Historic Silver Mine World Heritage Site
The shine of the carbide lamps flit about the underground "Silver Chamber". Look over there! Aren't these two miners working the dolomite rock with hammer and chisel? In the distance you can hear the rattle of pit cars, interrupted by the sound of explosions and hammer strikes. The next gallery is flooded with water on a low level, with narrow steel vessels moored to the walls. While the boats are floating almost silently through the underworld the mine guides tell the story of a so called Treasurer still haunting the place. Back to the surface, visiting the pit bank of the "Angel" shaft nowadays used as a mining museum, the one-hour trip to the historical silver mine of Tarnowskie Góry appears to be like a glimpse into distant world: A world made of nested silver and lead mines dominating the Upper Silesian town for more than 400 years, thus contributing to its high significance. Close to the mining building there is a heritage park of steam machinery where visitors can experience the time when steam-powered drainage pumps, winding gear and locomotives revolutionized the mining industry. Those who have still not had enough may head to the "Black Trout" Adit about four kilometres away. Another subterranean boat ride is waiting there for them - covering a distance of 600 metres!
Charles V, Augustus the Strong, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Royals and famous poets always made part of the many visitors to Tarnowskie Góry in Upper Silesia. They came to see a cradle of European metal ore mining. The first silver mines are dating back to the late Middle Ages. In 1526 the landlord of the area, Duke of Opole John II called the Good Duke, granted Tarnowskie Góry the status of an independent mining town. Two years later he installed one of the first mining acts in Europe called "Ordunek Gorny". Following a temporary decline due to numerous wars and plagues newly discovered silver deposits led to a rise of silver mining operations in the 18th century. In order to drain the water that flooded the underground galleries Tarnowskie Góry became one of the first place in Europe to witness the implementation of a steam engine: In 1788 Fryderyk Wilhelm Hrabia von Reden, by then the Prussian minister of industry, arranged the machine's transfer from England and its installation in the Deep Adit Fryderyk.
The mining industry in Tarnowskie Góry ceased in 1912. It left behind a unique maze of subterranean gangways, rooms, pits and drain adits the width of which is estimated to surpass 150 kilometres. The "Black Trout" Adit, named after the fish living in its waters and housing bats as well, is the final segment of the Deep Adit Fryderyk. The idea of making it accessible to the public by boats was conceived already before World War II. In 1957 the Society of Friends of Tarnowskie Góry Region was able to successfully carry out this project for the first time. The historical silver mine, just a few kilometres to the east, can be visited since 1976. One of the highlights is the elevator ride down to the pit. The following underground tour is 1.700 metres long of which a 270 metres section is travelled by boat. The adjacent heritage park of steam machinery boasts 31 exhibits including a narrow gauge locomotive made by Henschel & Son in 1906. Since 2017 the mine and its water management system is listed as Unesco World Heritage Site.
|Recommended duration of visit:||2 Hours|
|Duration of a guided Tour:||90 Minutes|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||Available|
|Infrastructure for Children:|
|Visitor centre on site:||yes|
|Gift and book shop on Site:||yes|
monday - friday 9am-3pm; saturday, sunday 9am-5pm
monday - friday 10am-4pm; saturday, sunday 9am-5pm
- Guided tours only
- Tours in other languages
- Guided tours for children