Reflections on Essen – a small town in Germany
Essen seems a pleasant enough town with a nice shopping centre and nice cafes. The striking thing about my visit related to the trains and the people on them. So maybe a photographic treatise here is better than so many words. But two questions. Firstly, how common is it to not wear any shoes on a train especially in the rain? Secondly, what wonderful graffiti both on the train and around the station. Far from imagining this as a negative thing I became convinced that it is a positive thing and added value to both the train and the station. Not everyone’s thoughts maybe.
Essen is the 9th largest city in Germany with a population just under 0.6 million. Although it is the (in total) most indebted city in Germany, Essen continues to pursue its redevelopment plans. Notable accomplishments in recent years include the title of European Capital of Culture on behalf of the whole Ruhr area in 2010 and the selection as the European Green Capital for 2017.
The train station is an important hub.Of the Rhein-Ruhr S-Bahn net’s 13 lines, 5 lines lead through Essen territory and meet at the Essen Hauptbahnhof main station, which also serves as the connection to the Regional-Express and Intercity-Express network of regional and nationwide high-speed trains.
Essen it can be said is not an obvious mecca for high quality football.The biggest association football clubs in Essen are Rot-Weiss Essen (Red-White Essen) and Schwarz-Weiß Essen (Black-White Essen). Rot-Weiss Essen is playing in the fourth tier of the German football league system, Regionalliga West, and Schwarz-Weiß Essen in the fifth tier, Oberliga Nordrhein-Westfalen. Other football clubs are BV Altenessen, TuS Helene Altenessen, SG Essen-Schönebeck.
Tourism is not such a large aspect to the city but commerce certainly is. At international trade fairs and public shows and exhibitions, Essen international trade Fairs welcomes over 14,000 exhibitors and up to 2 million visitors each year.
There are however some interesting things to see, presumably for those shoe wearing denizens of Essen. The Soul of Africa museum is one such place.