Forming part of the European Route of Industrial Heritage, the Völklingen Iron-works is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed destination in the Saarland town of Völklingen. The ironworks dates to 1881 when it was constructed by Carl Röchling and didn’t close its doors until 1986. It now stands as the world’s only sur-viving smelting works from the 19th and 20th-century Golden Age of iron and steel.

The Völklingen Ironworks is open to the public as an industrial museum, comprising a themed discovery park and an interactive science center that details the making of iron. Embark on the well-signposted circular tour that leads around the ironworks, allowing you to explore the six immense blast furnaces of the smelting works and the world’s only inclined ore lift. Then take in the views from the charging platform where the coke and ore were once poured into the blast furnaces.

Step into the Ferrodrom science center where you’ll be greeted by one of the larg-est fire tornadoes in the world. See giant ice cubes being created and get hands-on in understanding how the ironworks transformed raw materials along the transport circuit, then peer through a microscope to get an up-close look at the surface of iron and steel. After exploring the interactive exhibits, every visitor to the Völklingen Ironworks is invited to mint their very own Ferrodrom coin.

Want a different perspective on the Völklingen Ironworks? Join the “Need a man? Get a woman!” guided tour that illustrates the role women played at the ironworks and Völklingen’s history from a woman’s perspective.