Stahl-Zeit-Reisen is a cooperation between WasserEisenLand - Industrial Culture in South Westphalia and the Route Industrial Culture of the Ruhr Area.
The project shows how closely the development of these two neighboring industrial regions is linked.
Metallurgical technology from the Siegerland and entrepreneurs from the Sauerland accelerated the industrialization of the region
between Duisburg and Dortmund.
In the middle of the 19th century, the emerging ironworks on the Ruhr had a shortage of iron ore.
But from 1861, the high-quality iron ore from the Siegerland could be transported by rail via the new Ruhr-Sieg line.
railroad. The trains brought coal from the coal mines to South Westphalia. This saved the
Sauerland and the Siegerland from complete deforestation. Prior to this, the flourishing iron industry in southern
iron industry had been dependent on charcoal as a source of energy. The Ruhr region now also supplied iron and steel
for the processing small iron industry in southern Westphalia.
The railroad also opened up areas in the Sauerland region that had previously been purely agricultural,
for industrial settlements. However, most of South Westphalia had already been characterized by mining, metal production and processing for centuries. For example, 2,300 years ago, the Celts in the Siegerland region were already producing iron, which was the largest in Europe at the time. Since the Middle Ages, the water power of the mountains has been used in this
the water power of the mountain streams for the production of iron in charcoal blast furnaces
and for the forging hammers and wire drawing mills.
The population and industry of the rapidly growing Ruhr area also depended on the abundance of water in South Westphalia.
From the end of the 19th century, dams and reservoirs were built in rapid succession in the Sauerland region, ensuring the water supply and regulation of the area to this day.
The Stahl-Zeit-Reisen project tells of all these stories.