Steel Time Travel in the Ruhr Area and South Westphalia

Travelling back to the beginnings of the Ruhr region means heading to Balve-Wocklum in the Sauerland region. The Luisenhütte in Balve-Wocklum - a completely preserved iron smelting plant operated with charcoal from 1758 – must have looked like the St. Antony Ironworks in Oberhausen, which is considered the cradle of the Ruhr region today. Both places symbolise the historically close ties between the Ruhr industry and South Westphalia.

Underground, under the hammer, under water and under steam.

There is something for everyone here! Start your voyage of discovery into the steel age right here.
You can experience over a hundred destinations by train, bike or hiking!





Bergbau
Mining
Underground on the tracks of miners and risers and in search of ore and coal ...
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Eisen & Stahl
Iron & Steel
Glowing heat from the forge to the blast furnace, sweaty work and gigantic machines ...
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Wasser
Water
Basis of life, drive or traffic artery and indispensable raw material for mining and industry ...
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Eisenbahn
Railway
Pacesetter of progress and means of transport for people and goods - in the course of industrialization ...
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Radeln und Wandern
Cycling
By bike along rivers or over the hills of Sauerland and Siegerland ...
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Infopunkt Henrichshuette Hattingen
Info point Henrichshütte Hattingen
In the impressive blower hall there is concentrated information at a central location between the Ruhr area and South Westphalia ...
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On the road with Luise and Alfred

Come along on a spectacular journey into the past! Take a seat on a steaming train, on a bicycle or in the saddle of a proud horse!
You can also go on foot or in mountain boots across the Ruhr area and through South Westphalia, to the lofty heights of winding towers and blast furnaces, into the dark abysses of mines or along bubbling rivers and streams with impressive dams ...

Interactive overview map

On this Google map you will find all the highlights and other destinations of the steel time travel sorted by color according to the categories.
So you can navigate and plan easily. Alternatively, you can also download our overview map with all the info as a PDF file.

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277345 UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein
UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is ...? Zollverein, of course! The largest and most beautiful colliery in the world is said to be a star in everything: coal output, technology, chic steel trusses - even structural change looks exemplary! Guided tours for visitors explain this exceptional position and show how the railroad underpins it with coke deliveries to iron and steel mills in the Ruhr region and in southern Westphalia ...

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277346 Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum
Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

The towering headframe, a rapid descent underground, 1.2 kilometres of machinery – this can only be a former mine! But it isn't. Or rather, it is many mines at once. Because here, in the world's largest mining museum and Leibniz Research Museum for Geo-resources, it's all about mining in general and its consequences: in the Ruhr District, the Sauerland and Siegerland regions and elsewhere …

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299147 LWL-Industriemuseum Zeche Zollern
LWL-Industriemuseum Zeche Zollern

Making big profits from coal – this is best demonstrated by the magnificent Zollern II/IV colliery of the Gelsenkirchen Mining Association (GBAG), which is also occasionally operating in the Sauerland and Siegerland regions. For visitors - past and present - the hard work is hidden behind an overwhelming "castle of labour" facade built in 1904. The highlight is the imposing machine hall with its many art nouveau elements …

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299165 Kokerei Hansa
Kokerei Hansa

"Hanseatics" is what they call themselves: the hard-boiled workers who tamed the blazing beast that the Hansa coking plant once used to be, day and night. The heat of countless coke oven batteries, the inferno of tar fumes and coal dust, the gas compressor hall where massive machines compressed the coke gas and pumped it as far as the Sauerland region – all of this is brought back to life on guided tours …

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299195 LWL-Industriemuseum Zeche Nachtigall
LWL-Industriemuseum Zeche Nachtigall

Early Ruhr mining starts with farmers and day labourers: they dig level galleries into hillsides and mine hard coal to supply their own needs. Later, peasants become miners, galleries turn into shafts and plank roads into rail tracks to carry the coal to the Sauerland ironworks. The Muttental reveals this story under a microscope: 300 years of mining history at your fingertips! …

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299171 Felsenmeer Hemer
Felsenmeer Hemer

A whim of nature? Also that, yes. The woodland covered in moss and lichen with its jumbled rocks – otherwise called conical karst formation – is like a precious window into the distant Tertiary period. But in addition, the area is teeming with shafts and tunnels that generations of miners cut deep into the earth – at a time when the Ruhr area still had cows grazing its pastures …

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299177 Sauerländer Besucherbergwerk Ramsbeck
Sauerländer Besucherbergwerk Ramsbeck

Above ground: idyllic hills. Underground: a journey back in time covering some 1,000 years of mining history aboard a mine train from the 1950s. In the mid-19th century, more than 2,000 miners work here – migrants from Saxony and the Harz region who seek their fortune in the Ramsbeck mining district. Large-scale ore mining and smelting turn the place for a couple of years into a kind of Ruhr area in the Upper Sauerland …

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299183 Schieferbau Nuttlar
Schieferbau Nuttlar

