Schwerspatmuseum Dreislar

Grube Dreislar

Useful Information

Location: Dreislar
Open: All year Thu, Sat, Sun 15-18.
Fee: Adults EUR 4, Children (3-14) EUR 2, Family (2+n) EUR 10.
Classification: MineBaryte Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Address: Schwerspatmuseum, Am Scheidt 2, 59964 Medebach - Dreislar, Tel: +49-2982-929859-24. 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.


27-OCT-1777 mining at Dreislar first mentioned.
1847 mining rights purchased by Rudolf Graf von Spee.
1870 mining rights purchased by Graf zu Stolberg.
1909 baryte mined by Dr. Rudolf Alberti from Bad Lauterberg.
17-DEC-1925 mine sold to the IG Farben who closed the mine.
1957 mine reopened due to increasing demand for baryte.
2008 mine closed.
08-AUG-2008 Museum opened to the public.


The Dreislarer Störung is a series of gangues filed with hydrothermal mineralization. The water was between 250° and 350 °C hot and had a high amount of dissolved salt ions. The water first had a lot SiO2 and so huge amounts of quartz were formed. The quartz filled the clefts and glued the rock fragments of the surrounding sedimentary rocks together. Further movements could now form open clefts without debris from the surrounding rock filling the cleft immediately. The temperature became cooler, cold surface water containig sulfates and carbonates mixed with the thermal water and the result had about 70° to 140 °C. At this temperature barite (BaSO4) and other minerals were formed.


The Schwerspatmuseum (Baryte Museum) is located in the former school house of the small village Dreislar. It is dedicated to the abandoned baryte mine Grube Dreislar. Baryte is a rather heavy rock, which is used for some industrial processes like smelting and in the chemical industry.

The museum shows typical tools and machinery of the baryte mine, it has a reconstructed passage of the mine with wooden frames. There are explanations on the various techniques used for mining. The museum has plates and interactive displays with interactive texts and short movies. Some important aspects of the mining history are explained with life-size replicas like the workshop of a blacksmith.

This location is world famous for its minerals, so the museum is also dedicated to the minerals of the mine. There is a mineral exhibition with extraordinary samples.

The mining started long ago, but early miners always looked for metal ores. At this times baryte had no value and so all mining attempts failed. The first technologies which used baryte were used at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1909 Dr. Rudolf Alberti, the owner of the company Deutsche Baryt-Industrie, had demand in baryte for the chemical industry and so he bought the mining rights of Dreislar. He built a narrow gage railroad to transport the baryte and installed electric light in the mine. But in 1925, as a result of the Great Depression, he had to sell the mining rights. The new owner was the IG Farben, which immediately closed the mines.

The heyday of the baryte mining came in 1957, when following the continually increasing demand of baryte the price went higher and higher. The mine was reopened and operated by the Sachtleben Chemie GmbH from Duisburg. Grube Dreislar became the most modern baryte mine in Europe. It produced baryte for almost 50 years until the deposit was exhausted. In the last years the mine was filled in and finally in 2008 it was closed.