Recklinghausen leuchtet 2021: 150+ illuminations!

The city of Recklinghausen is back with their annual light festival “Recklinghausen leuchtet”. It boasts a record number of illuminations: quantity over quality?

In fact, by just looking at the festival’s website it becomes obvious that there’s no point in trying to see them all. There is a map as well as a list, but no description about the actual illumination. The majority of these illuminations were inside the city’s centre surrounded by the Kaiserwall and Grafenwall.

Fortunately, Recklinghausen is one of the cities where the central station is close to the city. It’s also a convenient shopping locations and on the last day of the festival, shops were open.

Another rainbow colour

The best illumination of the festival is just outside the circle. Projection mapping turns the old city hall of Recklinghausen into a playground for video animations. This year’s theme was “Best of”. The animation was underwhelming though, compared to the last time I’ve been there (2015). One of the most impressive features of projection mapping is the illusion of transformation. There were few in this year’s animation, but it was very short.

Recklinghausen vs. Predator

Predator sculpture
Predator sculpture (front)
Predator sculpture (sculpture)

Another item I had on my list was the Predator. Artist Hebip Ramadani built a 2.30m Predator out of car parts from different manufacturers. The sculpture was moved to the shopping centre for the festival where it looked out of the window.

The illumination was just a blue light which was slightly less effective with the bright shops in the background.

Recklinghausen leuchtet: More stuff

Rainbow coloured building

But that’s just two out of 150+. What about the rest? A simple coloured spotlight counts as an illumination. It’s not comparable to light festivals in Berlin or Eindhoven where artists make each illumination unique. Very few locations in Recklinghausen leuchtet use more than one colour.

There’s also very few projections and animations which is a shame.

But of course I haven’t seen all of the 150 objects. The festival’s website has no method to filter the list of illuminated objects. The highlights of Recklinghausen leuchtet are too hard to find. I’m not sure if that is the direction that the festival should evolve – just adding more green, blue, red lights to add more buildings. 

Recklinghausen leuchtet: projection
One of the few projections
Blue lighting

Location + more info

Official website

October 22 to November 7, 2021. Held annually.

Recklinghausen city

Recklinghausen leuchtet
Recklinghausen leuchtet
Recklinghausen leuchtet

Mia Jaap

Journalist, developer and passionate about Japanese and Korean language. Loves to travel in Japan, but is open to explore the major and lesser known sights of Germany.

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