Muelheim an der Ruhr Muelheim an der Ruhr (“Muelheim-upon-Ruhr”) is, as the name shows, a town situated on the river „Ruhr“ and it is widely known as “the town at the river”. This river Ruhr is a central part of our town and it will become more important when “Ruhrbania” will be built: it is a new area on the banks of the Ruhr, planned to live, work and relax in connection with the surroundings of the river…
The Ruhr region: short history and facts At the beginning of the 19th century some parts of the Ruhr region belonged to Prussia, other parts were independent territories. In 1815 the whole region got under Prussian control and so the two parts “Rhineland” and “Westphalia” were founded.
Up to 1740 nearly 100 small firms existed which were called “Kohlenpoette” because of their coal mining activities. From the year 1815 onwards the coal mining industry was supported by the Prussian state in the regions Rhineland und Westphalia. With the invention of bigger machines 15 years later the coal mining industry began to boom.
Because of the economic rising of coal and steel industry it became necessary to have more workers who couldn’t be found in the surrounding any longer. Since the 1870s more and more immigrants, mainly from the eastern parts of Germany, were hired. One consequence of this was that former rural areas grew enormously to become major cities.
This short historical overview explains many characteristics of the Ruhr region of nowadays. Our region, the “Ruhrgebiet” is in the north of Northrhine-Westphalia. Since there were many foreign workers coming from many different countries to help in the coal and steel industry, we live in a multi cultural society. Our cities are often big and you have lots of other nice cities in the near.
Since the coal and steel industry has decreased from the 1960s onwards, our Ruhr region has gone through an economical and social crisis. People are still confronted with unemployment but with help of the government new industries have developed, e.g. IT companies, “green “ companies developing environment-friendly technologies etc. The structure of this region is still in the process of changing.
Castles in the Ruhr area Hello! I’m Roman Panchyrz and I’m a student at the Realschool Broich and I’m going to tell you something about a beautiful thing in the Ruhr area.
There are 113 castles in the Ruhr area. They were all built between 1000 and 1400. Some of them are still in use as cafes or residences but a lot of them have been destroyed over the centuries. In the Middle Ages most castles were built by noble families.
One of the biggest castles in the Ruhr area is the Isencastle in Hattingen. It was built by the archbishop Adolf of Cologne and his brother count Arnold of Altena. It was a very nice castle but unfortunately now it is only a ruin. Today you can visit most castle ruins for free.
I visited one of these castle ruins two years ago and it was awesome! I could see the landscape of the Ruhr area from the observation tower of the castle and it was beautiful! Some people think castle ruins are scary, but I like these old buildings. They tell us about the way noble people lived in the Middle Ages.
All of Muelheim is grey. All of it? No.....!
The MueGa is the biggest park in Muelheim. The entry is free for everybody!
In summer, the city council organises great festivals here. A lot of people from Muelheim visit the MueGa then. Many people dance, make music or act out little scenes. It is very interesting to look at. For the little visitors, they set up some games there, like "Sackhuepfen". Of course you can eat and drink something too.
MueGa has a special meaning. Mue- stands for "Muelheim". And -Ga stands for "Garten", i.e. "Garden".
In the MueGa, there are three big playgrounds. They are called Adventure-playground, Mud-playground and Water-playground. When I was a little kid, I often played there with my friends. These places are the best in the whole MueGa.
Two very famous Muelheim buildings are situated in the MueGa too: the Camera Obscura and Castle Broich. I often visited them when I was little.
Please visit the MueGa, because it is worth visiting: the biggest park in the whole of Muelheim!
The Muelheim Bismarck Tower Hello, I am Mareike Joppien, a student at the Realschool Broich and I would like to tell you about a special sight for me in Muelheim on the Kahlenberg: the Bismarck Tower!!