Slate crusher – the word itself sounds like a back-breaking job. For the workers of Nuttlar it is everyday life, all the more so following the slate boom triggered by the construction of the Ruhr Valley railway in 1873, which opens up new markets and prompts the local slate mining industry to move underground. Its legacy is a vast hidden maze – a fantastic underground adventure for today's visitors …

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299189 Bergbaumuseum Kreis Altenkirchen
Bergbaumuseum Kreis Altenkirchen

For 2,300 years, ore has provided jobs and a living for the people of the Siegerland region! At Herdorf alone, there are several mines run by the Essen-based Krupp Group since 1872. The museum in the former local school rebuilds the regional "Iron Age" like a jigsaw puzzle. The major highlight is the exciting mock-up mine in the basement with mine engines, machines and pneumatic drills …

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299228 Villa Hügel
Villa Hügel

Like a jewel of industrialisation, the splendid Krupp residence overlooks Lake Baldeney. Completed in 1873, Villa Hügel is a representative monument to the family's industrial empire, which also included ore mines in the Siegerland region. Today, the main building hosts temporary exhibitions and top-class concerts, while the annexe tells the history of the Krupps' company and family …

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299201 Besucherbergwerk Grube Bindweide
Besucherbergwerk Grube Bindweide

6 March 1872 is a pitch-black day for the Bindweide iron ore mine in Steinebach: the worst mine disaster in the Siegerland region kills 14 people and is one of the reasons why mine owner Theodor Stein sells virtually all of his ore mines to the Essen-based Krupp company. These kinds of stories about the everyday underground struggle for survival surround today's visitors at every turn …

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299233 LWL-Industriemuseum Henrichshütte Hattingen
LWL-Industriemuseum Henrichshütte Hattingen

The earliest surviving blast furnace in the Ruhr District is not found in Essen or Oberhausen, but in idyllic Hattingen on the region's southern fringes. Compared to the town' s medieval timber frame, the steelworks, dating back to 1854, appears as if from outer space. Three trails provide a fascinating insight into towering giants of technology, hard-boiled ironworkers and the advance of nature …

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299207 Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord

The insane heat – 1,500 degrees at the blast furnace tapping – has gone, but the rest of the former Thyssen steelworks is still there, albeit different: the gasometer is now a pool for divers, the ore bunker is a climbing park, and the view from blast furnace 5 overlooks the western Ruhr District. Hard to believe that ores from all over the world – including some from the Siegerland – were once smelted here on a grand scale …

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299238 Phoenixsee
Phoenixsee

Hermann Diedrich Piepenstock, an entrepreneur from Iserlohn, would hardly have dreamed of this: the Hermannshütte he founded dominates the Dortmund district of Hörde for 160 years, and then, in just six years, the giant steelworks is transformed into a local recreation area with an artificial lake, noble town houses and fancy restaurants. The only reminder of the "steel era" is a basic converter …

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299213 LVR-Industriemuseum St. Antony-Hütte
LVR-Industriemuseum St. Antony-Hütte

An idyllic place, the "cradle of the Ruhr industry": next to the remains of the first ironworks in the Ruhr region – dated 1758 – the Elpenbach pond reflects the office building and the former home of the plant manager as dignified timbered houses. Johann Eberhard Pfandhöfer, a dubious ironmaster from Siegen, is at the centre of the struggle for power that marks the rise of the Ruhr industry …

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299218 Gasometer Oberhausen
Gasometer Oberhausen

117.5 metres high, 67.7 metres in diameter: on its inauguration in 1929, this disc-type gas holder is Europe's largest gasometer. Today, Oberhausen's highly visible landmark is a reminder of the heavy industry that set the Ruhr District apart from other industrial regions such as South Westphalia, and attracts thousands of visitors as one of the most unusual exhibition venues on the continent …

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299243 LWL-Freilichtmuseum Hagen
LWL-Freilichtmuseum Hagen

No drive without water! This also applies to the Sauerland pre- and early industrial technology. Whether grain or fulling mill, grinding mill or wire drawing plant, smelting works or hammer mill – the location is always: in the valley, by the water! The water wheels also turn in the open-air museum in Mäckingerbachtal. This is what mechanical work looked like before the Ruhr coal replaced water power …

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299249 Westfälisches KettenschmiedeMuseum
Westfälisches KettenschmiedeMuseum

This museum has a lot in store. It offers bears, fire breaks and even a swing ride, but none of this is what you might imagine. Because this is about forging heavy chains with heavy machinery. This has long been an important industry in both the Ruhr and Sauerland regions. Fröndenberg is right at the interface between the two regions …

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299261 Museen Burg Altena
Museen Burg Altena

One of Germany's most beautiful hilltop castles towers high above the old wire-drawing town. It was built from the 12th century onwards to protect the regional iron production. Under the motto 'Knights, smiths, wanderers', it shows the history of the industrially outstanding Märkisches Sauerland and that of the world's first youth hostel. Today you can reach the castle by a spectacular adventure lift …

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299267 Deutsches Drahtmuseum
Deutsches Drahtmuseum

