Alvensleben-Stollen

Alvensleben-Adit


Useful Information

Location: Ortsgemeinde Burglahr.
A3 exit 36 Neuwied, B256 to Oberlahr, turn left to Burglahr. In Burglahr, turn left to Heckerfeld, after the bridge over the Wied.
(50.615733, 7.500441)
Open: Closed for technical reasons.
[2022]
Fee: Adults EUR 3, Children EUR 2.
[2022]
Classification: MineIron Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=1,546 m.
Guided tours: L=800 m.
Photography:
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Tourist-Information, Martina Beer, Tel: +49-2681-85-193. E-mail:
Albert Schäfer, Willroth, Tel: +49-2687-8697.
Klaus Brommenschenkel, Burglahr, Tel: +49-2685-989707.
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

1815 mines taken over by Prussia, intensification of the mining.
1825 planning of the gallery begins by the Bonn Chief Mining Office.
1835 start of adit construction.
1836 Albrecht Graf von Alvensleben appointed Prussian Minister of Finance.
1864 adit completed.
1950s filled in and almost forgotten.
1987 made accessible by a group of former miners from the surrounding villages.
1999 opened as a show mine.
2007 community centre built.

Geology

The Horhauser Gangzug (Horhaus dykes) is a group of ore-filled veins that were formed hydrothermally. Primarily iron ores are found, but so-called Bunterze (coloured ores) also occur.

Description

The Alvensleben-Stollen (Alvensleben Adit) is an adit or drainage tunnel of the mine Grube Louise, which means it was used only to drain water from the mine. The water flowed downhill at a gradient through such galleries, so unlike pumps, it required no energy and only minimal maintenance. The gallery is capable of draining 1600 m³ of water per day. It drains to the Wied, so the entrance to the gallery is at the level of the Wied, 30.8 m below the level of the Louisen-Stollen. The gradient is very low at 1.5 metres per 1000 metres of gallery length. This also means that the flow velocity is relatively low, so it was important to have as large a channel as possible. Many mining galleries simply have a small channel in the floor, a Rösche, which is a miners' term for a drainage channel. Here, a continuous Röschengewölbe (Rösche vault) was installed, there is a second floor under the gallery floor, a channel across the entire width of the gallery with a vault above it. At regular intervals there are sump holes through which the water from the upper part of the gallery can drain into the Rösche.

The gallery was named after Albrecht Graf von Alvensleben (*1794-1858), who was appointed Prussian Minister of Finance one year after the construction of the gallery began. He was also responsible for the mining department. Prussia had taken over iron ore mining on the Horhauser Gangzug in 1815. Mining was intensified at the Georg, Friedrich-Wilhelm, Louise, Harzberg and Silberwiese pits. Of these, the Grube Louise (Louise pit) was the most important because it contained purer iron ore, less contaminated by other ores which made processing difficult. At that time, mining was carried out in pits and in the Louisenstollen, Trierstollen and Altemannstollen daylight tunnels. However, the orebody went deeper, and deeper mining required the mine to be dewatered. Around 1820, modern pumps powered by steam engines were not yet available, the only alternative would have been water power.

The tunnel was officially started by pit foreman Buhse in 1835. The average advance was 14.6 cm per day. At the beginning of the construction period, only hammer and chisel were used. Towards the end, blasting was carried out with black powder, and some hand-drilled holes are still visible. At that time, hammer and chisel work was only used to smooth the ridges and gallery walls.

The gallery is exceptionally straight, which was achieved by using marker pegs in the ceiling. Lamps were attached to them so that it was easy to take bearings. So-called Lachtertafeln (distance signs) were installed as proof of the progress of construction. A lachter is a mining measure which is about 2 m long. The gallery contained a rod railway that was used to transport the rock away. It was manufactured by the Gewerkschaft Remy in Rasselstein. Today the rails have been dismantled, only the oak sleepers are still partially preserved. At 1,200 m, the Victoria shaft is set to the side.

The adit was never used for mining, but after mining in the area ended, it was filled in during the 1950s, presumably for safety reasons. This was probably not a good idea; nowadays, such facilities are maintained with minimal effort so that the mine water can be regularly tested for pollutants to rule out environmental contamination. In 1987, the former Horhausen teacher Albert Schäfer and the former miner Hugo Fischer from Oberlahr became interested in the adit. With a group of former miners from the surrounding villages, it was made passable again in several years of voluntary work. Of course, this was only possible with the owner's permission and official approval. Today, 400 m of the gallery can be explored and offers a variety of mineralogical features such as malachite and chrysocolla minerals, as well as colourful stalactites and stalagmites consisting of brown iron oxide and manganese. It is station 14 on the ore hiking trail. The new Burglahr community centre is located in front of the tunnel entrance. Both can be reached by a 10-minute walk from the Burglahr-Heckerfeld road. The show mine is currently [2022] closed, however, not Corona, but technical reasons are given. A visit is generally only possible by appointment.