Working underground was anything but a bed of roses. Miners were exposed to enormous levels of stress because of the extremely low galleries (some of which were no higher than 40 centimetres), the dust produced from mining copper slate, and not least of all the noise of the chopping machines and jackhammers. It is now possible for visitors to experience these conditions at first hand in the "Röhrigschacht" demonstration mine that was opened in 1991 in the suburb of Wettelrode in Sangerhausen. Visitors start their journey through the mine at one of the oldest pithead towers in Europe, built in 1884. From there they proceed underground in an original conveyer cage to a depth of 283 metres, from where they travel a further 1.000 metres with the pit railway to the 19th century coal faces. Here they can learn more about mining methods from the earliest time to the present day from former mineworkers, sometimes with the support of loud historic equipment.
It's a long and exciting history, for mining and processing copper slate in the southeast of the Harzvorland region began over 800 years ago and only ended in 1990. During this time there were more than 270 mining shafts in the region of Sangerhausen; indeed, in the Mansfeld basin there were more than 1000. The Röhrigschacht (lit: Röhrig Shaft) is situated in the midst of this historic mining area. A museum has been housed in the surface buildings since 1987. Miners’ instruments, drills and loading equipment, means of transportation, mining machines, ventilation equipment and pumping gear, not to speak of countless models and illustrations – all these different features turn a visit to the exhibition into a journey through the region's geology and its recent history of copper slate mining. Typical hauling techniques are explained outside in the spoil tip area.
Nowadays events like the "Colliers Day" in July, the "Underground Cabaret" shows in spring and autumn, and the pre-Christmas St. Barbara celebrations are all popular dates in the calendar. Hikers too can get their money's worth. Two different circular nature trails through the old mining area lead past the rich relics of mediaeval mining.
|Recommended duration of visit:||2-4 Hours|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||For details see website|
|Infrastructure for children:|
|Gift and book shop on site:||yes|
June to August:
Tuesday - Sunday 9.30am-5pm
September to May:
Wednesday - Sunday 9.30am-5pm