There are good reasons why the German Museum of Wire is located in Altena: this town is known as national wire capital since the Middle Ages. What this means in economic terms is evident to visitors at every turn: wire has always been indispensable – from chain mail to superconductors. That's why Altena wire was traded long ago in the Ruhr area and as far as Scandinavia and Eastern Europe …

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299273 Luisenhütte Wocklum
Luisenhütte Wocklum

Woods and meadows everywhere. Plus timber-framed buildings and a mill's pond. Idyllic! And inside the Luisenhütte? Visitors find themselves facing ten metre charcoal blast furnace built in 1758, and see "molten iron" flowing from the tapping – as a light staging imitation of light. And they find out: This ironworks – the oldest fully preserved in Germany – was once the blueprint for the early Ruhr ironworks …

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299255 Historische Fabrikanlage Maste-Barendorf
Historische Fabrikanlage Maste-Barendorf

Straightening, de-burring, blueing, handling: the machines in the historic needle factory accurately demonstrate how wire is processed into an eye needle. Right next door, in the brass foundry, visitors can watch brass being cast live. Needles and brass products are what Iserlohn was once famous for, also in the neighbouring Ruhr area. And here, in the Historic Maste-Barendorf Factory, their manufacture is on display …

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299279 Geschichtsmuseum Lüdenscheid
Geschichtsmuseum Lüdenscheid

Important stop on the wire trade route, town of buttons, birthplace of the aluminium industry, centre of plastics processing – Lüdenscheid's road to industrialisation is complex and innovative. Thus it is the Osemunde iron forged here that ensures the early success of Märkisch wire products in the Ruhr District and across Europe. The museum turns this into a kaleidoscope colourful mixture of (cultural)-historic highlights …

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299285 Museum Wendener Hütte
Museum Wendener Hütte

A casting bay with charging floor and charcoal blast furnace, boiler house, raw material magazine, hammer mill, a shed for carriages and carts, a horse stable and – within sight – the owner's grand residence and office building: this is what Sauerland ironworks looked like in the 18th and 19th centuries, before their Ruhr competitors cut them off. And this is how it can still be seen in Wenden today …

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299291 Museum der Deutschen Binnenschifffahrt
Museum der Deutschen Binnenschifffahrt

Beyond the Sauerland, the river Ruhr is all about coal. Ruhr coal! As of 1780, packed barges travel from the mines near Witten and Mülheim to Ruhrort where the river flows into the Rhine. The multi-media exhibition of the museum covers three floors of a magnificent Art Nouveau baths built in 1908, a section of which brings the historic Ruhr "river highway" back to life …

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299297 Aquarius Wassermuseum
Aquarius Water Museum

The virtual tour along the Ruhr starts 35 metres above ground with a sweeping panorama of the Ruhr Valley. From there, visitors can immerse themselves in the history of the Ruhr District's water supply at over 30 multi-media posts spread across 14 levels of the historic Styrum water tower, thus learning that this conurbation would be inconceivable without the Sauerland water reservoir to this day …

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299304 Baldeneysee
Baldeneysee

For hikers, cyclists, swimmers and yachtsmen, Lake Baldeney is pure recreation. Few know that it was man-made along with other Ruhr reservoirs to improve the water quality. For the Ruhr, which rises in the Sauerland region and is the Ruhr District's most important source of water, literally turnes into a cesspool in the early 20th century due to industrial and residential wastewater …

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299310 Möhne Dam
Möhne Dam

The Colossus of Rhodes was an ancient wonder of the world. The Möhne reservoir has its own colossus: the 40-metre-high dam is Westphalia's heaviest monument and spectacularly located in the region's most diverse area for leisure activities. However, there are sound reasons for its construction more than 100 years ago: without this water reservoir, the Ruhr conurbation would be left high and dry …

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299316 Valley dam Hennetalsperre
Valley dam Hennetalsperre

In the 19th century, 1.75 cubic metres of water are needed to extract one tonne of coal, while one tonne of steel consumes even five cubic metres. How does this relate to the Henne Dam near Meschede? Industry, businesses and large cities in the Ruhr District were and still are almost entirely reliant on the Ruhr water. Lake Henne is one of eight reservoirs reliably regulating the river’s water level …

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299322 Valley dam Bigge and Lister
Valley dam Bigge and Lister

"Pure nature" is the first impression when seeing the meandering lake scenery of the Bigge and Lister reservoirs. But this vast expanse of water with its sleepy bathing spots and surrounding cycling and hiking trails is a man-made landscape. It is not by accident that the Ruhr District, which takes its water mainly from the springs and reservoirs of the Sauerland, is only an hour away …

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299336 Sauerländer Kleinbahn
Sauerländer Kleinbahn

Nostalgia is all around: the puffing of the steam engine, the wooden benches, the gentle rattling of the wheels. Yet small-scale railways like the Märkisch Museum Railway „Sauerland narrow-gauge railway“ near Plettenberg embody the technical progress of yesteryear: they substitute the transport of goods with horse-drawn carts and push the small-scale iron industry in the narrow Sauerland valleys closer to the Ruhr-Sieg line and thus to the Ruhr District …

