Ferropolis: The City of Iron in Germany

Despite the fact that Germany is well-studied by tourists, it still has something to surprise them

Ferropolis is an open-air museum and a platform for large-scale festivals

History of Ferropolis

Today, Ferropolis is an open-air museum of technology, a monument of industrial history and one of the most atmospheric places for festivals in Germany. However, until recently, the last resting place of giant, industrial excavators, spread out between the cities of Wittenberg and Dessau was an inconspicuous quarry for the extraction of brown coal. In 1991, coal mining began to bring more trouble than profit and, as a result, was stopped. The quarry emptied, many people left in search of a better life, and local authorities began to think what to do with tons of unprofitable cars.

The concept of transforming the abandoned quarry appeared immediately after its closure, but it was only possible to implement it in 1995, when it was decided to bring the same decommissioned giants from nearby lands and, breathing new life into the wasteland, to establish a “city of metal” – Ferropolis.


“Ferropolis” cultural project

The first association at the sight of dancing people against the background of corroded cars – Burning Man in German way. But this is not quite true, before Ferropolis was chosen by music festivals in Germany, it was an industrial monument, a museum whose exhibits resemble either huge steel monsters, or retro-transformers who found themselves in a post-apocalyptic world. A lot of work was done to “flood” part of the quarry, so that it resembles a peninsula, which is isolated from the entire surrounding world and was connected with it only by the isthmus.

And in 2001, iron city hosted its first festival – Melt! Festival, which has since been held regularly in Ferropolis and has grown to become one of the most popular electronic music festivals in Germany. In 2009, a major hip-hop Splash! Festival also moved permanently to the city of metal. Festival. In just over twenty years, Ferropolis has hosted a huge number of artists of various calibers and genres, from Linkin Park and Metallica to Lil Pump and A$AP Rocky.

How do I get to Ferropolis?

Ferropolis has a fairly convenient location for tourists, as it is located 130 km from Berlin and 80 km from Leipzig, which is where it is easiest to get to the iron city. There are two ways to do this: by train or by car. If everything is clear with the car, then we will consider the train option in more detail.

By train, you will need to get to the small town of Gräfenhainichen, whose central station is located five kilometers from our destination. From Berlin, this trip will take two hours with one transfer and cost 20 euros, and from Leipzig only an hour, but also with a transfer and for a similar price.

Where to stay on the way to Ferropolis?

Don’t limit yourself to visiting a single metal city and explore other attractions of the undervalued by tourists Saxony-Anhalt region. Go to Dessau, which is only twenty kilometers away, where you can spend the night and over a glass of beer digest the impressions after visiting the quarry or relax from the noisy nights of the Melt! festival. It was in Dessau that the famous Bauhaus school was located, which crossed arts and crafts, reinterpreted everyday objects, eliminating some of the excessive pretentiousness, and adding elegance to others.
Having existed for only 14 years, the school was closed by the Nazis, but this was enough to leave a permanent mark on art. Also go to Dessau-Wörlitz, a Park Kingdom that has been protected by UNESCO since 2000, explore the half-timbered houses of Quedlinburg, or just cycle along the Elbe river along the Elberadweg route.