Gelsenkirchen is a German city situated in North Rhine-Westphalia and having a population of about 267,000 inhabitants.
Historically mentioned for the first time in 1150 as a small village, Gelsenkirchen owes its development to the Industrial Revolution, mainly coal mining. Its population grew therefore from 6000 in 1840 (when exploitation of coal started) to 138,000 in 1900.
In 1928, by associating Gelsenkirchen with cities of Buer and Horst (de), the city Gelsenkirchen-Buer was born, resuming the name Gelsenkirchen in 1930.
Surnamed the “city of a thousand fires”, due to the flames of mine gasses flashing at night, Gelsenkirchen was considered to be the most important coal mining town at the beginning of 20th century.
During World War II Gelsenkirchen, as a coal mining and oil refining center, was the bombing target of the Allied. It also hosted a women’s subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
Today all collieries disappeared and Gelsenkirchen became a center of solar technology where can be found Germany’s largest solar power plant. Companies such as Shell Solar Deutschland GmbH and . Scheuten Solar Technology are involved in this area, producing solar cells and solar panels. Other important business companies in Gelsenkirchen are: TreuHandStelle, Gelsenwasser e.on, BP Gelsenkirchen GmbH, Pilkington.
Gelsenkirchen is considered by Bertelsmann Foundation one of the business-friendliest German cities (after Leipzig, Karlsruhe and Bremen). It also hosts the football club Schalke 04 and a zoo established in 1949.
Author: MiR Gelsenkirchen
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