|Location:||Between Wieden and Utzenfeld, at the Road #126.|
MAY, JUN Wed after appointment, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-16.
JUL, AUG Wed 10-16, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-16.
SEP, OCT Wed after appointment, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-16.
01-MAY 12-16, 15-JUN 13-16.
Adults EUR 4, Children (3-14) EUR 1.80, Train Ride EUR 2.
Groups (20+): after appointment.
|Dimension:||T=6°C, L=20,000m, VR=360m.|
Bergmannverein Finstergrund e.V., Ortsstraße 20, D-79695 Wieden, Tel: +49-7673-1456, Fax: +49-7673-8889800.
1st chairman Paul Behringer, Tel: +49-7673-7276.
Kurverwaltung Wieden, Tel: +49-7673-303.
|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 cty||first mining activities for lead and silver ores.|
|18th cty||mining ends.|
|1920||start of fluorite mining.|
|1930s||privately owned by Carl Wölfel|
|1942||opening of a flotation in Utzenfeld.|
|1969||former private mine sold to Bayer Leverkusen.|
|1973||Bergmannsverein Finstergrund founded by 22 former miners.|
|1982||refurbishment of the mine as a show mine.|
|21-AUG-1982||show mine opened.|
|2000||Ausbau der Zufahrtsstraße, Anschluss an das Trinkwasser-, Abwasser- und Stromnetz.|
|2002||Neubau des Vereins- und Besuchergebäudes.|
In a huge massive formed of metamorphic rocks, mainly gneiss, several dykes can be found. The dykes contain flurite and baryte in varying qualities and amounts. The mining followed the dykes.
Flourite is used for many industrial processes, it modifies the reactions, without being really necessary. But it helps to save energy or produce better quality. It was mainly used in iron furnaces and for the producion of colour pigment. For some time huge amounts were exported to the U.S.A..
The mine named Gewerkschaft Finstergrund was opened in 1920 for the mining of flurote and baryte dykes. It had its heyday between the 1930s and 1969, whihle it was privately owned by Carl Wölfel, called Bergfürst (mountain prince). After he sold the mine to the huge German chemical company Bayer Leverkusen it was closed after a few more years.
The tour starts at the new ticket office of the show mine. Visitors are equipped with helmets, sturdy boots and warm clothes are advisable. The mine is toured by foot, and while it is alnost level, the tour is almost two kilometers lond. After 800m the fluorite dykes are reached. Sights are a niche with Saint Barbara, the patron saint of the miners, and the remains of the mine train. Mining technology is explained in form of used machinery, like pneumatic hammer drills and shovel dozers.
Like all minerals and ores, the raw fluorite from the mine had to be preprocessed. The so called flotation was used to separate flourite, baryte and small amounts of iron ore. It was at first located in nearby Wieden, in 1942 a new plant was opened in Utzfeld. The material was transported by train, later by lorry, and at last a 7km long cable car was built.
The mining process based on regular blasts. At first holes for the explosives were bored, then blasted, and finally the debris removed. This meant 1.5m driving per blast, with two blast daily there were 3m driving per day. This method unfortunately caused a lot of fine dust, and as a result silicosis was a common miner's desease.