This former tip is a mecca for photographers from all of Europe. It stands at the mouth of one of the arms of the Emscher River, north of Duisburg-Beeck.
From this 50-m rise, you have a fantastic view of the surrounding blast furnaces and steel works, along with the rural landscape of the Lower Rhine to the West.
›› Duisburg-Marxloh, Alsumer Steig
Halde Beckstraße mit Tetraeder
One of the largest and arguable most spectacular slag heaps in the Ruhr Region.
The 90 m to its summit ought to pose no difficulties for experienced mountain hikers. But what comes next demands the respect of even experienced Alpinists.
The Tetraeder, a three-dimensional, walkable steel pyramid, rises 60 m high.
Climbers use 387 steps and three viewing platforms to reach the top.
It helps not to become dizzy easily, since both the platforms and the steel stairway hang freely. Once you’re at the summit, you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Ruhr.
When the weather is clear, you see Duisburg’s steel plants and even as far as the Schalke Arena.
›› Bottrop-Batenbrock, Beckstr. 1
At an elevation of just 14 m, this slag heap is indeed a dwarf among the piles in the Ruhr Region.
But its plateau still offers beautiful panoramic views of the former mine grounds, the city of Waltrop and the eastern Ruhr Region, thanks to a special viewing tower: Designed by Jan Bormann, this tower made of 1,000 hardwood cross-supports provides visitors with a 9-m platform, from which you can scan the horizon.
›› Waltrop, Sydowstraße
The all-rounder among the “industrial mountains” of the Ruhr Valley – this slag heap has something more to offer than the usual sports-related leisure activities, such as jogging, hiking or mountain-biking.
The Way of the Cross, which was inaugurated in 1995, runs through 15 stations to the mound’s summit, where a cross made from beams recalls the papal visit to the Prosper-Haniel mine on May 2, 1987.
Showing a strong cultural bias, the path takes you a few meters further to an amphitheater constructed in Greek style.
Up to 800 spectators watch classics such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream or The Threepenny Opera.
You can also marvel at the structure that Spanish artist Augustin Ibbarola constructed from more than 100 train rails.
›› Bottrop-Fuhlenbrock, Fernewaldstraße
›› Contact Amphitheater: Tel. 0 20 41/76 69 50
At 160 meters, the Mount Everest of industrial mountains forms the core of the Hoheward landscape park.
The brilliant red Dragon Bridge is the popular means of access to the 1.6 sq km slag heap, and then you proceed via switchbacks or a stairway to the plateau.
Once you arrive, you aren’t merely rewarded with an extraordinary view: The 45-m Horizont Observatory with its 8.5-m obelisk as a pointer, and the 3,000 sq m horizontal sundial are tremendous attractions, drawing throngs of visitors since they were built.
›› Herten-Süd, Im Emscherbruch, Tel. 0 23 66/18 11 60
Far from being a typical North German flatland, the largest slag mountain in the Ruhr Region rises 102 m into the air and covers 81 hectares.
This pile has been restored to nature and can be climbed in a variety of ways.
The most direct takes you up the 359 steps of the “Stairway to Heaven’’ to the summit.
Arriving there, you catch sight of the Hallenhaus, a skeletal framework of steel beams, in the style of the home construction common in the Lower Rhine and Northern Germany as late as the 19th century.
The summit also features the Thingplatz, an events venue similar to the Hallenhaus.
A colorful crowd romps around the slag heap, everyone from horse riders, hikers, joggers and paragliders to model airplane hobbyists.
The mound unveils all its grandeur in the evening, when Hallenhaus, Heaven’s Ladder, and the Thingplatz burst into light with the help of several hundred LEDs.
›› Neukirchen-Vluyn, Geldernsche Straße
The Pattberg slag heap, one of the youngest in the region, is especially popular with hikers, bicyclists, paragliders and hanggliders.
Once you make it the roughly 75 meters to the top, you are greeted with a cross, erected to commemorate the first ecumenical religious serves on Pattberg, as well as a wonderful view of the neighboring Rheinpreußen and Nordeutschland mounds, along with Duisburg and the Lower Rhine.
›› Moers-Repelen, Pattbergstraße
The grounds on and around the Rheinelbe slag heap are beautiful examples of the self-healing power of nature. Its namesake mine was shut down in 1928 and left fallow.
As a result, plants, shrubs and trees of all types grew wildly and rampantly, repossessing the space.
Numerous animal species quickly followed with colonies of their own. On the way to the Rheinelbe heap, you encounter numerous works of the artist Herman Prigann, created from natural materials and the remnants of the Ruhr Region’s industrial past.
The so-called “Stairway to Heaven,” a 12-m sculpture made from concrete blocks, crowns the heap’s vegetation-less summit.
On the eastern section of the mound, on a 30-m, artificial rock wall, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the environs
›› Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf, Leithestraße
Every evening, an imposing landmark on the heap’s plateau radiates warm red hues.
It is a 30 m viewing tower, accessible to visitors, in the form of a mining lamp typical of subterranean construction.
Designed by Otto Piene, the lighting installation, called Geleucht, has 61 lighting elements and an oversized Davy lamp.
It’s all intended to put the grinding, dangerous work of times long past into the right light.
›› Moers-Baerler Busch, Gutenbergstraße
Rather unspectacular during the day, the heap reveals its charm as soon as the sun sets in the West.
Then the cones of light cross each other over the Rungenberg mound, beamed into the Gelsenkirchen night sky by two oversized spotlights.
They are placed on two neighboring pyramids built up with black rubble.
Another sight worth seeing, preferably by day, is the Schienenplateau, a landscape sculpture set in the ground at the top of Halde Rungenberg.
It is a relief made up of 5,000 train rails.
›› Gelsenkirchen-Buer, Holthauser Straße
You can experience the Ruhr Region’s past, present and future up-close in Essen’s Altenessen district. You climb up to the plateau on the many lanes and paths along the entirely green, natural flanks of the slag heap. Once you complete the ascent, a whole new scene opens up to the hiker. Designed by American sculptor Richard Serra, a nearly 70-tonne, 14.5-m slab (a rolled steel plate) rises from the middle of a scraggy landscape covered with excavated material, creating a symbol and monument of the Ruhr’s past.
›› Essen-Katernberg, Emscherstraße
It’s among the smaller of its kind, but it makes up for its size with the spectacular installation on its plateau.
The 24 stele made from stainless steel form a gigantic walkable sun dial, allowing time to be experienced visually.
Even the ascent onto the mound is part of the concept.
You have the option of reaching the plateau with one of four stairways which are exactly aligned with the four compass points and thus form a “geo-cross.”
Each of the paths to the summit is made from materials typical of the Ruhr Region’s industrial past, including mine timber, railway ties, steel slabs and rails.
›› Castrop-Rauxel-Schwerin, Bodelschwingher Straße
Bochum’s local mountain can confidently be termed a hybrid between a mountain and a scrap heap: Over the course of the years, the initial natural rise increased in height.
It now reaches an elevation of 147 m above sea level.
Legend has it that the giant Tippulus took a break during a long trip and cleaned clumps of mud off his shoes here.
Accordingly, the result of this express cleaning is today’s Tippelsberg.
A huge footprint relief embedded in the mountain is a reference to that the legend.
On the summit, visitors enjoy a fabled view.
Eight steel stele are arranged around a centrally situated summit cross, which serves as seating.
The stele point to striking sights in the surrounding areas.
›› Bochum-Riemke, Tippelsberger Straße/Hiltroper Straße