Germany has a great history of coal mining and steel mining. This industrial past is now a large tourist attraction to foreigners to come experience these fourth nature sites, or most often museums… The Zollverein is a coal mine site turned into a museum. We got a tour of the museum as well as experience what it was like to be a miner by holding the extremely HEAVY tools they used. Life as a miner is not only obviously very unhealthy for the lungs, but also a lot of physical labor. The tools were extremely heavy. A person would have to be kneeling while holding a heavy jackhammer (also risking the mine caving in). This job was extremely difficult and uncomfortable. Horses were even kept underground as well to transport items through the mine. I found this really interesting.
Not only did we get to see the actual mining areas but we were able to be in the open air on the skywalk ramps. These ramps were raised and allowed us to travel deeper into the park. We were brought to the top of the Museum and had a view of the entire site. The park is a lot bigger than just a coal mine campus. We said goodbye to the tour guide and walked through some forested areas. This fourth-nature forested park brought us to an area of succession. Down the path, we continued to walk and saw remnants of a water pump area.