City of Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Germany Time: Central European Time (CET)
City of Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Gelsenkirchen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the Ruhr area. In the early 20th century Gelsenkirchen was the most important coal mining town in Europe. It was called the "city of a thousand fires", for the flames of mine gasses being flared during the nights. In 1928 Gelsenkirchen was merged with the adjoining cities of Buer and Horst. The city bore the name Gelsenkirchen-Buer, until it was renamed Gelsenkirchen in 1930.
Gelsenkirchen presents itself above all as a centre of solar technology. Today Germany's largest solar power plant is located in the city. Also in Gelsenkirchen-Scholven there is a coal fired power station with the tallest chimneys in Germany, reaching a height of 302 metres.
Gelsenkirchen is home to the football club FC Schalke 04. Schalke's home ground, Veltins-Arena, is generally regarded as one of the most innovative stadiums built in recent years. It was one of 12 German cities to host matches during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.