Essen is a city in the central part of the Ruhr area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Located on the River Ruhr, its population of approximately 579,000 (as of June 30, 2008) makes it the 9th-largest city in Germany. For the year 2010, Essen was the European Capital of Culture on behalf of the whole Ruhr area.
Until the 1970s, Essen had been one of Germany's most important coal and steel centres. Historically linked to the centuries-old Krupp family iron works, the city has since developed a strong tertiary sector of the economy, so it is sometimes called "desk of the Ruhr area" (together with nearby Düsseldorf). Essen is home to 13 of the 100 largest German corporations and seat to several of the region's authorities.
Further enrichments for the Essen experience are city events and attractive restaurant and pubs offering a great selection of food and drink. Essen is regarded as "the city for shopping". Exquisite jewellery shops, elegant boutiques, major furniture stores, exclusive design studios, and an assortment of department stores offer a varied and exciting shopping experience.
|Folkwang University of the Arts (Werden Abbey)|
Those wanting to “immerse“ themselves in the history of the “Black Country“ should not miss travelling the “Industrial Culture Route“: on a 400-km circuit, 46 industrial monuments afford entirely new perspectives of and insights into the industrial history of the region.
|The Old Synagogue|
- Essen Cathedral. Essen Minster or Cathedral (Essener Münster, since 1958 also Essener Dom) is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Essen, the "Diocese of the Ruhr", founded in 1958. The church, dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damian and the Blessed Virgin Mary, stands on the Burgplatz in the centre of the city. The minster was formerly the collegiate church of Essen Abbey, founded in about 845 by Altfrid, Bishop of Hildesheim, around which the city of Essen grew up. The present building, which was reconstructed after its destruction in World War II, is a Gothic hall church, built after 1275 in light-coloured sandstone. The octagonal westwork and the crypt are survivors of the Ottonian pre-Romanesque building that once stood here. To the north of the minster is a cloister that once served the abbey. Essen Minster is noted for its treasury (Domschatz), which among other treasures contains the Golden Madonna, the oldest fully sculptural figure of Mary north of the Alps. The first bishop of Essen, Cardinal Hengsbach, was buried here in 1991.
- The Old Synagogue. The former Essen synagogue, completed in 1913 by master builder Edmund Körner on behalf of the Jewish community, is the only free-standing major synagogue structure to have survived - at least externally - the Second World War. Today, it constitutes a unique cultural and architectural monument. The future House of Jewish Culture is, however, presented not as a museum and historical site but rather as a meeting place where people can come into contact with Jewish culture and the Jewish way of life.
- The Villa Hügel is a mansion in Bredeney. It belonged to the Krupp family of industrialists and was built by Alfred Krupp during 1873 as a residence. More recently, the Villa Hügel is the main office of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation (major shareholder of the Thyssen-Krupp corporation) and houses an art gallery. At the time of its construction, the villa featured some technical novelties and peculiarities, such as a central hot air heating system, own water- and gas works and electric internal and external telegraph- and telephone systems (with a central induction alarm for the staff). The mansion's central clock became the reference clock for the whole Krupp enterprise; every clock was to be set with a maximum difference of half a minute. The archive of the Krupp family and company is also located there. An annex, called the Little House (kleines Haus) on the estate holds sixty rooms and served to confine Alfried Krupp in the aftermath of the Second World War. The house has 259 rooms and occupies 8,100 m². It lies in a 28 hectare park overlooking the River Ruhr and the Baldeneysee.
- Werden Abbey. Saint Ludger founded a monastery in 799 and became its first abbot. The little church which Saint Ludger built here in honor of Saint Stephen was completed in 804 and dedicated by Saint Ludger himself, who had meanwhile become Bishop of Münster. Upon the death of Ludger on 26 March 809, the abbacy of Werden passed by inheritance first to his younger brother Hildigrim I (809–827), then successively to four of his nephews: Gerfried (827–839), Thiadgrim (ruled less than a year), Altfried (839–848), Hildigrim II (849–887). Under Hildigrim I, also Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne, the new monastery of Helmstedt in the Diocese of Halberstadt was founded from Werden. It was ruled over by a provost, and remained a dependency of Werden till its secularization in 1803. During this time the abbey and its territory became part of Prussia, but three years later it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Berg. In 1815 it became Prussian again as part of the Rhine Province. The buildings are currently used by the Folkwang University of the Arts.
- Museum Folkwang. All epoch-making art periods from the romantics to the modern avant-garde are represented in the Folkwang Museum by excellent exhibits: paintings, graphics, and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries, a first class collection on the history of photography, antique ceramics and some examples of Far Eastern and African art.
|The Villa Hügel |