The Bismarck Tower was built in memory of Otto von Bismarck. Otto von Bismarck lived from 1815 to 1898. He was a famous statesman of the 19th century. He was a not too successful diplomat first, but then he became a popular statesman in the 1860s and 1870s (- the foundation of the "Deutsches Reich" is said to be mainly his doing ... and the wars leading towards it, too).
As the German chancellor from 1871-1890 he determined German politics, deciding on popular and not so popular policies. Finally he was even dismissed.
But after his death on 30th July 1898 a real hype set in: Bismarck postcards were produced, Bismarck cups, Bismarck glasses, ... and Bismarck Towers! Originally there should be so many of these towers that one could see one tower from the top of the other one. They were meant to be lit on major holidays, so that a Bismarck "chain of lights" could be seen throughout the country (- does it seem like megalomania to you, too?)
One of these towers is left in Muelheim. The architect was Carl Linnemann. The opening of the Bismarck Tower in Muelheim was on 1st April 1909 - Bismarck's birthday. In that time the tower was used for parties and meetings. In the 1970s, however, some politicians wanted to pull it down, but 94 per cent of the people in Muelheim wanted to keep it. So the Bismarck Tower is still there - where it has been since 1909.
And what makes the Bismarck Tower special to me?
My godfather is famous Muelheim artist and he has got his studio right in the Bismarck Tower.
Interview with a Muelheim artist A few days ago Mareike Joppien interviewed Jochen Leyendecker, her uncle and a Muelheim sculptor.
Mareike: Your studio is in our Bismarck Tower. How did you get the idea to make it your studio?
Uncle: In 1997 the tower was empty. I wrote to the city council and asked if I could use it. The city council told me I could use it and so I rented it.
Mareike: You are a sculptor. How did you get the idea that you wanted to be a sculptor? Did you have a special training?
Uncle: I have always wanted to do something with art (- even when I was 16 or 17). After my A-levels I did a training as a stone mason/sculptor. Since then I have been a sculptor, but I have also worked as an art teacher at a local grammar school.
Mareike: Have you always worked in Muelheim or somewhere else, too?
Uncle: In Oslo, I made a monument for Ibsen [a famous Norwegian poet] and just this month I am taking part in a competition for the new German embassy in Warsaw.
Uncle: I would do exactly the same again. I like my job and it’s a lot of fun. What I like best is that I don’t have a boss and so I can decide everything on my own.
A party with historical personalities in Muelheim My dearest Ladies and Gentlemen!
At my big festival you can meet many famous friends of mine. I want to show you some of them.
Here is Miss Luise Mecklenburg-Strelitz (hello, Miss!). She is the queen of hearts in Muelheim. She did so many things for the people in Muelheim. One street is named after her.
And this Mr. Otto Pankok. He was a wonderful artist in Muelheim…no - in Germany as a whole! He was in Italy once and got a prize for his drawings! Maybe you know the place in front of the protestant church in the small village Saarn? There is a statue of a small girl. It`s a nice statue of Otto Pankok’s, isn’t it? A grammar school is named after him. He was born in 1893, the old geezer!
Now I’ll show you Mr. Karl Ziegler. He was a German chemist who won the Noble Prize in 1963, together with Giulio Natto, for his work on high polymers (clap one time, please!). A grammar school is named after him, too.
Thank you for you visit and maybe we`ll see each other again.
Yours, Camilla Szymanski
The sound of the Ruhr region A special feature of the Ruhr region is the various venues and many bands with their different sounds. But the most important musician of the Ruhr region is a solo artist:
Herbert Groenemeyer .
He started as a German actor and singer at the beginning of the 80`s and has become a national and international star in the last 20 years. He has even been awarded a live time award for his music and lyrics.
Local bands like “Die Lokalmatadore” or “Die Kassierer” (in English you would say: “the cashiers”) are not seen by as many people, but with their punkrock guitars and their anti-social lyrics they are a great and funny part of the Ruhr region.
