Above Fügen, at the Spieljoch.
Inntalautobahn (E55) exit Wiesing, follow B169 into the Zillertal. At Fügen turn right, follow signs to Spieljochbahn. Take the cable car, then 45 min. to one hour walk to the mine.
|Open:||15-JUN to 15-OCT daily 10-14. |
|Fee:||Adults with Gästekarte (guest card) EUR 4.50, Children (0-15) EUR 3. |
Schaubergwerk "Glück Auf" Ulpenalpe, Tel: +43-5288-624590, Fax: +43-5288-624594.
Gemeinde Fügenberg, Pankrazbergstraße 1, 6263 Fügenberg, Tel: +43-5288-62459. E-mail:
|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.
|1560||begin of iron mining.|
|1562||furnace at Kleinboden founded.|
|1664||monopolization of the iron trade with Tyrolia, second furnace and three hammer mills built.|
|1686||problems with the coal supply and better iron ore from Leoben .|
|1700||only one furnace left.|
|1832||hammer mill at Kleinboden founded.|
|1860||beginn of copper, silver, and iron mining in the Öxeltal.|
|1895||end of iron mining.|
|1904||hammer mill partly transformed into generator house.|
The iron ores of the Spieljoch (1810m asl) in the Zillertal (Ziller valley) were not very important. But during the 16th century the copper and silver mines at Schwaz and Kitzbühel became important, and so the demand for iron increased generally. They mined primarly copper ore, but needed iron for their tools. The two countries Salzburg and Tirol (Tyrolia) owned ground in the area and they made a treaty how to distribute the proceeds. Then the mining started.
There were nine mines between 1560 and 1760 on the south east flank of the Grätzenkopf and at the Samjoch. More mines were on the other side, towards Inntal (Inn valley) and Schwaz, who mined the Schwader Eisenstein. The mines produced between 200 and 5,000 tons of iron ore per year and employed about 500 people. They needed miners, horse people, carriage drivers, wood cutters, charburners, smiths, and administrative officer. The mines gave work to the whole village.
The furnace was in Kleinboden, south of Fügen on the Zillertal floor, the iron was smelted with charcoal. So the ore had to be brought downhill to the furnace. First it was crushed close to the mine, then it was transported in leather sacks of 60 to 80kg with horses and carriages along the Samjoch-Ulpenalpe-Knappenweg to the Arzjoch-Kapelle (literally ore pass chapel). Here the ore was collected until winter and then slided downhill in huge sacks of pig leather containing 600-700kg. This was called Sackzug (pull sacks) and the trail they used was called Sackziehersteig. The sacks were brought back uphill by huge dogs. Finally the ore was brought by carriages on the Karrengasse from Pankrazberg to Kleinboden.
The mine which is open to the public today is located at the Kaunzalm-Hochleger, a typical Alpine high pasture also called Ulpenalpe. The mine itself is called Julius-Stollen (Julius tunnel) or also Julius Schaustollen.
The show mine at the Fügenberg is the highest show mine in Austria. Located high up on the mountain it is reached from the upper station of the Spieljochbahn on the Knappensteig (miners trail) in a 45 minutes walk. So if you plan a visit think about the cable car ride and the walk. Both will cost time, and the cable car will cost money. Keep the weather in mind and wear appropriate clothes and shoes. There is a interesting trail which takes about 3.5 hours, marked 8a. It goes towards Kellerjoch, to the Falschegg and Onkeljoch and then back to the Spieljochbahn cable car.
The area around the mine is very interesting for mineral hunters. On the old rock piles iron ores, copper minerals, cobalt, pyrite, quartz, and many other minerals can be found. Unlike other countries, it is allowed to fossic in Austria, as long as nature is not destroyed. So be careful with plants and animals, do not dig, and bring home some fine specimens.