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299342 KulturBahnhof Grevenbrück
KulturBahnhof Grevenbrück

The station front of Grevenbrück in English Tudor style hints at it: once a lot of money was earned here – thanks to the railway. Only the construction of the Ruhr-Sieg line and the connection to the Ruhr District pave the way for mining the rich mineral deposits in neighbouring Meggen – particularly pyrites – on an industrial scale. Proof of this can also be found in the Siciliaschacht Mining Museum …

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299109 Eisenbahnmuseum Bochum Test
Eisenbahnmuseum Bochum

Signal box, water tower, turntable, roundhouse, coaling crane, plus some 100 partly operational historic locomotives, wagons and other rolling stock: the railway museum on the site of the former Bochum-Dahlhausen depot takes visitors back to a time when steam trains made the Ruhr Valley line from here to the Sauerland region a railway corridor for coal, iron, steel, lime and ores …

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299348 Ruhrtalbahn
Ruhrtalbahn

The expanding network of the Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahngesellschaft (Bergisch-Mark Railway Company) from the 1870s onwards makes it possible to travel by train along the Ruhr from source to mouth. A particular success comes with the middle section between Düsseldorf and Hagen. It connects the huge limestone deposits east of Ratingen with the Ruhr area and also provides access to all those industries that previously had to rely on Ruhr shipping only. The opening of the complete track in 1874 immediately puts an end to river transport, while the railway gains profitable market opportunities. As a result, Bochum-Dahlhausen becomes a hub for coal transport with its own railway depot …

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299330 Sauerland-Museum
Sauerland-Museum

Neanderthals, knights and electors: in keeping with the journey through different eras, the architecture of the Sauerland Museum combines a historic mansion from 1605 with a brand-new extension. Part of this "Museum and Cultural Forum South Westphalia" is an exhibition room on industrial history, featuring the Ruhr Valley Railway as a major link to the nearby Ruhr District …

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299354 Ruhr-Sieg Railroad
Ruhr-Sieg Railroad

11 tunnels, 24 bridges, 106 kilometres packed with curves: the construction of the Ruhr-Sieg Railway is a massive undertaking! Around Altena station, even the Lenne riverbed has to make way for the new track. All in all, the twisting course of the line severely limits the speed of the trains and exposes the rails to increased wear and tear. In addition, the tunnels require constant maintenance. The biggest hurdle is overcoming the watershed of the Sieg and Lenne rivers between Altenhundem and Kreuztal. Heavily loaded freight trains can only master it with the help of additional locomotives …

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299115 Ruhr Valley Cycle Path
Ruhr Valley Cycle Path

Cycling where the trains of the industrial era once rattled: on 113 kilometres with minimal ascents, the Ruhr-Sieg Cycling Trail crosses a rolling countryside full of natural attractions, most of its route following former railway tracks. One of the many highlights: the panoramic view over the vast Biggesee, a popular holiday paradise and, as one of the largest dams in Germany, still important for the water supply of the Ruhr District. Another worthwhile stop is the exceptionally well-preserved Wendener Hütte, with its charcoal technology a precursor of the later coke blast furnaces on the Ruhr. Real railway feeling comes when you go underground: in the Fledermaustunnel between Eslohe and Finnentrop and in the Hohenhainer Tunnel near Freudenberg …

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299360 Ruhr-Sieg-Radweg
Ruhr-Sieg-Radweg

Cycling where the trains of the industrial age once rattled: On 113 kilometers with little incline, the Ruhr-Sieg Cycle Path leads through a hilly region full of natural experiences and follows former railroad tracks over long stretches. One of the many highlights: the view over the mighty Biggesee, a popular vacation paradise and, as one of Germany's largest dams, still important today for the water supply of the Ruhr region.

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322826 Archaeological site Gerhardsseifen
Archaeological site Gerhardsseifen

You know that I am a representative of the "steel age" and an ardent advocate of a prosperous future for this metal. But did you know that even the ancient Celts were masters in the processing of iron more than two thousand years ago? This is where the largest iron-age smelting furnaces were located. Here the Celts struck and forged on anvil stones. With their products they helped many a warlord to victories and farmers to rich harvests.

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322827 Besucherbergwerk Wodanstolln
Besucherbergwerk Wodanstolln

This is sooo cute - a little mountain cottage! And the mine train's trolleys look like toys, too! Who would use them to get the ore out of the mountain? Busy dwarves? Let's go in, Alfred! Don't forget your camera!

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322828 Barbaraturm
Barbaraturm

So this vast area is the cradle of mining! Even St. Barbara would be amazed. As the patron saint of miners, I would rather expect her retirement home here! A disused winding tower would be terrific to enjoy the panorama.

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322829 Geopark Westerwald-Lahn-Taunus
Geopark Westerwald-Lahn-Taunus

Caves and heights, marble, stone and iron, this stretch of land really has it all. You can take my word for it, because here the soil has been richly blessed, not only for farming and animal husbandry - I mean the treasures that are unearthed here. Where would we be without them...

