The last coal mine in the German Ruhr region was closed 

Coal powered German plant Prosper-Haniel at the city of Bottrop. Photo: Wikipedia, credit: Arnold Paul

The last coal mine was closed on 21 December in industrial Ruhr region. For Germany, it means the end of 200 years of industrial history, Frankfurter Allgemeine wrote. Coal mining has, in Germany, for some time been an unprofitable activity.

It was the German RAG group with the plant Prosper-Haniel in the city of Bottrop closed the last coal mine, but it was more than just an ordinary shut down in industry.

It was a symbolic end to an industrial activity that has marked its mark on a whole region.

Without the coal, Ruhrområdet would never have become the denominational concentration of industry and inhabitants as it is today.

Already in the late 19th century, the first immigrants, who left their hometown in present Poland, came to work in the mines and industry.

As a result of mining, large parts of the land area have also fallen, which means that water has to be pumped constantly so that it is not flooded.

The costs of the remediation work amount to several hundred million euros a year and costs now fall into a foundation within the RAG.