Dusseldorf: Derelict Steel Works Photography

Thyssenkrupp Steel Works in Duisburg, near Dusseldorf is one of my most memorable locations in Germany. The rain brought out the incredible colours of the derelict, rusting steel and peeling paint. I think perhaps the different processes of the plant were painted different colours. Huge yellow-painted pipes would connect to a panel of red-, blue-, and green-painted controls.

I find old industrial buildings and machinery fascinating and often brutally beautiful. This location would be an amazing backdrop to a Wagnerian opera or Shakespeare play. It reminded me of the 1927 Fritz Lang film Metropolis. The industrial scenes were a foretaste of things to come.

I find it tragic how most of our own British industrial heritage has either been obliterated, or sanitised so much that with the addition of a tea shop, they could be opened by the National Trust. Why has beautiful Battersea Power Station been gutted and surrounded by towering blocks of yet more luxury apartments?

Germany seems to be the country most open-minded about keeping its industrial heritage. On frequent visits we have seen coal mines, coking plants and steel works. They have even kept a section of the Berlin Wall which wasn’t sanitised or demolished altogether – as we would have done in the UK.

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