Between Chemnitz and Dresden. A4 exit Siebenlehn, B101 to Freiberg.
All year Wed-Fri 9-17, Sat-Sun 10-15.
Tour: online booking.
Attention: arrive at the mine at least 30 min before the start of the tour!
Adults EUR 15, Children (6-18) EUR 8, Pupils EUR 8, Students EUR 8, Trainees EUR 8, Families (2+2) EUR 32.
Groups (13): Adults EUR 13, Children (6-18) EUR 6, Pupils EUR 6, Students EUR 6, Trainees EUR 6.
ForscherTour: Adults EUR 25, Children (12-18) EUR 20, Pupils EUR 20, Students EUR 20, Trainees EUR 20, Families (2+2) EUR 65.
Groups (13): Adults EUR 23, Children (12-18) EUR 18, Pupils EUR 18, Students EUR 18, Trainees EUR 18.
Grubentour: Adults EUR 18, Children (12-18) EUR 15, Pupils EUR 15, Students EUR 15, Apprentices EUR 15, Families (2+2) EUR 45.
Groups (13): Adults EUR 15, Children (12-18) EUR 8, Pupils EUR 8, Students EUR 8, Apprentices EUR 8.
Erlebnistour: Adults EUR 25, Children (12-18) EUR 20, Pupils EUR 20, Students EUR 20, Trainees EUR 20, Families (2+2) EUR 65.
Groups (13): Adults EUR 23, Children (12-18) EUR 18, Pupils EUR 18, Students EUR 18, Trainees EUR 18.
Expertentour: Adults EUR 40, Children (16-18) EUR 35, Pupils EUR 35, Students EUR 35, Trainees EUR 35.
Groups (13): Adults EUR 35, Children (16-18) EUR 30, Pupils EUR 30, Students EUR 30, Trainees EUR 30.
|Classification:||Silver Mine Lead Mine Zinc Mine Copper Mine Nickel Mine Cobalt Mine Polymetallic ore arsenic|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=14 km, VR=240 m.|
EntdeckerTour: D=60 min, L=500 m, MinAge=6.
ForscherTour: D=2 h, L=2,500-3,000 m, MinAge=12, MaxAge=75.
Grubentour: D=90 min, L=1,500-2,000 m, MinAge=12, MaxAge=75.
Erlebnistour: D=2.5 h, L=2,500-3,000 m, MinAge=12, MaxAge=75.
Expertentour: D=5 h, MinAge=16, MaxAge=75.
Matthias Arnold (1997):
Die "Reiche Zeche" zu Freiberg,
Der Höhlenforscher, 29. Jg 1997, S. 39-40.
Förderverein Himmelfahrt Fundgrube Freiberg/Sachsen e.V., Geschäftsstelle: c/o SAXONIA GmbH, Halsbrücker Str. 34, 09599 Freiberg, Tel: +49-3731-394571.
Sächsisches Besucherbergwerk "Himmelfahrt Fundgrube Freiberg", Fuchsmühlenweg 9, 09599 Freiberg/Sachsen, Tel: +49-3731-394571, Fax: +49-3731-394572
|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.
|1168||silver discovered in the Münzbachtal, begin of mining.|
|1170||Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa gives Markgraf Otto the Bergregal (right to mine).|
|1233||Freiberger Bergrecht (miners law) first written mention.|
|~1300||creation of adits.|
|1338||Meißner Groschen coined, begin of the Freiberger Münztradition.|
|1500||Ulrich Rühlein von Calw, mayor and doctor of Freiberg, publishes the German mning related book named "Ein nützlich Bergbüchlein".|
|1535||mining with fire is forbidden after several deadly accidents because of the smoke.|
|1643||Bohren und Schießen (underground blasting) introduced by Oberbergmeister Martin Weigl.|
|1765||Bergakademie Freiberg founded.|
|~1840||Prof. Julius Weisbach develops the Theodolit (theodolite) for surveying mines.|
|29-FEB-1880||Most serious mining accident in the area with 11 fatalities due to the breakage of the rodding of the driving art in the Abraham shaft.|
|1919||Bergakademie gets the pits "Reiche Zeche" and "Alte Elisabeth" as training mines.|
|1937||mines reopened for the mining of lead, zinc and copper.|
|1981||Reiche Zeche restored.|
|1992||Förderverein Himmelfahrt Fundgrube Freiberg/Sachsen e.V. founded.|
|1993||Retransfer of the "Reiche Zeche" open-cast mine to the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.|
|1993||Operation as a show mine.|
|2020||4th Saxon State Exhibition on Industrial Culture.|
The mining in this area was based on polymetallic ores, dykes filled with hydrothermal ores of multiple metals. The most important metal was of course silver, the ore contained a relatively high amount of silver. The silver was used to mint money.
The Sächsisches Besucherbergwerk "Himmelfahrt Fundgrube Freiberg" is actually not a single mine, but the remnant of an entire mining district called Grubenfeld Himmelfahrt. It is also known as Grube Himmelfahrt or also Reiche Zeche. The entire complex is estimated to consist of over 100 km of adits. About 14 km on four horizons and down to a depth of 230 m have been explored so far. During the last mining period 1950 to 1969, the Reiche Zeche shaft was used as a winding shaft and the neighbouring Alte Elisabeth shaft was used for ventilation. The surface shafts around Alte Elisabeth represent an almost complete complex of mine buildings from the 18th century.
