Rue Andréa Boucq 16/20, 6750 Musson.
14-MAY to 24-SEP Sun 11-17.
09-JUL to 27-AUG Tue-Sun 14-18.
Adults EUR 8, Children (6-12) EUR 5, Children (0-5) free.
Group (15+): 1 free per 15, Guided Tour EUR 40.
|Incandescent Electric Light System
Le Musée Minier & Métallurgique de Musson-Halanzy, 1 Chemin des Linettes, 6750 Musson, Tel: +32-496-96-16-82.
Maison du Tourisme de Gaume, Rue des Grasses Oies 2b, 6760 Virton 063393100 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.
|Mine de Musson opened.
|Mine de Halanzy opened, blast furnaces at Halanzy opened.
|Mine de Musson closed.
|furnaces at Musson closed.
|closure of the Halanzy iron mine.
|mining museum opened to the public.
The oolitic iron ore is of Bajocian age. During the lower or early Jurassic, an inland sea covered much of Europe, depositing limestone and sandstone, depeneding on the depth and the rivers leading into this sea. At some point, there were volcanic anomalies underground, magma which heated the groundwater deep below causing hydrothermal convection sells. Such hot water dissolves minerals, which are well dispersed in the rock and thus have a very low concentration. They are transported somewhere else, where the chemistry and temperature change and the minerals are redeposited, precipitated. In the lower Jurassic the water reached the sea and formed what is today known as black smokers. The water contained a high amount of which formed small particles of iron in teh seawater which were further transported by sea currents and finally deposited in an oolitic sedimentary layer.
The properties of this ore are quite special, they are massive layers, probably 10 or 20 m thick which makes it easy to mine huge amounts of ore. They are mostly horizontal and thus very easy to mine. But the minette ore is limestone with iron with only about 30 to 35 % iron content, but here it is of higher quality with 38 to 40 % iron, which makes it a low grade iron ore. Also, it is quite expensive to produce iron as the furnaces need a lot of coal to heat the limestone, just to separate the iron from the slag. In metallurgy, slags are solid by-products resulting from the melting, refining, treatment or shaping of metals at high temperatures.
The Musée Minier et Métallurgique de Musson-Halanzy (Musson-Halanzy Mining and Metallurgy Museum) is also called 4MH, the initials of the name. It seems the name is even for the locals a bit too long and complicated. We will do the same and call it 4MH in this description.
The villages Halanzy and Musson are located in the southern corner of Belgium, in the Luxembourg region and close to the border to Luxembourg. Even closer is the border to France, which is in the hills behind the village. This area along the border between France, Belgium and Luxembourg is famous for its Minette iron ores, which were mined in all three countries. It seems the mines and furnaces in the three countries worked well together, especially concerning the dependencies between iron ore, coal and furnaces. This cooperation was disturbed numerous times by warsm, especially two world wars. The iron mining here started in the mid-19th century, boosted during the industrial revolution, starting with the construction of the railroad as a way to transport material as well as a customer. It ended like most iron and coal mining operations in central Europe in the 1960s due to an increasing amount of cheaper ore from the world market.
The museum is located on the former site of the Musson factory, in a modern museum which was built recently and opened to the public in 2022. The new building has a multipurpose space of 250 m² as well as sanitary, catering and meeting facilities. The exhibition shows the tools, equipment and life of our grandparents and great-grandparents. The name Usine Musson (Musson factory) is actually a diminutive, it was a bast furnace where the local iron ore was smelted into raw iron. It was opened in 1881,m the furnaces were always located close to the iron mines, because iron ore was much heavier than coal and so it was cheaper to bring the coal to the iron.
The museum started with a house located in the middle of the woods, between Halanzy and Mont-Saint-Martin, on the Belgian side. It was a place of bourgeois leisure in the 19th century, but also a stop for hunters, smugglers or customs officers. It had a store and a bar and was frequented by miners, which was operated by the Noben family. Both the father Jean-Claude and his son Rudolf where captivated by their stories and started to collect tools and documents of the mining past. When they left the property of Bois Genot in 2007, Jean-Claude hosted the collections in different places while trying to find a new home for the collection.
The most spectacular addition to this collection is the Maquette Usine Musson (Musson factory model). It is a model of the blast furnaces as well as all the buildings of the Musson factory in the scale 1:220. The model was completed in 2023.
This is a mining museum, showing documentation and tools, a vast collection of mine trains in the open air part, and the reconstrcuted entarnces of the iron mine. There is also a mining trail which leads to other interesting spots in the forest. However, this mining museum does not offer an underground tour, at least not at the moment. Nevertheless, it is an ideal completion to the show mines of nearby Luxembourg and France.