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The Ewald colliery is a hard coal mine in Herten in the Recklinghausen district, which was closed in 2001. A passable recreation area has developed around the area, which invites to various activities. The Ewald colliery is an anchor point on the route of industrial culture and is easily accessible by public transport and by car. There is a visitor center on the premises as well as the Ewald-Café, which offers bread, coffee and cake as well as warm dishes for refreshment. The RevuePalast Ruhr (the world’s first revue on top of the colliery) and the Underground Bar, which occasionally houses the ARD Sportschau Club, also ensure cultural enjoyment.
I came by public transport. Coming from Dortmund I get off the train in Wanne-Eickel, turn right in front of the train station and stand at the stop for the SB27 line and shortly afterwards I get on the bus. After about 20 minutes of driving, I get off at the “Bergwerk Ewald 1/2” stop and walk back a few meters along the road and then I’m there.
The colliery area is accessible from all sides and is open around the clock (as is the case with the vast majority of industrial monuments in the Ruhr area). So if you want to have a look at the winding tower at 2 a.m., you can do so. There are also various access routes for motorists and there are sufficient parking spaces on and directly on the site.
Coming from Ewaldstrasse, the visitor center “Zeche Ewald / Halde Hoheward” is on the left immediately after entering the site. There are also enough signs to show visitors the way. The visitor center is usually the starting point for various guided tours of the mine area and the Hoheward stockpile. On the other hand, if you just want to find out more, you are also well catered for and leave the visitor center with sufficient maps and helpful tips.
Colliery with RevuePalast Ruhr and Underground Bar, plus the Hoheward stockpile and the Emscher swamp right next door. So there is a lot going on in Ewald. It is not for nothing that the site is one of the real highlights on the route of industrial culture. The trestle on shaft 7 is one of the most photographed motifs in the Ruhr area.
The Hoheward stockpile connects seamlessly to the mine site. Just past the Doppelbock and you are at the entrance to the heap. This can be explored or conquered in three ways (depending on the route). You can stay on the same level and walk around 6 km around the stockpile. Any ascents or descents should not be expected here.
The second option is the so-called balcony route. This runs around halfway around the stockpile. In length, it should roughly correspond to the easy way around.
The third and also the most physically demanding is the way to the top and then to hike over the stockpile.
To climb both to the balcony route and up to the plateau, you can either take the stairs in a classic manner or follow the switchbacks more moderately. I decided to go up the stairs. At the end of the tour, my cell phone (without a fitness wristband or smart watch) announced that I had walked about 10 km and climbed 43 floors. So if you take the stairs up, you already know what to expect.
But the climb is worth it. A lot. I hope that the pictures shown here and also linked below can give a small impression.
Emscher swamp und Ewald lake
The Emscher swamp with the Ewald lake is part of the Emscherland, which extends from Dortmund to Gladbeck. The Emscher meandered through the Ruhr area in the past and was increasingly straightened out as industrialization became more and more important as a result of hard coal mining and in fact served for many years as a sewer for the mines and coking plants nearby.
The Emscher is far from the Emscher swamp and the Ewald lake. This gem in the middle of the roaring Ruhr area offers walkers a view of the historic Ruhr area. Before coal was mined and steel was produced here, the places between Dortmund and Moers were very rural in the middle of a swampy meadow landscape. They only achieved their current size and importance through the mining of hard coal and the settlement of other heavy industries on the Emscher and Ruhr.
The Ewald lake lies in the middle of the Emscher swamp surrounded by trees and dense embankments. Those who hope for an almost all-round view of the lake will unfortunately be disappointed. There are only a few opportunities to catch a glimpse of the water while walking around the lake. The round is still worthwhile.