Taking a Dip in a Colliery

The swimming pool at Zeche Zollverein in Essen just has to be the craziest pool I have ever visited – if there is one place I wouldn’t expect a pool, it has to be a colliery.

Zeche Zollverein (or Zollverein Colliery, as it is also known in English), is a World Heritage Site that depicts the tough working conditions which could be found in collieries throughout the Ruhrgebiet (or collieries anywhere else, come to think of it). And smack in the middle of the former coking plant, there sits a small swimming pool. To keep in line with the industrial heritage, it has been fashioned from disused freight containers, but it seems a little out of place, nonetheless.

The pool was created by Dirk Paschke und Daniel Milohnic in 2001, and has since become something of a fixture, being open to the public every summer, free of charge.

There is a lifeguard on duty, and when I visited the pool was crowded with local kids – they obviously enjoyed the pool and I think it is a marvellous idea to combine a heritage site with everyday life. After all, heritage sites and historic monuments have become just that because of the impact they had on peoples’ lives – so why not fuse old and new?

If you happen to be visiting the area in summer, take your bathers along and take a dip at this fancy pool!

Do you know of any other World Heritage Sites that happen to have their own pool?

Please note that this blog post was first published on my previous blog ‘Inside Chrissie’s Mind’ on November 12th, 2015.

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