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Völklingen Ironworks

It all began in 1873 when the smelting engineer Julis Buch founded a steel mill near Völklingen. A state-of-the-art industrial complex in its time, these vast ironworks set milestones in technological history and were Germany's largest producer of iron for over a century. Völklingen Ironworks is now a fascinating interactive theme park with industrial buildings of gargantuan proportions. Its six huge blast furnaces, 6,000m² blasting hall with colossal machines and the world's only sloping lift are regarded as some of the finest feats of engineering from the beginning of the 20th century. The 30-metre-tall charging platform, where the coke and the ore were poured into the blast furnaces, is now a gigantic viewing platform, surpassed in height only by the hot-blast stoves that reach up 45 metres. Völklingen Ironworks was included on the World Heritage list as the world's only preserved iron smelting plant from the heyday of the iron and steel industry.