During its heyday, the Völklinger Hütte boasted a workforce of 17,000. In 1986, the ironworks was decommissioned, and the last few members of that once impressive workforce clocked off for good. What remained were the site’s buildings and machines, the ironworkers’ workstations, and other traces of working life at the Hütte. But what was it actually like to work atop a 30-metre-high blast furnace in temperatures of -10°C?
As part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the Völklinger Hütte World Heritage Site is launching its central theme of “Work at the Völklinger Hütte.” The project is set to last ten years and will see numerous aspects of the Völklinger Hütte’s history as a place of work integrated into the visitors’ route. It seeks to pay homage to the site and its people, shedding light on who the workers were and what their work entailed. Among the project’s focal topics is forced labor at the Völklinger Hütte.