Mining Museum

Fohnsdorf in Styria is the centre of an area where brown coal (lignite) was mined from the late seventeenth century. It was extracted on a larger scale from the 1840s when it was used at ironworks in Styria. In 1869 the mines at Fohnsdorf were bought by Steirische Eisenindustriegesellschaft. Mining was always a dangerous occupation and in 1943 101 miners were killed by an explosion in the Karl-August Schacht. The colliery at Fohsdorf, whose deepest shaft extended about 1000 m below the surface, was claimed to be the deepest lignite mine in the world. Parts of the mine were placed under preservation orders in 1977, the year before production ceased. The preserved surface buildings were opened in 1983 as the Montanmuseum Fohnsdorf. The outstanding feature is a steel headstock originally constructed in 1884. When the 3550 hp twin tandem compound winding engine by Friedrich-Wilhelm Hutte of Mühlheim was installed in 1923 its height was increased to 47 m. Visitors can inspect the winding engine and venture into a replica mine some 160 m long that was opened in 1898. Indoor displays illustrate geology, minerals, fossils and the history of mining, while the outdoor exhibits include a fireless 0-4-0 steam locomotive of 1889 by Schwartzkopff of Berlin.

Mining Museum
Haldengasse 10
8753 Fohnsdorf
Austria
+43 (0) 3573 - 4646
Homepage