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322787 Jahrhunderthalle Bochum with Westpark
Jahrhunderthalle Bochum with Westpark

So it was here on Essener Chaussee that the good Jacob Mayer set up his cast steel factory in 1842. This "Bochumer Verein" is a real thorn in my side - very capable people, but competition. I'm sure they'll be able to build a cathedral of steel and glass - they know a thing or two about bells ...

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322800 Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Can you imagine that here on the hills above the Ruhr once studies can be done and science and aesthetics triumph?
If the black gold and the steel age produce such blossoms, then also the newfangled art will find a place - I would like to see that absolutely! ...

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322820 Hiking tour Apricke - Wilde Weiden
Hiking tour Apricke - Wilde Weiden

Wild horses, rustic cattle, sheer endless pastures in blooming nature. Let's go for a walk - or do you want to cycle over hill and dale, Alfred? Here you can look into the Hönne valley or go stalking for game. Better not - otherwise you'll get the idea of trying out your new guns here.

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322821 Felsenmeer-Museum Hemer
Felsenmeer-Museum Hemer

Peter Grah has recognized the signs of the times here in Sundwig! He has converted a flourishing ironworks into a machine manufacturing factory! I heard about innovative devices that could roll out my steel very thinly ... If he continues like this, he can soon have a nice villa built and go down in history.

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322815 Naturmuseum Dortmund
Naturmuseum Dortmund

Here in the Balver Caves and in the Hönne Valley, bones of animals from the last Ice Age have been discovered: mammoths and bears. You should be able to marvel at something like that in Dortmund, too! And anyway - the wonders of nature are certainly also something for city people like you, Alfred.

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322817 Mining trail Muttental
Mining trail Muttental

The slopes of the Ruhr are quite steep and potholed - like a Swiss cheese! Especially along the Mutte, this lively little stream here. You have to have a look at that! Everywhere it goes in and down into the mountain, on the traces of the miners and carters. Doesn't that sound familiar to you, Luise?

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322816 Fredenbaumpark
Fredenbaumpark

Nature is right next door. The city forest of the once free city of Dortmund is one of the first public green spaces in the Ruhr region. It invites you to stroll and play. And shooting festivals are not only held in southern Westphalia - the people of Dortmund also know a thing or two about popular entertainment. By the way, it's only a stone's throw to the city center - a short train ride.

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322818 Burg Hardenstein
Burg Hardenstein

Really romantic here, why was this beautiful castle abandoned? There is even a railroad station, and the ferryman crosses to the other bank of the Ruhr. A picnic in the shade of the walls or by the water? Let's breathe the breath of history and enjoy the beautiful Ruhr nature!

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322809 Dortmund U
Dortmund U

Ever heard of brewing, Lu? The miners and steelworkers literally thirst for barley juice at the end of the day. No wonder large breweries are springing up all over the Pott region to quench this thirst! A profitable market, even beyond Dortmund ... And where there is pleasure, art and culture are not far away - just the way you like it, Lu!

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322810 Revierpark Wischlingen
Revierpark Wischlingen

Can you actually swim or skate here or just enjoy nature - between all the steel mills and coking plants? I miss the ponds, the forests, the tranquility ... just like in the Sauerland! A place to let your soul soar. You know: "To each little animal its own little place".

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322822 Hiking trail Ramsbeck
Hiking trail Ramsbeck

Now it's over hill and dale and high up. Some of the highest peaks of the Sauerland rise around the narrow Valmetal. I'll show you flue gas chimneys that prevent thick air down in the settlement, but also wide views and deep insights, dumps and tunnels. Speaking of which, sturdy footwear is quite conducive here ...

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322823 Bike tour (ore and water)
Bike tour (ore and water)

Let's saddle up the bikes! It's not far to Bestwig or Ramsbeck. We can take a rest at one of the small rivers. Come on, Alfred - before you rust! The landscape is magnificent, and the Ruhr, Henne and Valme accompany us on the round through their valleys. Go!

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322824 Bruchhauser Steine
Bruchhauser Steine

I want to go even higher, you know me. From these mystical rocks, you can look westward almost as far as the Ruhr area when visibility is good. Ravenstein or Goldstein - that's something for climbers like me. No wonder this place has always fascinated people - let's go!

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322825 Lörmecke-Turm
Lörmecke-Turm

This forest is really great, even in the past my family often went hunting here. Black coats and red deer, fox and hare can be found here. Psssst - there is even a lynx! You should be able to fly and look down from above, like a hawk ... A huge high seat, made entirely of mighty tree trunks. Wouldn't that be something for you?

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322850 Historic Industrial Trail "Drahtrollenroute"
Historic Industrial Trail "Drahtrollenroute"

Twelve wirehouses in one fell swoop. And you want to be an industrial pioneer, Al? Here you can see what led to creative power with water power long before you Ruhrpottlers: The Springer Bach is the lifeblood of the Zöger and drive at the same time. The needles, which are manufactured here, go also through toughest leather and into all world, dearest Mr. "Steel Baron"!

