Alaunwerk Mühlwand

Useful Information

Location: In Mühlwand, 2 km south of Reichenbach.
A72 exit Reichenbach, B94 towards Reichenbach, after 1 km turn left and then right towards Rotschau, after 1,5 km turn left to Mühlwand.
(50°35'57.13"N, 12°17'18.28"E)
Open: JAN bis JUN Sat, Sun 13-16, last tour 15:30.
JUL bis AUG daily 13-16, last tour 15:30.
SEP bis DEC Sat, Sun 13-16, last tour 15:30.
Other times after appointment.
Fee: Adults EUR 3, Children (6-14) EUR 1,50, Children (0-5) not allowed.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 2,50, Children (6-14) EUR 1.
Classification: MineAlum Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=30 min. V=4,000/a.
Address: Tropfsteingrotte Alaunwerk Mühlwand-Reichenbach e.V., Alaunwerk 6, 08468 Reichenbach, Tel: 03765-13986, Fax: 03765-13986. 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.


1691 to 1827 pyrit- und kohlenstoffhaltiger Schiefer abgebaut.
12-SEP-2002 show mine opened to the public.
JAN-2011 melting water flood fills the mine with 100m³ debris and mud, show mine closed.
APR-2011 reopening.


At Mühlwand so-called Alaunschiefer (alum schist) was mined, a rock which was used for the production of sulfuric acid and other sulfur based substances. The rock is a typical schist with a high amount of pyrite and various hydrocarbons. Pyrite (FeS2) is the origin of the sulfur.


Since 1691 the alum shists were mined in Mühlwand, at first in an open cast or quarry. But after some time the open cast had a considerable depth, and because of the surrounding property owners there was no possibility to extend the open cast. Additionally, the water in the pit was a serious problem, so the miners had to construct an adit, which would allow the water to flow out of the quarry. As a result the mining went underground, and the former open cast above was used to store the debris of the mining process.

The underground mining ended in 1827, a time before the most important inventions in mining technology had not yet happened. SO the whole mine was constructed completely by the work force of the miners, dug by hand with Schlägel und Eisen (hammer and chisel). So this show mine offers a view into the mining techniques of the early 19th century.

The show mine was opened in 2002 and is managed by the non-profit Tropfsteingrotte Alaunwerk Mühlwand-Reichenbach e.V.. It is open all year on weekends and has some 4,000 visitors per year. A flood of melting water caused an avalanche of mud and debris flowing into the show mine. The show mine had to be closed. The mine was cleared by the work of volunteers and two long time unemployed who were paid by the employment agency. They manually removed some 100 m³ debris from the passages and the show mine could be reopened in April 2011.