Oberhausen (ˈoːbɐhaʊzən) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area, 35 km to the north of Düsseldorf on the banks of the river Emscher
The area which is Oberhausen today belonged to a number of different dominions until 1862, when the new borough was formed following the development of coal
mines and steel
mills and the consequent inflow of people. It took the name from the train station (built in 1847), which in turn took its name from the residence of a local aristocrat called "Schloss Oberhausen".
Soon after Oberhausen was awarded town rights in 1874 and city rights in 1901 and absorbed several neighbouring boroughs during its growth in the late 19th century. In 1929 the towns of Sterkrade and Osterfeld were incorporated into Oberhausen, forming the city as it exists today.
As of 2006 218.181 people live in the city.
- 0-18: 18.2%
- 65 and over: 18.9%
The unemployment rate is quite high at 13.2% (January 2007), as is the foreign population ratio at 12.4%.
Like other Ruhr Area cities industry in Oberhausen was largely focused on mining and steel production until the 1960s. The heart of this industrial complex was the large Thyssen
iron and steel mill. These industries declined in the second half of the 20th century, the last coal mine closed in 1992 and the steel mill was gradually run down until 1997. Over 50,000 jobs were lost during this process.
Today the city is in the process of marketing itself as a centre of retail and leisure. The old site of the steel mill was redeveloped as the "Neue Mitte Oberhausen" (New Central Oberhausen) with a large shopping mall (CentrO
), a multi-purpose arena, an amusement park and a musical theatre as well as office buildings and light industry. Other major sectors include chemical processing, mechanical engineering and education.
Due to its history Oberhausen has 4 "city centres". Alt-Oberhausen, Sterkrade and Osterfeld are common town centres similar to those of other towns of the area and cater mainly for everyday needs. The new city centre with its mall draws many people from more distant places as it also boasts a larger number of exceptional shops.
The city lacks an architectural identity. Much of the city is composed of low- to medium-density residential areas, most of which date from the 1950s-1970s.
Oberhausen is well connected to the German motorway network.
Oberhausen Hauptbahnhof is the main railway station in the city. Long-distance trains stop at the station (some even to Amsterdam
) as well as regional and local services. There are stations at Holten, Sterkrade and Osterfeld, catering for regional and local travel.
The nearest commercial airports are Düsseldorf International Airport
(about 30km), Dortmund Airport
(about 50km) and Weeze Airport
The Rhein-Herne Canal
bisects the city. Additionally the Ruhr
skirts the south-western part of the city, but navigation on the river bypasses this stretch via a shortcut canal to the south.
The city-owned company "STOAG" provides an extensive coverage of bus and tram services. It is part of the VRR
transport association covering the whole Rhine-Ruhr-Area
- "Neue Mitte" with CentrO shopping mall, Sea Life aquarium, CentrO arena and CentrO.park, an amusement park.
- OLGA-Park, a landscaped garden in Osterfeld created for a horticultural show
- Gasometer, a huge gas holder converted into exhibition space. It's an anchor point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage
- "Rheinisches Industriemuseum" (Industrial Museum of the Rhineland) is located in an old zinc works.
With around 250 sports clubs Oberhausen has an active community. Local football club Rot-Weiss Oberhausen
currently play in the second tier of the league.