Schieferbergwerk im Engi

Slate Mine Engi - Landesplattenberg Engi

Useful Information

Location: Hinterdorf Engi.
A3 between Zürich and Sargans, exit Niederurnen, through Glarus, Schwanden, towards Elm. Behind Engi at the left.
(46.972894, 9.162642)
Open: APR to SEP on certain days 14, see website.
Other tours with food or half day tours for groups by appointment only.
Fee: Adults CHF 27, Children (11-17) CHF 22, Children (6-10) CHF 15.
Classification: MineSlate Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=2.5 h.
Photography: allowed
Address: Landesplattenberg Engi, Sernftalstrasse 109, 8765 Engi-Hinterdorf, Tel: +41-55-642-1140, Fax: +41-55-642-1340. E-mail: contact
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.


1565 first written mention of slate mining at Engi.
17th century mining almost ended tue to difficult transport out of the valley.
1705 visited by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer.
1826 road through the Sernftal opened.
1833 taken over by county Glarus and renamed Landesplattenberg.
1855 Sernftal road renovated.
1961 mine closed.
1995 opened as a show mine.
2004 Glarner Naturmuseum opened.
01-JUL-2016 Glarner Naturmuseum closed due to lack of funds.


The history of Elm and the Sernftal (Sernft valley) was dominated by the slate mining. One of the abandoned slate mines, located at Hinterdorf Engi, is open to the public. The 2.5 hour long tour shows the conditions under which the miners worked and explains the economic situation of the locals.

The mining is documented since 1565 and faded out during the 17th century. The reason was the difficult and expensive transport of the slate out of the valley. There were only narrow trails and the slate was transported to Schwanden on the back of mules. When the first road through the Sernftal was opened in 1826 the slate mining immediately became a good income for the extremely poor valley. But soon the country government discovered the revenue the mining produced and took it over. It was renamed Landesplattenberg (literally: country slate mountain) to commemorate this.

The mine was finally closed, because it was not very profitable anymore and there were problems with the security of the workers.

The slate mine has worldwide fame due to the fossils found in the slate. This started in the year 1705, when the naturalist Johann Jakob Scheuchzer from Zürich first visited the mine. He discovered some fossils and asked the miners to send him all fossils they discovered to Zürich. They had no objections, as he paid well for them. Scheuchzer prepared the fossils, and they then went to natural science museums all over the world. A huge collection of the fossils may be found in the Glarner Naturmuseum, which opened 2004 in the former Weseta Textil AG in Vorderdorf.

The tour starts at a small museum located at the city limits towards Matt. The museum contains a collection on the working conditions and the local history. Good shoes and warm clothes required for the underground tour, helmets are provided. The tour may be booked with a meal afterwards. There are also combo tours with a second local sight, but they are only offered for groups after appointment.