Saline Schweizerhalle


Useful Information

Location: Schweizerhalle.
Motorway 3 exit 7 Pratteln, towards the Rhine, then left on Highway 7 for 700 m.
(47.531220, 7.676020)
Open: All year Mon-Fri.
Museum «Die Salzkammer»: All year one Sat per month 13, AUG daily 15.
Salzladen: All year Mon-Fri 13:30-18:30.
Gasthof zur Saline: All year Mon-Fri 18-22.
[2022]
Fee: Adults CHF 5, Children (10-16) free.
Minimum Fee CHF 50.
Museum «Die Salzkammer»: Adults CHF 10, Children (10-16) free.
[2022]
Classification: MineSalt Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: D=2 h, MinAge=10, Min=10, Max=60. Deutsch - German After appointment Français - French English Italiano - Italian
Photography: not allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Saline Schweizerhalle, Salzkammer, 4133 Schweizerhalle, Tel: +41-61-825-5151. E-mail:
Gasthof zur Saline, Rheinstrasse 23, 4133 Pratteln-Schweizerhalle, Tel: +41-61-821-61-72, Fax: +41-61-821-61-75. 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.

History

07-JUN-1837 mine opened by Carl Christian Friedrich Glenck
1852 first steam engine used for drilling and pumping.

Geology

Description

The Saline Schweizerhalle is not a traditional mine with underground tunnels and trains. It is a salt deposit deep below ground which is mined by drilling a hole into the salt, pumping water down and brine up, and the evaporating the water from the brine. It is actually more like a chemical factory than a mining operation. The tours on the surface shows all the technology required to drill holes, pump brine and then extract the salt.

This mine is a traditional salt mine it was opened in 1837. The name is actually based on the salt, the German term Schweizerhalle means literally "Swiss chamber". But actually the hall part is based on the German word Hall, which is an ancient term for salt. Many towns are named Hall because they had a salt mine or were otherwise connected to salt. The term is used internationally as scientific term for salt which is halite.

The salt production in the area was an important factor of the industrial revolution. It was used in many sectors of industrial production and is the reason why many chemical companies opened in the vicinity. Today most salt is needed for the roads, some for human consumption as table salt, and an increasing amount for brine baths as part of the wellness industry.

This is in the german speaking part of Switzerland, so tours are normally in German, the other Swiss languages and English are available by reservation. The site is a working salt producer and the tours and shop are operated by workers of the factory, so they are open only weekdays. This is actually not a tourist site, it's a possibility to get an idea of a running production of table salt. It is owned by the Schweizer Salinen, a group of Swiss salt mines. They operate three salt mines in Switzerland and produce primarily table salt, but also salt for the road. The tourist venue is only a part of their public relations. After a few years of low salt sales in the 1990s they had some difficulties and closed mines. Because of hard winters since 1999 the need for road salt in winter has increased and the mines operated again profitable.

There is also a restaurant and hotel, and a shop which sells the different products of the factory. On the other side of the road is a restaurant offering Solebad (bathing in brine). Also on the opposite side of the road is the salt museum Museum «Die Salzkammer» located in an historic building from 1860. It's a bit like the Dead Sea treatments, beneath being very comfortable, they are also good for various skin diseases.