In the Ruhr region, former coal mines and factories recall 150 years of industrial history. The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen is especially well-known. In 2001, it was named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
A cosmopolitan approach to life in Cologne, industrial heritage in the Ruhr region, open countryside in Westphalia: North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of contrasts.
Naftali Fürst survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Today the 88-year-old is speaking German again: "I do my duty: I tell the story." Seventy-five years after Auschwitz was liberated, he met Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Lower German Limes between Bad Breisig in Rhineland-Palatinate and the seaside resort Katwijk in the Netherlands is to be considered for World Cultural Heritage status.
With Germany's last black coal mine closing today near Bottrop in the Ruhr industrial belt, the former mining region promises to transform into a cultural powerhouse.
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