The adventure starts in the pit cage, coming to a halt only 150 metres below the surface. An underground railway takes visitors from there to a gallery where experienced guides revive daily routines of yesteryear on original machines: Drill hammers, rocker shovel and LHD loaders recount the hard work of iron ore mining and the miners' vital team spirit. Once the ore was mined, the historic surface facilities continue to follow its path: from the dumping hall, where crushers pre-processed the ore lumps for transport by cable car to the Lahn Valley Railway, to the drum-type electric hoisting machine still used today for the pit cage ride down to the 150-metre level, to the historicist-style engine house dating back to the Krupp era of the ore mine at the beginning of the 20th century. The former colliery administration accommodates the original pithead baths and a mining museum featuring a rich collection of films, images and objects related to the region's mining history. If you like, you can also explore the surroundings of the mine on the mining trail.
Ore mining in the Lahn-Dill region dates back more than 2,000 years. The Fortuna mine, located between Solms-Oberbiel and Aßlar-Berghausen, was first recorded in the files of the Royal Prussian Mining Department in 1847. Its owner at that time, the Prince of Solms Braunfels, initially operated it as an open-pit mine, expanding it by adits as of the 1860s. In 1878, a 3.6-kilometre cable car connects it to the "Georgshütte" blast furnace in Burgsolms, which is also owned by the prince. Thirty years later, the House of Solms cannot keep up with the rapid growth of the coal and steel industry: in 1906, only five years after sinking a first 45-metre shaft, the entire mining estate - Fortuna and a further 11 pits - is sold to the Friedrich Krupp company in Essen. In addition to a new shaft, the following refurbishment includes the construction of extensive surface facilities in the historicist style. This includes a pit frame with winding house, an engine hall, a boiler house, a colliery administration, a processing plant and a new cable car to the Albshausen railway station. As a result of all these measures, the output of the mine doubles, the main customers being the ironworks in Upper Silesia. In 1943, the site suffers a setback due to the collapse of the winding shaft and the headframe. After World War II, both the quantity and the quality of the Fortuna ores secure the survival of the mine. In the 1950s, new operating facilities were built, some of which are still in use today. Instead of a headframe, these include a so-called pulley house, which is now a unique testimony to ore extraction. Fortuna was the penultimate iron ore mine in Germany to cease operations only in 1983. Since 1985 it has been a visitor mine run by an association.
Today, the former Fortuna red ironstone mine is an information and documentation centre and an important relic of Hessian and German mining history in modern times, which allows visitors to directly experience the technology and everyday life of ore mining in the 20th century.
|Recommended duration of visit:||3 Hours|
|Duration of a guided tour:||60 Minutes|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||For details see website|
|Infrastructure for children:|
|Visitor centre on site:||yes|