Those who wish to get off the usual tourist trail,which runs between the temples, palaces and parks, should visit theMetallurgical Plant in Saarbrücken- a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is theworld's first industrial monument that has received such a status. The factory,which was founded in 1873, remained the largest producer of iron and steel inGermany for more than one hundred years. In its heyday it employed about 17thousand people. However, the global crisis in the steel industry beginning inthe mid-1970s did not bypass the plant. In the summer of 1986 it was closed.
The authoritiesof Saar saved the plant from further destruction or resale, taking up itsprotection, and turned it into a museum that has almost no analogue in theworld. Now the factory is annually visited by up to 300 thousand tourists! Thehuge pipes, blast furnaces and other metal structures of sometimes unclearpurpose of use look very impressive on the background of vegetation rapidlyovergrown in 30 years.
The total routeof the tour through the plant is about 6km. Multilingual signs are placed nearall the key "exhibits", allowing you to do without a guide availableat the museum, if so desired. Moreover, many of the guides used to work in thisvery factory and can authoritatively tell you what was intended for what here.Ferrodrom Science Center opened at the plant in 2004. It tells about thehistory of metallurgy. Students are often brought here for vivid demonstrationof the physical and chemical processes that they are studying in class.