Kokerei Hansa

"Hanseatic" is what they call themselves: the hard-boiled workers who tamed the behemoth that was once the Hansa coking plant day and night. The heat of endless coke oven batteries, the inferno of tar fumes and coal dust, the gas compressor hall whose massive machines compressed the coke gas and piped it to the edge of the Sauerland region - all this is brought to life again on guided tours ...

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… Visitors can actually watch one of the gas compressors in action and climb the 40-metre-high coal bunker for a magnificent view of Dortmund. The panorama also reveals how vigorously primrose, fireweed and the like have turned the coking plant into a "trail combining nature and technology". Sports fans find their paradise in the " Coal Mine" – North Rhine-Westphalia's largest indoor climbing arena in the former turbo-compressor hall.

Most exciting about a guided tour is that it provides an insight into the "machinery" of the Ruhr district. Its dimensions are tremendous: at peak times, a total of 314 Hansa coke ovens produce some 5,200 tonnes of coke a day. And this is only one – the sole remaining – of 17 main coking plants built in the Ruhr District between 1928 and 1932. With this large-scale accumulation, the coal and steel industry responds to excess capacity and a drop in prices following the mid-1920s. When it starts operating in 1928, the Hansa coking plant is part of the Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks-AG (GBAG), which also includes the Hüstener Gewerkschaft in the Sauerland and the Siegerland steelworks. With the "Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG", GBAG and three other major companies in turn constitute the second largest steel group worldwide since 1926.

In this context, the coking plants provide the link between the mines and the steelworks: they process the pit coal into coke for the blast furnaces. At the same time, the resulting coke gas fuels blast furnaces and rolling mills, while blast furnace gas feeds the coke ovens. This results in kilometres of gas pipelines reaching, in the case of the Hansa coking plant, as far as Ergste on the fringes of the Sauerland region.

In terms of architecture, the industrial monument meets the requirements of the 1920s: seamless operation and strict separation of polluting coke production and largely non-emitting crude gas processing – also called "black" and "white" sections. In 1992 the Hansa coking plant is shut down. Since 1997 it has been home to the Foundation for the Preservation of Industrial Monuments and Historical Culture.


The "Steel Time Travelers" Luise & Alfred: Kokerei Hansa


Dortmund has soo many steel mills, mines, railroads and even a port. You simply lose the overview ...

Full dialog text
Lu: Dortmund has so many steel mills, mines, railroads and even a port. You simply lose track of them all.

Al: I'd like to think so - but the big ones eat the small ones. People will remember that efficiency comes from size and community - just like in the days of the Hanseatic League!

Lu: You mean that not everyone cooks his own soup? Krupp, Thyssen and Hoesch united in a common seething steel kitchen?

Al: ... that's going too far - unthinkable! But there are too many coking plants here! I was thinking of something like a "coke hanse" - there has to be rationalization!

Lu: You want to ration coke?

Al: Rationalize! Lu. Rationalize!

Lu: Then everything would have to be brought together in one place and optimized according to the latest technology - near the mines, the smelters and the transport routes ...

Al: Yes, exactly - Hanseatic and visionary! A central coking plant here in Dortmund-Huckarde.

Visitor information

Emscherallee 11
44369 Dortmund
Phone: 0231/931122-0

Opening hours:
Apr - Oct, Tue - Sun: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Nov - March, Tue - Sun: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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"64 years of the Hansa coking plant" (1992)

Short description (film without sound)

Recording of the last shift at the Hansa coking plant by Thomas Hartwich, who was employed as a skilled chemical worker at the coking plant from the early 1980s until Hansa's closure in 1992. The finished coke is pushed into the fire car. Since coke comes into contact with oxygen when the oven is opened and therefore burns immediately, it has to be quickly extinguished with water and cooled down.

The Hansa coking plant yesterday and today

Kokerei Hansa

Bergbau 4 Kokereihansa

"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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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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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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