The Paradise

A unique dialogue between industrial culture and nature

“The dialogue between industrial culture and nature is one of the most fascinating artistic themes in the contemporary acquisition of our civilisation. A central emotional theme of current photography is nature, as it conquers the shut-down industrial site, transforms and newly defines it making it come alive with plants and animals. In establishing the Paradise the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Volklingen Ironworks has succeeded in making alive and liveable and this special dialogue between nature and industrial culture to be seen in 12 garden spaces. The scenes which arise from a walk around it reinvent the term industrial culture.  It is right there where the extraordinary value of the rich garden at the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Volklingen Ironworks lies”, declared prof. Dr. Meinrad Maria Grewenig on the occasion of opening.
Like a mysterious earthly Garden of Eden, the area between the coking plant and the Saar has remained untrod behind an impregnable wall for almost 25 years. Just as in paradise, animals and plants could thrive undisturbed in the shadow of the blast furnace group. On the tenth birthday of the Centre for Art and Industry Culture and 60 years of the Federal Republic of Germany this unique treasure between the coking plant and the banks of the Saar became “exalted”.
With the help of landscape architect Catherine Gräfin Bernadotte this island of wilderness has been created into a painterly garden with no equal the world over.
This unique landscaped garden runs around and about the remaining parts of the former coking plant, the historical steel coal tower dating from 1897, the centrally located concrete coal tower, coke batteries four and seven and the huge water tank covering a garden area of, in total, 33000 m².
Over 1000 metres of newly laid paths and clearings provide totally new and exciting views on and in the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Volklingen Ironworks. The twelve thematic garden spaces impart a variety of experiences of nature and its dialogue with industry culture. The views on the Volklingen Ironworks’ blast furnaces, the Saar and the old Coke batteries serve as orientation points. The gardens’ rich diversity, spans from quietude to lively energy. The run of the season drenches the Paradise in vibrant colour and pleasant smells.


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