The mine is used by the Bergakademie Freiberg as a educational mine. Students of mining technology, surveying, geophysics, geology, mineralogy and other subjects do their practical training here. To this day, Freiberg is the site of the Bergakademie Freiberg, nowadays named the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg. It was founded during the Age of Reason in 1765 by Prince Xaver of Saxony under the name Kurfürstlich-Sächsische Bergakademie zu Freiberg. After the defeat in the Seven Years' War, Saxony had to promote mining in order to rebuild its economy. The Electoral Saxon Chief Miner Friedrich Wilhelm von Oppel (1720-1769) and the General Mining Commissioner Friedrich Anton von Heynitz were charged with establishing it. It is the oldest still existing mining science educational institution in the world. In 1806 it was renamed the Königlich-Sächsische Bergakademie zu Freiberg. In 1899 it was given the same status as a technical university, received the right to award doctorates for the degree of Dr.-Ing. in 1905 and Dr. rer. nat. in 1939. In 1949, the Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Fakultät "Wilhelm Pieck" (Workers' and Peasants' Faculty) was established. After reunification, it was redesigned and renamed Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg. It is also called a resource university, oriented towards sustainable materials and energy management of the geo raw materials value chain. In addition to Freiberg, there are also the Technical University of Clausthal and RWTH Aachen in Germany that cover this area, at least to a certain extent. Freiberg is in the International University of Resources (IUR) association with mining-centred universities around the world.
Silver mining in Freiberg began in 1168. Salt traders crossed the Münzbach stream at the Freiberger Mulde ford. The wagon was damaged in the process. The carters used some stones to repair the damage. They noticed that these stones glittered, took them back to their native Harz and showed them to miners. This triggered the first Berggeschrey (silver rush) in the Ore Mountains.
There is no written evidence for the legend of the discovery, but it is quite probable. What is documented, however, is that Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa granted the mining regal to Margrave Otto of Meissen in 1170, presumably in response to the discovery. The Berggeschrey was for silver, but was nevertheless comparable in many respects to the gold rush in North America. Serfs could work in the mines and became free in the process, so working in the mines had a considerable appeal. There were also a variety of other special regulations, up to and including tax exemption, which were intended to encourage mining as quickly as possible. The ores mined near the surface had a high silver content because they came from the oxidation zone. The town of Freiberg came into being and the heyday of mining lasted until the 14th century. It ended both because of the exhaustion of the ores near the surface and because of the rampant plague.
The second heydays of Freiberg's silver mining industry in the mid-15th century was a result of the further development of smelting technology. It had become possible to successfully smelt ores of poorer quality. The second or great silver rush in nearby Annaberg-Buchholz also played its part. However, it ended due to diminishing returns and the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century.
The third heydays were the result of the financial burdens of the Seven Years' War. The revival of mining was therefore encouraged by the Electorate of Saxony. This also included the aforementioned founding of the Bergakademie Freiberg. In the 19th century, mining was encouraged by higher demand for raw materials and the technical developments in mining. But with the introduction of the gold currency ("Goldmark") in 1873, the decline of silver mining began. Between 1880 and 1898, the price of silver halved due to worldwide overproduction. In 1886, the five most important mines were nationalised to avoid bankruptcy. But despite modernisation and the resulting lower production costs, they were no longer profitable. So the last mines were shut down in 1913, the Bergakademie Freiberg took over part of the mine for practical education of students of mining.
The resumption of mining at the Himmelfahrt mine by Sachsenerz Bergwerks GmbH in 1937 was a result of the National Socialist autarky policy. After the end of the Second World War, mining continued under socialist conditions. Although it was actually unprofitable, the GDR had too few non-ferrous metals and, moreover, they could sell them on the world market for foreign currency. So mining continued until 1969.
The Reiche Zeche (rich pit) is the only accesible remnant of the famous mining history of Freiberg. On the surface at the Reiche Zeche is a mining museum with machinery, tools, and an impressive mineral collection. It is visited self guided. The tours start with a ride in the pit cage 150 m down. The EntdeckerTour is the shortest guided tour and suitable for all visitors from 6 years of age. The work of the miners and the use of explosives such as dynamite, the tour ends with the virtual silver chamber. The ForscherTour gives fascinating insights into the international research work of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. The Mine Tour travels routes of mining in the second half of the 20th century and the 19th century. The experience tour requires a certain level of physical fitness, 60 m of ascent via rides (ladders) with an incline of 45 degrees is part of the tour. The Expert Tour is physically demanding as it includes various sole changes. Via rides (ladders) or steps cut into the rock, 200 metres in altitude are overcome through several sole changes.
There are other special tours that take place above and below ground. On the Häuerweg... leads through Freiberg's old town along the historic Häuerweg to the Alte Elisabeth mine. You enter the tonne-long (inclined) shaft and reach the old mine at a depth of 90 m. The 5-hour tour ends with a hearty feast in the mine's unique prayer room. The surface tour to the surface mining facilities takes place by reservation only. The Sagenpfad is a journey back in time to the legendary world of the miners. Instead of technical explanations, there are miners' tales about the discovery of mineral resources and the mysterious workings of mountain spirits and goblins. At the Mettenschichten the old mining tradition of the last shift before Christmas is revived. A rustic miners' feast by candlelight, Christmas music from the Ore Mountains provides entertainment. During the year, there is the Sagenmettenschicht and the Kinder- und Familien-Mettenschicht. These take place in the Wilhelmstolln, which is reached by a trip in the pit cage to a depth of 150 m and a 600 m ride on the mine train. It is heated and offers enough space for up to 72 people.