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279600 Essen Cathedral with Golden Madonna
Essen Cathedral with Golden Madonna

A truly special place. Here you immediately feel the spiritual power and peace.
And this church in the middle of Essen looks different somehow. What kind of architectural style is it? Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque ... and an octagonal tower!? We should definitely take a look at the Golden Madonna. That's "Essen his treasure", or something like that. Come Al!

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322851 Lennepromenade and city center Altena
Lennepromenade and city center Altena

The Lenne flows intoxicatingly fast through this arch. Even the castle hardly protects its citizens when the snow melts in the Sauerland or the rain pelts down and consequently the water level rises. But when the sun is shining, there is hardly a better place for a promenade along the river and the railroad. A place to linger, don't you think, Luise? Tss - she's disappeared again in one of those neat little shops!?

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322786 Schurenbachhalde
Schurenbachhalde

I would like to overlook Essen from above - my beloved hometown!
The miners from the Zollverein mines have piled up for years their overburden to this imposing hill - look at the panorama! Here one should set the hard-working Malochern a steely monument!

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322835 Siedlung Grafenbusch
Siedlung Grafenbusch

Consumption, stores ... first we have to offer people a decent home. They should feel comfortable. Everyone deserves what they get. Short distances to the plant and, on weekends, relaxation in the magnificent Kaisergarten at the castle - that's how you keep your management team in line!

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322855 Old town Lüdenscheid
Old town Lüdenscheid

A light comes on for me at Lüdenscheid. Wasn't it this mountain town that burned down six times? Was the night watchman asleep or was the fire department not on its toes? In any case, there have long been street lamps in the round alleys ...

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322834 CentrO
CentrO

One city to another - almost a city of cities. Smoking chimneys everywhere. Where can the lady of the world do her shopping and stroll around with the whole gang without getting dirty? Not here in Oberhausen, at any rate - or can you imagine that this monstrous backdrop will one day become a sophisticated marketplace?

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322854 PHÄNOMENTA Lüdenscheid
PHÄNOMENTA Lüdenscheid

In any case, technology and physical phenomena are well known here in the city of bright buttons, or rather ... heads! I know from my own experience that the natural sciences are extremely fascinating - after all, I have dared to conduct many an experiment and have achieved groundbreaking results. Always look closely Luise, or are you not curious?

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322847 Danzturm
Danzturm

You want to send a telegram to the capital? High above the Waldstadt, with a good view of the next stations on the line between Berlin and Koblenz, stands the optical telegraph station. Messages are sent back and forth in the blink of an eye, per signal position - and a piece of cake or coffee with a view is on top.

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322846 Stadtmuseum Iserlohn
Stadtmuseum Iserlohn

What a magnificent town house - a small baroque castle - here in the middle of Iserlohn, between the mills and churches of the proud Eisenwald town. Once the seat of the Cappel family, merchants, then armory and even savings bank. The eventful history of this place should definitely be preserved for posterity!

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322830 Alsumer Berg
Alsumer Berg

Do you have anything to do with Al-sum, Alfred? Hardly. After all, the bustling village is located right at the mouth of the Emscher River in one of those sweeping bends in the Rhine. Perfect for a port, isn't it? I'd love to know if the place has a future ... or if one day "grass will grow over it" and only mighty chimneys will rise into the sky here, too.

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322852 Geschichtspark Balve
Geschichtspark Balve

Now let's explore the neighborhood of your cabin a little, Luise. Tell us a few stories of home! Where does your ore come from? Where do you mine lime? Is it really true that there's a cavity under the mountain here that could hold an entire shooting match or even shaggy prehistoric monsters?

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322831 Tiger & Turtle – Magic Mountain
Tiger & Turtle – Magic Mountain

Here, too, the Father Rhine is not far. From a greater height, you could certainly see as far as Düsseldorf or Essen. One would simply have to pile the rubble and the slag of the works on top of each other and there would be a magical mountain with a panoramic view. Dizzying - I think my imagination is going on a merry-go-round with me!

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322853 Lake Sorpe
Lake Sorpe

If I were responsible for these dams - waterwoman of the service, so to speak - I would build such a mighty dam here. The valley of the Sorpe is blessed with springs and richly forested. And then I would build a wonderful promenade around the Sorpe Lake, for strolling, cycling and bathing and diving into the depths of quiet bays!

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322833 Kaisergarten mit Slinky Springs to Fame
Kaisergarten mit Slinky Springs to Fame

How do you actually get to the other shore if a wide and deep channel is really being dug here for the barges? Swimming will hardly be allowed, will it? I would be in favor of a crazy bridge - let's say made of huge steel spirals and wire ropes. Then you could put the barges on the cargo ... ...

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322842 3 TürmeWEG
3 TürmeWEG

You are the Lord of the Three Rings, Alfred. And now the three towers as well? Best distributed around Hagen, one on each hill. Looking down into the valley, you can see the proud city on the Volme with all its factories and smokestacks. And of course the main train station, where hissing locomotives let off steam. Is that your vision, Alfred?

