours too.

Zollverein3Exposure time: 45 seconds

Zollverein4Exposure time: 10 seconds

I had some lovely chats with people who were very interested in what I was doing. There even were people taking pictures of me while I was taking pictures…. So, if you’re ever near Essen, Germany and you’re looking for a great photography location, the Zeche Zollverein is the place to be. You can find more information on

Zollverein 6Exposure time: 7 seconds

Zollverein5Exposure time: 8 seconds

Zollverein7Exposure time: 14 seconds

Camera: Realitysosubtle 4×5
Film: Rollei Ortho 25
Pinhole: 0.3mm
Focal Length: 38mm
ISO: 25/100
Aperture: f127
Dev: Adox Adonal
Scan: Canon Canoscan 9000F


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