Grube Gustav

Gustav Pit

Useful Information

Location: Near Abterode in the Höllental (hell valley). A7 exit Kassel, B7 towards Erfurt, turn left to Germerode and Abterode, at the road to Albungen.
Open: 15-MAR to OCT Tue-Sun, Hol 13-16.
Fee: Adults EUR 3, Children EUR 1,50.
Classification: copper mine, barite
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=10 °C.
Guided tours: V=9789/a (1997). D=60 min.
Address: Reservations: Tel.: +49-5657-7500.
Tourist Information Eschwege- Meißner - Meinhard - Wanfried, Hospitalplatz 16, D-37269 Eschwege, Tel: +49-5651-331985 or +49-5651-331986, Fax: +49-5651-50291. 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.


16th century begin of mining.
1957 spectacular rescue of two miners after a collapse.
1968 mining inoperative.
1986 opened to the public.


In the Höllental (hell valley) Kupferschiefer (copper bearing slate) was mined for its copper.

But there are also one to six meters thick layers of barite. Barite or barium sulfate (BaSO4) was used to produce paint. It was mined during the first half of the 20th century, first in an opencast, then underground.


The village Abterode has a long mining history. Since the 16th century Kupferschiefer (copper bearing slate) was mined. But the mining was labor intensive and with increasing payroll costs and decreasing copper price, it ended soon.

At the beginning of the 20th century the mine was reactivated. The once worthless rocks called barite became a valuable raw material.

The mining started with an opencast, but soon the activities went underground. With a technology called Firstenstoßbau, the baryte was mined in three levels. The lowest level is 85 m below the top level. The barite was hauled up a shaft to the top level and then carried out of the mine. The chamber, which once containd the elevator machinery is today used as an underground museum. Minerals and rocks of the area, old and new mining machinery are on display.