Bergkamen is in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in Unna county. The town has a population of just about 50,000, and is surrounded by nature reserves and waterways. Its history in the Ruhr Valley extends back to Roman times, but it has existed in its current form since 1966, when five smaller municipalities were merged.
The Bergkamen site at a glance:
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Frequently asked questions about the Bergkamen site
Some 1,500 employees at the Bergkamen Supply Center are engaged in producing active ingredients for contrast media, contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. In total, over 60 different active ingredients are manufactured at the plant, which has been in operation for some 50 years. This makes Bergkamen the largest Bayer site for the production of pharmaceutical active ingredients.
- Cycling and hiking:
Bergkamen has 100 km of cycling and hiking trails for all-day outings. The Beversee and Lippeauen nature reserves and the renaturalized "Grosses Holz” spoil tip in particular are popular destinations for excursions on foot or by bike. In addition, regional cycling routes go directly through town, including the “Römer-Lippe,” the Industrial Culture, the “LandesGartenSchau” and the NRW German Soccer routes. One special tour is to cycle along the Datteln-Hamm canal and take a break at the Westphalian Water Sports Center - Rünthe Marina.
- Water sports:
Apart from the two industrial docks on the Dattel-Hamm canal, Bergkamen also has a marina for pleasurecraft: Marina Rünthe. It is one of the largest marinas in North Rhine-Westphalia. Before becoming a harbor facility for recreational watercraft, it was a loading dock for sand, gravel and coal. Today it attracts numerous visitors who want to enjoy the holiday atmosphere along the banks of the canal. Apart from the water sports facilities and cycling paths, sports enthusiasts can also take advantage of the fitness center with badminton courts located at the marina.
Bergkamen has one of the largest nature reserves in North Rhine-Westphalia: Beversee park, covering no less than 100 hectares. The Waldsee Lake there is home to many rare plant and animal species. Hobby birders like to observe the diverse birds on the lake from the shoreline viewing platform. The Mühlenbruch nature reserve, bordering Kamen to the southwest along Highway 61, is the perfect place for hiking with the entire family.
Miners first dug for coal here in winter 1915, but now, 100 years later, the building attracts visitors interested in arts and entertainment: The Werne Coal Mine, which is a protected historic site, is today home to the Shaft III Cultural Center. Used as a multipurpose meeting place, it has seating for 800 and is the largest venue in Bergkamen.
In the neighborhood of Bergkamen-Oberaden for example. The largest Roman military camp north of the Alps was located here from 11 – 8/7 BC. Covering 56 hectares, the camp had two legions with 12,000 soldiers and up to 3,000 camp followers. It was surrounded by a 2.7 km-long defense wall made of wood and earth, sections of which were uncovered in September 2012. The authentic reconstruction of this Roman park is a highlight for tourists cycling the Römer-Lippe route.
The town of Bergkamen has a variety of events for residents and visitors. The region’s largest farmer’s market sets up every Thursday. Every year on Halloween, the “Lichtermarkt” attracts visitors to Bergkamen, where both young and old have the opportunity to become part of a unique work of art made of light. Another regular event is the Harbor Festival, held on the first weekend in June at Rünthe Marina. Health-conscious Bergkamen residents can also participate in the town’s Fitness Day, held on the first weekend in September on “Zentrumsplatz” square in the “Mitte” section of downtown.