Ruhr Museum

Permanent Exhibition

The permanent exhibition of the Ruhr Museum presents the fascinating history of one of the world’s largest industrial regions. Its modern and popular design combines the natural and cultural history as an integrative concept; presenting the myths, pictures and phenomena of the Ruhr area, the enormity of the geological history, the long history of industrialisation, and considers its consequences and the perspectives for the future.

The Ruhr Museum takes the ever changing and impressive constellation of its exhibition rooms , the former coal washing plant of the Zollverein Coal Mine, into consideration and weaves it into the exhibitions. The permanent exhibition, planned by the architect office HG Merz in Stuttgart, presents itself in seamless aesthetic and contentual connection with the authentic building and includes the new tendencies in cultural and historic science. 

Therefore, the museum follows the route of the coal through the former coal washing plant and presents an exhibition featuring Present – Memory – History on three floors. In contrast to many other museums, the exhibition starts in the present and describes the modern day reality of the Ruhr area. The following floor is devoted to the pre-industrial memory of the region, before the last floor tells the dramatic history of industrialisation in the Ruhr area, which in turn leads to the present.