A10 Salzburg-Villach, exit Berchtesgaden. A8 München-Salzburg, exit Piding.
MAY to OCT daily 9-17, guided tours every 10-15 minutes.
NOV to APR daily 11-15, guided tours every 25 minutes.
Closed Good Friday, Pentecost Monday, 01-NOV, 24-DEC, 25-DEC, 31-DEC, 01-JAN.
Adults EUR 16, Children (4-16) EUR 9.50, Children (0-3) free, Students EUR 14.50, Family (2+*) EUR 43.50.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 13,90, Children (4-18) EUR 8.50.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||V=400.000/a, T=12 °C.|
|Guided tours:||D=60 min.|
|Address:||Erlebnisbergwerk Berchtesgaden - SalzZeitReise, SÜDSALZ GmbH, Bergwerkstr. 83, 83471 Berchtesgaden, Tel: +49-8652-6002-0, Fax: +49-8652-6002-60, infoline: +49-8652-6002-20. 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.
|1193||start of salt mining at the Tuval near Schellenberg.|
|1194||salt mining at the Gollnbach in Berchtesgaden mentioned.|
|1517||Salt mine Berchtesgaden founded by Fürstpropst Gregor Rainer, Petersberg-Stollen begun.|
|1564||Saline Frauenreuth in Berchtesgaden opened.|
|1803||new owner is the Großherzogtum Toskana, Ferdinand III..|
|1806||new owner is Austria.|
|1816||new owner is the country Bavaria.|
|22-DEC-1817||inauguration of the brine pipeline from Berchtesgaden to Bad Reichenhall.|
|18??||start of guided tours for guests of the Kings of Bavaria.|
|1840||numer of visitors first counted: 150 to 200 visitors per year.|
|19-FEB-1927||brine pipeline shut down after almost 110 years of use.|
|1990||tunnel equipped for speleotherapy.|
The salt deposits at Berchtesgaden are not as pure as many other salt deposits on earth. It contains about 50% of other rocks, locally called Haselgebirge. This problem is most elegantly solved by the so-called nasser Abbau (wet mining). Underground chambers are filled completely with sweet water, which solves the salt from floor, walls and ceiling. Soon the impurities in the salt, which are not soluble, deposit on the floor which prevents further solution on the floor. As a result the salt is dissolved solely on the ceiling, and the chamber starts to migrate slowly upwards, while salt is dissolved continually at the ceiling and the residuals are deposited on the ground.
The salt mine at Berchtesgaden is a working mine until today. On five different levels 20 such solution chambers are working, producing some 600.000 m³ of brine per year. Such a solution chamber is up to 160 m long, 12 m wide and 120 m high. Every day 1 cm of salt is dissolved at the ceiling, which means it may be used for 30 years, mining a 100 m thick layer of salt. This means a production of 1.100.000 m³ of brine per chamber during its lifetime.
The Salzbergwerk in Berchtesgaden (salt mine of Berchtesgaden) is a classical tourist destination. Located in the southeastern corner of Bavaria, it is surrounded by numerous world-class tourist spots like the world famous Königsee. However, most require good weather to be a pleasure, and so for probably a century many tourists decided to visit an underground sight instead during rainy weather. Unfortunately there are hundreds of other tourists who had exactly the same idea, so this is not really a good idea. The mine is now operated by a new management, and they updated the check-in completely. Instead of long rows, they sell numbered tickets fro the tours. So after buying your ticket you are free to do something else, go to a restaurant or museum, while waiting for your scheduled starting time. And by the way: it is possible to pre-book tickets over the internet on their homepage. Consequently, the tour has also been redone, many chambers were upgraded by light shows and computer displays. But the most important sights, like mirror lake and the wooden slides are unchanged. The name was changed too, it is now called Erlebnisbergwerk Berchtesgaden (adventure mine) or simply SalzZeitReise (literally SaltTimeTravel).
The tour starts with taking on miners clothes, which is rather useful for the chilly, 650 m long train ride into the mine. The adit called Ferdinandberg-Hauptstollen ends in the Salzkathedrale (salt cathedral), a 17 m high chamber. The ceiling is used for an informative laser show which explains the technique used to mine the salt. The next chamber is called Salzlabor (salt laboratory) and explains the next steps necessary to produce pure salt from the brine. The Schatzkammer (salt chamber) is a sort of futuristic exhibition on various aspects of salt relevant for our daily life. There is for example a box containing the same amount of salt as the human body. Now the Spiegelsee (mirror lake), a traditional stop of the mine tour, follows. It shows first hand, how the salt is dissolved by the water. The water was pumped out only partly from the solution chamber, so the solutional forms in the ceiling can be seen and at the same time a lake of brine, 100 m long and 40 m wide, remained. It is crossed silently on a flat bottom boat, accompanied by the music of Peter Wolf, the famous Austrian musician, composer and producer, and a complex light installation.
A last traditional stop on the tour is the wooden slide. This strange installation is not intended for children, it was used since the Middle Ages by miners, to change from one level to the next below, while also being transported into the desired direction. It was also used to transport material and machinery. However, to the slide is optional, and it is possible to take a staircase at the side.