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322832 LVR-Industriemuseum Peter-Behrens-Bau
LVR-Industriemuseum Peter-Behrens-Bau

I would love to mothball all the junk - curiosities, prototypes and utensils of our work - as steel pioneers for posterity. Let our great-grandchildren see what we have achieved. It's just a pity if they don't have the time - but good hope dies last ...

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322843 Hohenhof
Hohenhof

My house in Essen is wonderfully located, but here in the east of Hagen there are equally fine building sites for people who have made it big. Doers and patrons with business acumen, expertise and visions of how to combine the useful with the beautiful.

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322839 Old town Hattingen
Old town Hattingen

Clothiers and flourishing textile businesses made Hattingen flourish even in Hanseatic times. But this pearl on the Ruhr was also rich in mineral resources. A certain Count Heinrich, for example, ensured the arrival of heavy industry and even more hustle and bustle with his "Hütte" (ironworks) at the gates of the town. A beautiful little town! A little stroll would be very close to my heart. Alfred...? Would you still have coal for a few ... let's say ... pearls?

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322838 Burg Blankenstein
Burg Blankenstein

Volmarstein, Blankenstein - a region rich in stone here ... But the hard coal is to be located much further north. But this is only mentioned in passing. The honorable Counts of the Mark liked to keep an overview and obviously had an eye for strategically good locations - really likeable these gentlemen from Altena.

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322848 Weyhe-Park on the Wulfsegge
Weyhe-Park on the Wulfsegge

I have to clear up three misunderstandings here. First: The Nette Valley is indeed a nice valley with many wire drawing factories, but it is called so because the Nette provides water power there. Second: The castle hill above Nette and Lenne received highest consecrations, but it was the royal horticultural director Weyhe, who provided here for English flair. And thirdly: There are no more wolves here.

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322849 History and nature trail Altena
History and nature trail Altena

The fortified castle is truly worth the climb! And now you want to go even higher? I'll accompany you Alfred - but woe betide you if the promised Hexentanzplatz or the enchanted fountain in the deepest forest are just ALberne fantasies to lure me into this green classroom. Be that as it may - the view is in any case fabulous!

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322857 Old train station Hützemert
Old train station Hützemert

The panoramas at these lofty heights are breathtaking. Now I'm hungry and a refreshment would be just as appropriate after the bike route! It is high railroad that we stop here, take leck'ren cake to us and feed the bikes. Do you hear the music, Alfred?

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322856 Technikmuseum Freudenberg
Technikmuseum Freudenberg

The "Old Spot" is really a feast for the eyes - everything under roof in black and white. But right next door, there's plenty to hear: Steam engine No. 817 is alive! That's music to my ears. It sets the beat for a whole orchestra of mechanical hammers, milling machines or drills. Pure joy!

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322841 Botanical Garden Rombergpark
Botanical Garden Rombergpark

The von Romberg family is well known to me. Their Brünninghausen Palace
is inseparably linked with the highly regarded landscape garden created here by the Düsseldorf court gardener Weyhe. A truly idyllic garden with linden avenues and winding paths. There's even something for you, Alfred: rust-red ferruginous springs spring up here, partly from old coal mines.

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322840 Hoesch-Museum
Hoesch-Museum

Welcome to the realm of the Hoeschians in Dortmund. You Westphalians have always known how to make an impression and turn a hut into a palace! So be it. These Eifel Hoeschs really do want to get a foothold in the Ruhr region. Let's see who comes out on top in the end.

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322837 BaldeneySteig
BaldeneySteig

We will eat - in Werden. But first we will hike, after all it is hilly around my little house between Kupferdreh and the hospitable Werden like in the Sauerland. The Ruhrbogen is a feast for the eyes, especially from above. And yes - I know good inns for a decent refreshment after our trip.

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322836 Margarethenhöhe
Margarethenhöhe

Your villa is certainly not very modest, Al. But I have to hand it to you - living in the countryside is your privilege and mine too! If one day entire city quarters would be designed so that nature and architecture merge and true garden cities would arise - fantastic. I wish that to our descendants ...

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322845 DiscGolfPark in the Hindenburgpark
DiscGolfPark in the Hindenburgpark

When the Ruhr is dammed up here for the steelworks in Dortmund and for drinking water extraction
calm waters are created, a paradise for lapwings and storks or their favorite food: croaking amphibians! On the banks, people could also enjoy nature, stroll through shady parks, engage in sports or compete with each other.

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322844 Industriemuseum Menden – Gut Rödinghausen
Industriemuseum Menden – Gut Rödinghausen

Industrial espionage, you say, Luise? Industrial pioneers like Dückers on the Hönne in Lendringsen are visionaries, pioneers, inventors. They have simply gathered the best ideas - let's say - from all over the world. Noble or not, the results speak for themselves: puddling processes for inexpensive wrought iron, strong wires for floating webs.

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322861 Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr
Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr

Do you know Robert Rheinen from the local historical society? He collects all kinds of everyday things - they say he wants to preserve them for posterity. Bric-a-brac, if you ask me. Who will be interested in 100 years from which plates we have eaten? I'd rather have an art collection of the great masters - it's the same with wine, isn't it Alfred?

