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European Themeroute | Xtra: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Europe's industrial heritage is represented on the UNESCO World Heritage List by 41 sites. These are either individual sites (such as the Völklingen Ironworks in Völklingen/D), groups of sites (such as the 4 Major Mining Sites of Wallonia/B) or landscapes influenced by industrialization (such as ... more

Icon: Xtra: UNESCO World Heritage SitesIndustrial heritage sites of outstanding universal value: European industrial properties on UNESCO's World Heritage List

Europe's industrial heritage is represented on the UNESCO World Heritage List by 41 sites. These are either individual sites (such as the Völklingen Ironworks in Völklingen/D), groups of sites (such as the 4 Major Mining Sites of Wallonia/B) or landscapes influenced by industrialization (such as Blaenavon Industrial Landscape in South Wales/GB or the Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin/F) as well as industrial monuments as part of World Heritage Sites (such as the silk weavers' quarter in the Historic Site of Lyon/F), all of outstanding universal value, which is a requirement for inscription as a World Heritage Site.

Accordingly, in our list you will find individual sites, linear sites and industrial landscapes that have been inscribed on the World Heritage List. The "formal" names of the industrial properties on the World Heritage List can be found in our link list (see "Related Links"); at the end of the link list the industrial WHS outside Europe are listed.

Les Gueules Noires - the black faces: That’s the way the Walloons called their coal buddies. Italians, Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, Russians, Turks and of course Belgians labored in teams to feed the insatiable blast furnaces around Liege with coal. At the closing in 1980 Blegny mine was the oldest ...
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Blegny Mine World Heritage Site
Domaine Touristique de Blegny-Mine
Rue Lambert Marlet, 23
4670 Blegny, Belgium

Two silent pithead winding gears tower over the redbrick gable of the Bois de Cazier colliery near Charleroi. The colliery has now ceased operations but in August 1956 it was the site of one of the most tragic accidents in European mining history; a disaster that killed a total of 262 workers. A ...
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Le Bois du Cazier World Heritage Site
Rue de Cazier 80
6001 Marcinelle, Belgium

Alfeld (Leine) | Germany
Why is it that a boot-last factory in rural Lower Saxony becomes a turning point in modern architecture? The former warehouse of the Fagus Factory turns that question into an exciting story, displayed on five floors, and recounting various aspects that still shape our reception of architecture. This ...
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Fagus Factory World Heritage Site
Hannoversche Strasse 58
31061 Alfeld (Leine), Germany

Zollverein is the meeting place for past, present and future. The past are the Ruhr Museum with its presentation of the exciting natural and cultural history of the Ruhr Region and the "Monument Path" which brings industrial history back to life. Zollverein was once the largest coal mine in Europe, ...
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Zollverein Mine and Coking Plant World Heritage Site
Besucherzentrum Zollverein Zeche Zollverein Schacht XII Gebäude A 14 / Kohlenwäsche
Gelsenkirchener Str. 181
45309 Essen, Germany

Narrow, crudely hewed out mining galleries: damp rock: glittering coloured crystal minerals. Suddenly the seemingly enchanted underground kingdom springs to life. Rushing water: a mighty scoop wheel creaks into action: above it rises the remarkably genuine sound of crackling fire and bursting rock. ...
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World Heritage Site Rammelsberg - Museum and Visitors Mine
Bergtal 19
38640 Goslar, Germany

The Völklinger Hütte (ironworks) in Germany’s Saarland, which was shut down in 1986, can be justifiably described as an industrial dinosaur. It extends over an area of 600,000 square metres and exemplifies the combined power of more than 100 years of iron and steel manufacturing. It was the first ...
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World Heritage Site Voelklingen Iron Works
Europäisches Zentrum für Kunst und Industriekultur
Rathausstraße 75
66302 Völklingen, Germany

A celebration of technology – that's at the heart of the Wouda Steam Pumping Station's machine room near the village of Lemmer in Friesland. The four double steam engines, coupled with powerful flywheels driving eight round centrifugal pumps, are all sparkling and gleaming as on their very first ...
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Ir. D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station World Heritage Site
Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal
Gemaalweg 1
8531 PS Lemmer, Netherlands

Seldom are nature and technology located so unexpectedly near to one another. A waterfall thunders into the depths right next to the old hydroelectric power station built in 1911, with which the Norsk Hydro company catapulted the rural parish of Rjukan into the industrial era. There is nothing to ...
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Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum World Heritage Site
Norsk Industriarbeidermuseum
Vemork
3661 Rjukan, Norway

