Ferropolis

Ferropolis photo album is now online. You can have a look at it here.

Ferropolis, “the city of steel” is an open museum of old huge industrial machines in Gräfenhainichen, a city near Dessau, Germany. It's an open air museum which contains machines from the mid-twentieth century. They can measure to 30 meters high, 120 meters long and weigh up to 1980 tons.



Ferropolis, the fragment of a new city in the middle of a desert created by open-cast mining, is both a monument and symbol of the extensive exploitation of the countryside and the ecological consequences of uncontrolled heavy industrialization. However, Ferropolis has also become a metaphor to environmental rehabilitation and post-industrial revolution management. It tries to address the question of what will a post-industrial cultural landscape look like?


Some of the excavators on display in Ferropolis are the TAKRAF 1521, nick named “Big Wheel” because of its huge excavating wheel. It was built in 1984 manned by 3 to 5 workers and weights 1718 tons. It has a high of 31m and a length of 74,5m. It was used in the mine Golpa Nord and Goitzsche.


“Mosquito” is the most compact of the excavators in the exhibition. It was built in 1941 by Maschinenfabrik Buckau/ magdeburg R. Wolf. Its 792 tons are distributed by a height of 27,2m and a length of 67,1m. It was used in the mines Golpa II, Muldenstein, Golpa-Nord and Gröbern. It was operated by 3 to 5 men. Today it is still full operational.


“Gemini” is a 125m long colossus and its 1980 tons make it the heaviest of all the machines in Ferropolis. It was built in 1958 by VEB Förderanlagen Köthen and was used int he mines of Muldenstrin and Golpa-Nord. The 30m high excavator needed 6 to 8 men to be operated.


“Mad Max” was built in 1962 by VEB Förderanlagen Köthen in order to mine an amount of 1920 cubic meters per hour. It weights 1250 tons along 79,2m and 27,6m high. It was used in the mines of Schlabendorf-Süd and Golpa-Nord. It was operated by 3 to 5 men.


“Medusa” was built in 1959 by VEB Förderanlagen Köthen and weights 1200tons. It was operated by 5 to 7 men and used in the mines of Muldenstein and Golpa-Nord. It’s name originates from its own repair crane which can move around 360 degree and its long conveyor belt.