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322860 MüGa-Park with Schloss Broich
MüGa-Park with Schloss Broich

A ford through the Ruhr - strategically important - was reason enough to establish a fortress here on the old Hellweg. For almost a thousand years, this place has been a bone of contention between different families. But one thing has endured: the lush nature and idyllic parks delighted even the ancient Carolingians and will continue to provide refreshment by the water in the future - even if no steam horse smokes anymore.

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322863 Museum Folkwang
Museum Folkwang

I have dedicated myself to hard work all my life - a fervent advocate of "hot iron". That leaves little room for the finer things in life or even idleness. My grandchildren will hopefully do things differently one day and devote themselves to art and culture. That would be a great legacy!

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322862 Werden Olt Town with Basilika St. Ludgerus
Werden Olt Town with Basilika St. Ludgerus

So from here the abbots of Werden ruled the valley of the Ruhr and other lands - also "your" Bredeney, Alfred! Important rulers, these Benedictine monks. Their monastery still dominates the little town. By the way: The heirs of the castle lords of Altena in my homeland also had a say here! Look at the mighty basilica! The monastery is now a prison - unbelievable! And I wouldn't be surprised if there was even dancing or music here soon!

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322868 City center Olpe
City center Olpe

Here on the Bigge, the Roman road once met the iron road. As early as the 11th century, iron was produced in forest forges, copper was found in the 15th century, and boilermakers and puncture makers kept the cash registers ringing. The tannery is also profitable. This flourishing "town of a thousand lime trees" is a true hub in the Sauerland region and its location on the Bigge river will certainly bear fruit in the future.

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322869 Südsauerlandmuseum Attendorn
Südsauerlandmuseum Attendorn

What an impressive ensemble: town hall, market, church ... Attendorn's rich history has obviously contributed a lot to the fact that such magnificent buildings could be built. We nobles and religious have obviously always felt at home here. A place that will certainly continue to attract people in the future.

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322866 DampfLandLeute Museum Eslohe
DampfLandLeute Museum Eslohe

Listen to that rattling and hissing! You love the sound of steam engines, Alfred. Yes, even here in the countryside, these messengers of progress have made people's lives more carefree, their work easier and their earnings richer. One day, these steel powerhouses will be old iron, but no one will ever want to do without them!

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322867 Hennesee round trip
Hennesee round trip

I would like to stay with you a little longer in the Hennetal. Let's continue to spin the plan of a dam with crystal-clear water and make plans for the future. I imagine a lake so big that it would take two to three hours to go all the way around it - including a cool swim!

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322859 Duisburg city center with Lifesaver fountain
Duisburg city center with Lifesaver fountain

A truly "water-rich" trading city, this Duisburg. No wonder, since the lifelines of the Rhine and Ruhr meet and cross the Hellweg right here with all the trade goods from near and far. The Cöln-Minden railroad also makes a stop here - one thing leads to another - favored by Mother Nature. Duisburg: an extremely colorful city!

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322858 Duisburg Inner Harbor
Duisburg Inner Harbor

If you think Duisburg lies directly on the Rhine, you've got another thing coming, Lu. Only a cut-off arm of the Father Rhine connects the city with its present bed. But the brave people of Duisburg have turned it into a profitable harbor and made a fortune by transhipping wood and grain. I present the "Breadbasket of the Ruhr!"

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322864 LIZ Landschaftsinfozentrum Wasser & Wald
LIZ Landschaftsinfozentrum Wasser & Wald

The cute Günner mill - rattles along the rushing Möhnebach! If the miller would know, what goes down the creek, so kreucht and fleucht in his headwater. But also you city dwellers don't have much in common with nature - or do you know the flying gemstone or the architect of the local animal world? To convey all this would have to make school!

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322865 Möhnesee Tower
Möhnesee Tower

When this reservoir is completed and the valley will be flooded, then a lighthouse will also be necessary! Please do not get me wrong - not for the captains of the Möhne fleet, that would be too much of utopia - but as a vantage point for the weighted wanderers. One must be able to grasp the dimensions of the magnificent dam. Best of all from one of the heights in the Arnsberg forest above the tops of the wooden sea.

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322870 Mining trail Dahlhausen
Mining trail Dahlhausen

According to legend, it was the shepherd Jörgen who forgot to extinguish the campfire in this area one night and was surprised the next morning by glowing black magic stones underneath ... At every turn you will find traces of Bochum's mining history here and I will show you what pits, seams and openings are!

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322871 Museum unter Tage
Museum unter Tage

Your understanding of art, dear Alfred, is sometimes really underground. In the coalfield, one should also indulge in the finer things and leave room for the fine arts. For example, on a greenfield site, or why not a museum underground? With light-flooded halls full of painting and with works of all disciplines - but please not only mines!

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Closure of the A45:

Attention! The A45 freeway is fully closed to all traffic between the Lüdenscheid-Nord and Lüdenscheid junctions. A wide detour route has been set up for long-distance traffic.

Please inform yourself about current changes under:
www.strassen.nrw.de/de/luedenscheid-verkehr-infolge-a45-sperrung.html

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