Tarnowskie Góry | Poland
The shine of the carbide lamps flit about the underground "Silver Chamber". Look over there! Aren't these two miners working the dolomite rock with hammer and chisel? In the distance you can hear the rattle of pit cars, interrupted by the sound of explosions and hammer strikes. The next gallery is ...
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Historical Silver Mine World Heritage Site
Zabytkowa Kopalnia Srebra
ul. Szczęść Boże 81
42-600 Tarnowskie Góry, Poland

The "Sistine Chapel" of mining heritage lies 50 metres below the surface of Almadén: the gallery of San Andrés. Visitors of the Mining Park are able to reach it by taking a miner's cage down into the former cinnabar mine of the village. Tunnels and drifts that are centuries old lead them to a huge ...
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Almadén Mining Park World Heritage Site
Parque Minero de Almadén
Cerco San Teodoro
13400 Almadén, Spain

The contrast could not be greater, hamlets and small villages bordering idyllic lakes, set within an expanse of woodland. Then, suddenly a red gorge appears: The Falun Mine. Once the world’s largest copper mine and today the heart of a unique historic industrial landscape, which was designated by ...
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Falun Mine, World Heritage
Falu Gruva
Gruvgatan 44
791 61 Falun, Sweden

In the age of the cell phone almost every place on earth can be reached within seconds. That said, less than 100 years ago wireless communication demanded gigantic technical equipment. The clearest example of this is the radio station in Grimeton near Varberg that was built in 1924 on the southwest ...
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World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station
Radiostationen 72
432 98 Grimeton, Sweden

A small town – with a huge effect. The South Wales town of Blaenavon was once the spearhead of the industrial revolution. For 200 years everything revolved around coal and iron here in the Afon Lwyd Valley. This not only affected the landscape. It also affected the people. To such an extent that ...
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Big Pit: National Coal Museum World Heritage Site
NP4 9XP Blaenavon, United Kingdom

Cromford | United Kingdom
The first modern factory in history was built in Cromford in the Derwent valley, not far from Nottingham. The Derwent is anything but a fast-flowing river. That said it flows quickly enough to be able to drive waterwheels. Richard Arkwright, a former wigmaker, recognised this fact and promptly ...
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Cromford Mill World Heritage Site
Cromford Mill
DE4 3RQ Cromford, United Kingdom

Lanark | United Kingdom
A small village in the heart of a wild romantic landscape. There is nothing here to indicate that cotton was once manufactured here in large quantities. The fact of the matter is that New Lanark was created for this very reason alone. The powerful currents of the River Clyde were the driving force ...
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New Lanark World Heritage Site
New Lanark Mills
ML11 9DB Lanark, United Kingdom

Telford | United Kingdom
Length: 30.6 metres. Height: 16.75 metres. Weight: 378 tons. These are the basic facts about the Iron Bridge, which spans the Severn Valley in Telford. But who can regard the history of the first ever iron bridge in mere statistics? It is universally recognised as the symbol of the industrial ...
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Iron Bridge World Heritage Site
Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust Coach Road Coalbrookdale
TF8 7DQ Telford, United Kingdom

Wrexham | United Kingdom
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carries the waterway originally called the Ellesmere Canal, but now the Llangollen Canal, some 38 m above the River Dee, and is 308 m long. It was completed in 1805 under the direction of Thomas Telford, who in the initial stages of the project was responsible to William ...
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Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Station Road Trevor
LL20 7YQ Wrexham, United Kingdom

Mürzzuschlag | Austria
The Südbahn (south railway) linking Vienna with the Habsburg Empire’s principal port at Trieste on the Adriatic Sea, planned by Karl von Ghega (1802-60), was the first of the great European main lines through the Alps, and its importance was recognised in 1998 when it was designated a UNESCO World ...
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Südbahnmuseum
Heizhausgasse 2
8680 Mürzzuschlag, Austria

Semmering | Austria
The 58 km section of railway through the Semmering Pass between Gloggnitz and Murzzuschlag built in 1848-54 was part of the Sudbahn, the railway that linked Vienna, capital of the Habsburg Empire, with the principal imperial port at Trieste. It was the first main line railway to pass through one of ...
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Semmering Railway
Informationsstelle Semmeringbahn
Bahnhofplatz 1
2680 Semmering, Austria

Antwerp | Belgium
Christopher Plantin (?1520-89) moved to Antwerp in 1549 from Tourcoing and became one of the foremost printers of Renaissance Europe whose products can be found in almost every library that has collections from the 16th century. His descendants, the Moretus family, continued the business until 1876, ...
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Plantin-Moretus Museum
Vrijdagmarkt 22
2000 Antwerp, Belgium