"Center of the Ruhr Area Industrial Complex" Top 5 Page for this destination Essen by BillNJ

Essen Travel Guide: 218 reviews and 784 photos

Business and Industrial Powerhouse

Historically, the city of Essen is best known as an important coal and steel center in the Ruhr area led by the Krupp family. Today, it is a city with approximately 580,000 residents which makes it the 7th- or 8th-largest city in Germany. Also, the economy is more diverse now than in earlier years when it was dominated by Krupp. Today, Essen is home to 13 of the 100 largest German corporations and seat to several of the region's authorities.

Great center city pedestrian zone

Essen has a large center city pedestrian zone with many shops, restaurants, sidewalk cafes, churches, theaters, town squares, and other attractions. On the day of my visit, VTer Daniela (mickybleck), a native of Essen, was kind enough to give me a tour of the downtown pedestrian zone. It is a pleasure to take a stroll in a city center without having to be concerned about automobile traffic. During our stroll, we made a brief stop in the Münster Essen (Essen Cathedral) which has a treasury consisting of many important church relics, including the Golden Madonna dating back to the year 980 A.D.

Named European Capital of Culture for 2010

The EU Commission has named Essen as a European Capital of Culture for 2010. Essen applied on behalf of the entire Ruhr region. Hopefully, this designation helps to draw more tourists to this wonderful city.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Center city pedestrian zone, innovative parks of old industrial sites
  • Cons:Limited organized tourism for non-German speakers
  • In a nutshell:Industrial and business city with a lot to offer!
  • Last visit to Essen: May 2008
  • Intro Updated Jun 3, 2008
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Reviews (15)

Comments (16)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    The Krupp family has a long reputation for steel and business. I even had loans to them in 1970's in my banking career. What a lovely town to visit, and your comments with the fine pictures stand out.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Apr 5, 2010 at 8:52 AM

    Hi Bill, Shame that you missed out on Zeche Zollverein! They have a great museum in there now about the Ruhr region.

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2009 at 2:01 AM

    Hi Bill, Nice page, will be in Berlin Aug'10. Doubt if we will have time for Essen. Thanks for visiting Darwin, the starting point for our Kakadu NP adventure.

  • hundertmorgen's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    ... great tips! But there is much more to see - also outside downtown. Especially next year for the "European Capital of Culture for 2010" there are many events... hope to see you here!

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2009 at 5:39 AM

    very interesting and well written - i'll be back for more

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    Too bad you couldn't visit the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, but it sounds like you had a nice day anyway!

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    A schnitzel sounds great about now. Good see you got to some off the beaten path Germany, Bill but DD?? I think you could find a faschnat or something. ;)

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2009 at 12:23 AM

    A very nice page, Bill! I passed by Essen by car many times but never could drop in. Interesting info about Alfred Krupp. I think our Lenin has had more monuments than Kaiser Wilhelm I, haha! Thanks for the virtual tour!

  • Oct 15, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    In what church were the Krupps born in? Where is the present-day location of the Krupp subsidized housing? Where are employee records from 1865-1875 housed? many thanks!

  • kmohandas's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    A marvellous VT page on great place. Most of the places in Germany are wonderful.


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