In Göttelborn nothing is as it seems at first sight. The mining gear and colliers’ housing settlement have changed their roles. The strictly functional, clearly visible pit headgear is an expression of the latest state of technology; yet it has already taken on a museum function. On the other hand the housing settlement that looks like an open air museum is still a part of everyday life.
The rise of the Göttelborn pit coincided with the zenith of industrialisation. In 1887 the Imperial Prussian Mining Authority began to mine coal here. As early as 1751 the Saarbrücken Prince Wilhelm Heinrich had nationalised the Göttelborn "Kohlegräberei". Göttelborn was always right up to date in technical matters and in 1972 it was one of the top pits in Germany. In 1990 400 million Deutschmarks were invested in shaft number four (it was around 1200 metres deep). Above the shaft stood a 90 metre high white pit headgear that quickly rose to the status of a local trademark. By 1995 Göttelborn was on its knees – a vain signal of hope in the midst of a general decline. The last ton of coal was mined in the year 2000.
The dormitory house, the "premium" house and not least the workers’ housing estate were at the core of the housing policies of the Prussian mining administration. Between 1888 and 1912 the state mining authority erected 23 dwelling houses along with a school and a café-kitchen. From 1918 to 1935 mining in the Saar region was the responsibility of the French mining authority. In 1921 it built 10 single storey semi-detached houses with a rich variation of different shaped roofs for the white collar workers in the pit. The social hierarchy of white collar workers and black collar workers can still be identified from the buildings here. The houses for the white collar workers are representative and roomy. By contrast the reddish-brown semi-detached houses of the workers are much more modest: they have a yard, a shed and a garden for the miners to grow their own vegetables, keep chickens or a goat.
After operations ceased at the pit it was transformed into a "future site". The fences were pulled down and the Cité Göttelborn created under the aegis of a company called the "IndustrieKultur Saar GmbH". Projects are developed in a new building, the "industrial heritage workshop"; and the adjacent guesthouse, "Flöz", offers guests overnight accommodation right in the midst of this industrial environment and growing trading estate. Right through the middle runs the "mining tip circular trail" that leads walkers up to "Heaven´s Arrow", a viewpoint at the top of the Göttelborn tip.