Hessian Brown Coal Mining Museum

Borken is an old town in Hesse, 45 kilometers southwest of Kassel and roughly the same distance northeast of Marburg, in the heart of a region that relied on lignite mining for more than 400 years. The museum, founded in 1992 and located in a timber-framed building called Am Amtsgericht in the town centre, illustrates the history of the coal field and the significance of lignite in industrialization as well as the everyday life of the miners. In a reconstructed gallery visitors can learn about the different methods of underground mining from the beginning of the 20th century until the end of the regional lignite industry in the 1980s when mechanical cutters and hydraulic props were in action on a large scale.

An associated “Kohle & Energie” (Coal and Energy) theme park extends over 3.5 ha and was opened in 2003, displaying large excavators used in open cast workings for lignite, and several railway locomotives. Part of the park is a memorial to the Hessian miners who died while on duty, with particular reference to those killed in a coal dust explosion at the Stozenburg mine in 1988, thus putting an end to mining in the region. The nearby power plant, designed by the architects Werner Issel (1885-1974) and Walter Klingenberg, and fed by local lignite, was built in 1922-23 and worked until 1998. Today it is a protected monument. Displays in the nature reserve around the Borkener See (Borken lake) deal with the rehabilitation of former mining areas.
The Braunkohle-Rundweg, a 35 km circular route for hikers and cyclists providing access to 20 sites of historical interest in the coalfield, starts at the museum.

Hessian Brown Coal Mining Museum
Am Freilichtmuseum 1
34582 Borken (Hessen)
+49 (0) 5682 - 808271

Recommended duration of visit:3 Hours
Duration of a guided tour:120 Minutes
Access for persons with disabilities:For details see website
Infrastructure for children:
Gift and book shop on site:yes

April to October:Visitors Mine, Themepark "Coal and Engery", InformationcentreTuesday - Sunday 2-5pmNovember to March:Visitors Mine Saturday 2-5pmThemepark closed<//span></ span=""><//>


  • Guided tours optional
  • Tours in other languages
  • Guided tours for children