CIVON Innovation Centre

Are you ready for action? The innovation centre CIVON invites visitors to be key players of an interactive museum experience. Twelve displays guide them through all stages of manufacture in the iron industry: from the first brainstorming to the marketable product. On their way visitors are taken back to the times when the industrial park where CIVON is located used to be at the heart of local iron production. Another focus are modern technology and applications. The tour ends with products differing distinctively in time, design and technical background. For instance, grandma's enamel cooking pan stands aside a pot adapted for induction stoves, and the "classical" bicycle is compared to today's high-tech bikes. The "entrance ticket" to start this fascinating travelling through time is a facial scan taken from every visitor right at the beginning. It serves to operate loads of interactive devices, all of them ready to make visitors familiar with old and modern production processes. Occasionally artworks illustrate the impact of technology on arts and offer the opportunity for a change in perspective. The antipode of this virtual adventure are several workshops offering hands-on experiences. Soldering bits, forges, ceramic kilns or 3D printing – CIVON lets you explore and work a variety of materials.

Please accept cookies in order to use maps

CIVON Innovation Centre
CIVON Innovatiecentrum
Hutteweg 32
7071 BV Ulft
+31 (0) 315 - 820280


The Oude IJssel area is known as the birthplace of the Dutch cast iron industry. Small water-powered blast furnaces were used as far back as the 17th century to melt locally mined bog iron. Ulft's economic recovery started when the entrepreneurs Bernard Diepenbrock and his cousins Theodor and Bernard Reigers entered the market. In 1811 they acquired the local blast furnace and iron foundry Ulftsche IJserhut that they already operated before as tenants. From that time on the company took the name Diepenbrock and Reigers Ulft (DRU). In the 18th century, the factory mainly produced hot plates, cannonballs, pots and basic heaters. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the product range was expanded to include bathtubs, enamel, sheet metal, machinery parts, car parts and gas heaters. The plant grew dramatically: around 1900 even the river Oude IJssel had to be relocated to give way to a new factory building. In the mid-1960s, DRU employed roughly 1500 people, and it was only in 1999 that the company abandoned the site thus setting an end to almost two and a half centuries of industrial history.

Today DRU Industrial Park is a successful example for the repurposing of a former industrial complex. Nearly all buildings have been transformed to new types of usage, including the Cultuurfabriek with a theatre, library, restaurants, and a concert hall. An event hall hosts trade fairs, markets, exhibitions, conferences, and leisure events. The former deburring area of the factory is home of the innovation centre CIVON. It combines activities of educational organisations, artists, and the Nederlands IJzermuseum (iron museum) and at the same time considers itself as a place to showcase modern iron industry. A reflection of this symbiosis of technology, culture and art are the sculptures scattered all around the industrial park's premises. A bridge connects the complex to the parks and gardens on the opposite banks of the Oude IJssel, well known as a venue for large music festivals.

Recommended duration of visit:2 Hours
Access for persons with disabilities:Available
Gift and book shop on Site:yes

Tuesday - Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday, Sunday 1-5pm

Tourist information
Tueday - Saturday 10am-5pm

DRU Cultuurfabriek
daily 10am-12pm

  • Tours in other languages