Neukirchen, Hochfeld im Untersulzbachtal.
Inntalautobahn either exit Kufstein from the north or exit Wörgl Ost from the south. Follow signs to Kitzbühel, then Pass Thurn to Mittersill and then Neukirchen.
Tauernautobahn exit Bischofshofen, then Zell am See, Mittersill, Neukirchen.
Park at the Einödbrücke at the Salzach river. There are two trails to the mine, both about 1 hour. It is also possible to charter a Tälertaxi (bus shuttle).
14-MAY to 06-JUL Mon-Fri only after appointment, Sat, Sun, Hol 11-13.
07-JUL to 09-SEP Mon-Fri 10:30-14:30, Sat, Sun, Hol 11-13.
10-SEP to 25-OCT Mon-Fri only after appointment, Sat, Sun, Hol 11-13.
26-OCT to 13-MAY only after appointment.
On regular open days daily at 10:30 bus shuttle from Neukirchen to the mine.
Samerhofstall: MAY to OCT daily 10-12, 15-18.
Adults EUR 11, Locals EUR 10, Overnight visitors EUR 10, Students EUR 8, School pupils EUR 5.
Groups (10+): one free per ten.
|Dimension:||L=4,000 m, T=6 °C.|
|Guided tours:||L=1,200 m, D=2 h.|
Tourismusbüro, Neukirchen am Großvenediger, 5741 Neukirchen am Großvenediger, Tel: +43-6565-6256.
Schaubergwerk Hochfeld, Zukunftskollegium Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, Neukirchen am Großvenediger.
Ing. Johann Lerch, Samerhofstall, A-5741 Neukirchen am Großvenediger, Tel: +43-664-2313108. E-mail:
Wildkogel Aktivbüro, Tel: +43-6565-21444.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1525||first written account of the copper mining at the Untersulzbachtal.|
|1537||name Hochfeld first time mentioned.|
|1701||Gregori Perger from Bramberg started mining but lost all his money.|
|1745||a fire destroys all mining buildings on the surface.|
|1758||Fürsterzbischofs von Salzburg owns 8/9th of the mines.|
|1761||buildings and roads destroyed by a flood.|
|1780||new technologies caused an increase of production.|
|1781||Fürsterzbischofs von Salzburg owns all mines.|
|1805||mines taken over by the country Austria.|
|1810||mining became Bavarian for a short time and was named Königlich-Bayerischer Kupfer Bergbau Untersulzbach.|
|1855||the mining was not rentable any more and was sold to a new private owner.|
|1946||mines reopened after World War II.|
|1954||mines finally closed.|
|1986-1996||developed as a show mine by the Zukunftskollegium Nationalpark Hohe Tauern Neukirchen.|
This part of Austria is called the Tauernfenster (Tauern window) and is a window of old, variated crystalline rocks bordered by a frame of young sedimentary rocks. This is a typical structure for alpine orogenes, where the uplift is strongest in the center and so the crystalline basement is uplifted and reaches the surface after the overlying sedimentrary rock are eroded.
The copper ores are a result of hydrothermal activities at the ocean floor some 700 to 350 Million years ago. The copper formed layers in the sedimentary rocks, but it was subsidized, metamorphized, and finally during the last 35 Million years folded during the alpine orogeny.
The area is famous for its numerous minerals, which formed in clefts and are pretty variated. Unlike countries like Australia, fossicking is allowed as long as nature and pasture are not destroyed. So if you like to collect minerals do so, but do not start to bring heavy machinery. A fine area for fossicking is the Knappenwand, famous for its epidotes.
The tour through the Schaubergwerk Hochfeld starts with the Hieronymus-Erbstollen (Hieronymus adit), which was a drainage tunnel. The visitors now reach the main Hieronymus tunnel, the Hauptgesenk. Through the Hieronymus Abendstollflügel the visitor cross the Untersulzbach, the river of the valley above, 35 m under ground. An underground staircase called Rudlfahrte is used to climb up to the next big mining location called St. Martin-Unterbau. Following the central ore bearing rocks, the visitors cimb up to the St. Martin-Stollen, which is used to leave the mine. The Knappenweg (miners path) is a trail on the surface which shows the remains of the surface buildings and brings the visitors back to the mine entrance.
The mines at the Hochfeld in the Untersulzbachtal (valley of the Untersulzbach) mined a deposit of very little and thin seams of very high grade copper ore. The heydays were between 1780 and 1855, the yearly production was around 25 tons of copper.
The tours are a little strenuous, and the mine is also cold. Wear strurdy boots and good and warm clothes. A less time consuming and strenuous alternative is a visit to the Samerhofstall (Samerhof stable) in Neukirchen. This former stable was converted into a nature museum by the National Park. Beneat exhibitons on various topics like the the Canadian coastal rainforest, there is one main topic, the copper mining at Hochfeld.