Bergbau- und Heimatmuseum Erbendorf

Useful Information

Location: Erbendorf, at the church, Kirchgasse 4, Heimatmuseum 1st floor.
(49.838323, 12.047659)
Open: Second Sunday in month 14-16.
MAY to SEP Wed 14-16.
Fee: free.
Group prices on request.
Classification: MineIron Mine MineSilver Mine MineCoal Mine MineGem Mine MineGold Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Edgar Baumann (1999): Geologie, Mineralogie und Bergbaugeschichte in und um Erbendorf, Erbendorf 1999
Radu Chinta (1983): Bergbau um Erbendorf (Historische Notizen über die abgebauten Bodenschätze), Oberpfälzer Heimat, 27.Band, Weiden, 1983
Address: Heimat- und Bergbaumuseum Erbendorf, Museumsleiter Manfred Klöble, Georg-Bertelshofer-Platz 1, 92681 Erbendorf, Tel: +49-9682-9210-32, Fax: +49-9682-9210-92. E-mail:
Tourist-Info, in der Geschäftsstelle der Steinwald-Allianz, Bräugasse 6, 92681 Erbendorf, Tel: +49-9682-182219-o, Fax: +49-9682-182219-22. 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.


13th century mining first mentioned.
1927 mines closed.
1995 museum opened by the Initiative des Heimatpflegevereins Erbendorf e. V..


The area around Erbendorf shows rocks of different periods, which were relocted by tectonic forces. The oldest rocks are found in the Erbendorfer Grünschieferzone (green shist zone of Erbendorf) and are between 700 and 570 Million years old. They were deposited as a deep sea sediment. From this layers the soapstone originates. The Erbendorfer Linie (Erbendorf fault) is an important fault line and was created by the collision of the African with the European plate. The rocks of the Carbon era were deposited about 300 Ma ago at the border between sea and land. The abundant plant life of the era produced peat layers which were then covered by sea sediments, after the sea cavered the area again.

After the Carbon the variszian orogeny took place. Large areas of central Europe were folded intensively, but it is unclear if the lead to a Alpine type mountain ridge or just to hill country. Today the landscape is rather pleasant hill country like the Steinwald. The orogeny caused intrusions, which created convection streams which formed hydrothermal deposits in clefts.

During the Permian (280-230Ma) there were numerous eruptions which formed the hills of the Kornberg near Schadenreuth. The eruptions produced rhyolithe and rhyodacite, in the gas bubbles of this rocks ground water deposited quartz and other minerals. The result are geodes of semiprecious gems like chalcedon, jasper and agate.


The Bergbau- und Heimatmuseum Erbendorf (museum of mining and local history) is a rather common local history museum which also offers information on the loacl geology and mining history. The museum provides information on local mines with pictures and documents. There are also tools and other items which are connected with the mining.

The most prominent local deposit is the Erbendorfer Gold. Around Erbendorf gold was mined during the Middle Ages. It is possible to find gold until today, it is found in placers in the rivers of the area. Placers are holes in the bed of the river, where gold transported by the water is trapped, it falls in but is too heavy to be pushed out again. As a result the gold is collected. When such a placer is discovered by a gold panner the amount fo gold may be considerable. The gold originates from the erosion of gold bearing quartz veins. When the surrounding rocks are eroded, the gold resists and is washed down the rivers.

In the museum numerous placer discoveries are on display. Two from the Steinbach, where discovered 1996 by Karl Ochantel and Stefan Meier. Another one from the Galgenbach was washed and fotographed by Gerhard Haasmann in 1998. The gold nuggets have a size of up to 3.5 mm.

Beneath the gold there is an excellent collection of local minerals and fossils. The main topics are minerals from the old lead and coal mines, minerals from the Kornberg and from the greenshist zone in the Steinwald.

The mining around Erbendorf was extraordinary, as there are numerous completely different deposits. There was lead, silver, coal, gemstones, soapstone, and gold. In one mine coal and lead was mined at the same time. The minerals connected with those deposits are manifold, there are 60 different minerals known from the area.