ESSEN 
General Information

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Essen lies in  in Nordrhein - Westfalia, in the Ruhr area. For decades, Essen was Europe's biggest coal mining city. It's situated in the heart of the German Ruhr Valley industrial region known as the Ruhrgebiet. Coal - the "black gold" from the depths of the mines - powered the German post-war economic miracle and made the Ruhrgebiet one of the most polluted corners of the continent at the time.

Founded
852 by bishop Altfrid von Hildesheim. With about 630,000 inhabitants Essen today is the sixth biggest city of Germany.  Today Essen is a well-known and popular city for shopping, seat of many authorities and associations as well as the head office of many main centrals of well-known concerns. As in many other cities, there are a university and further technical colleges in Essen. Anyway, Essen has to offer some more in the cultural area. E. g.: several theatres and the museums Ruhrland and Folkwang. Essen is a diocesan town since 1958

Today, smoking chimneystacks and humming pithead frames no longer define the image of Germany's sixth-biggest city. They have been replaced by technology centers and the
office blocks of major companies. In Essen, around three-quarters of all employees work in the service sector. Nowhere in the Ruhrgebiet is the structural transformation from industrial town to service center as apparent as in Essen.