There are enough locations for the smaller bands to perform their gigs like “Star Club” or “AZ”, but for the major bands, too (Zeche Bochum and others).
Wolfgang Petry (one of the most famous German easy listening stars) says in one of his lyrics:” You are the Ruhr region, the drug I am addicted to”,
- and we think he doesn’t say this without a reason!
Newgeneration volume Many bands have been founded in Muelheim/Ruhr in the last few years. Most of them are Punk, Metal or Skabands. “Cover Jam” is one of the most famous bands in Muelheim, because everyone in the Ruhr area knows them. “Cover Jam” – that is a few musicians who come together to make music of the 1980`s. Another band which is known by many people is “Sondaschule” .
This is a Skaband consisting of two guitars, bass, drums, vocals and trumpets . I like Sondaschule best and I’m going to go to a concert this summer. The admission fee is usually very low. Other bands in Muelheim are “Zeptember” (5 people who make a kind of hardrock, emo and metal), “Levitikus” (4 people who make alternative sound). All in all I would say: Muelheim is in music!
Muelheim in general I want to tell you some important things about Muelheim: Muelheim has got 172.000 inhabitants. Muelheim is a nice town; about 50% is green and there are 250 km of walkway for long walks!
Duisburg, Essen, Ratingen and Oberhausen are Muelheim´s neighbouring cities: major cities, too, because the Ruhr area is Germany´s largest urban area. A big square in Muelheim is the Viktoria Square. Before the Hitler´s regime it was the square in front of the Synagogue. A famous theatre festival takes places in Muelheim, the theatre days of “Theater an der Ruhr”. That is a time, when you can see plays for a cheap price or for free. I like these days in Muelheim, because they show different plays: drama one day, a comedy the next day. In Muelheim there are two castles. One is called “Schloss Broich”, and the other one “Schloss Styrum”. “Schloss Broich” is a nice old castle. There are many festivals for small and big people! There is a museum about knights, too. But you can also drink one or two colas with you friends there! You see, in Muelheim there is a lot of action.
So visit us!
… more than 51% of the town is nature (parks, forests, agricultural areas). So you can say that we live in quite a green town! Without exaggerating one could say that Muelheim is a town situated in wonderful surroundings (woods, river, castles and hills), but with all advantages of a town in the Ruhr region: you are close to other cities where there is a lot to do - theatre, cinema, discos, sightseeing, restaurants, shopping and many more things.
~ All pictures with kind regards to MST Muelheim ~
Event calendar 2006
Come and visit the famous zoo in Duisburg!
Let’s see the musical “The Beauty and the Beast” in Oberhausen
or the musical “The Phantom of the Opera” in Essen!
In a special night (17th to 18th June) you can experience an extremely large-scale event: the whole Ruhr region will turn into a world of music, light, art and dancing! In this event called “extra shift” (from the workers’ shifts in the coal mines) hundreds of artists of all kinds will stage an awesome programme.
This year’s highlight: Football World Championship 2006 in Germany!!!
Watch the games or come to the football cabaret “Hauptsache Italien” or see the WM show: “Das Wunder von Bochum” in Bochum!
If you want to stay in Muelheim you can visit two nice museums: “Camera Obscura” and “Aquarius” and of course our two castles!
Visit the “Turtle Star Observatory” in Muelheim, a private observatory!
Come to our famous “Castle Rock”: a heavy metal/gothic music festival which is in the castle of Broich here in Muelheim.
In June we celebrate “Voll die Ruhr”: a festival around the river Ruhr with lots of activities and music. The whole city of Muelheim will be upside down!
If you want to listen to good music, come to the “Koenig-Pilsener Arena” in Oberhausen where you will meet Santana, Whitesnake, George Michael and many other musicians.
In Bochum you can come to the University and celebrate the “Campus invasion”, another music festival with a wide range of different musical styles.
And more music: this summer “M’era Luna” will be in Hilden. It is Europe’s biggest rock and gothic festival!