Bleierzgrube Neu-Glück Plettenberg

Useful Information

Location: Auf der Weide, 58840 Plettenberg.
(51.221600, 7.870700)
Open: APR to OCT 2 Sun per month 14, 16.
Fee: Adults EUR 4.
Classification: MineLead Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=40 m, T=13 °C.
Guided tours: Max=12, MinAge=10.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Museumsstollen Bleierzgrube Neu Glück, Auf der Weide, 58840 Plettenberg, Tel: +49-2391-605420. E-mail:
Tourismusinformation Wilhelm 9, Plettenberger KulTour GmbH, Wilhelmstraße 9, 58840 Plettenberg, Tel: +49-2391-6054228.
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.


1735 Johann Eberhard Schantz founds the first hosiery weaving mill in Plettenberg
1736 Hermann Schantz also moves to Plettenberg.
1752 Plettenberg clothmakers and the magistrate found a staple association.
1755 Hermann Schantz muthes the Neu-Glück lead mine.
1757 beginning of mining.
1759 mine closed by the mining authority.
1944 Neu Glück lead mine converted into an air-raid shelter for employees of the Voß & Schröder company.
1945 25 American soldiers are imprisoned in the mine as prisoners of war and liberated a few days later.
2002 tunnel rediscovered during construction of a bypass.
2013 show mine opened to the public.



The Bleierzgrube Neu-Glück Plettenberg (Neu-Glück lead ore mine) has a name that is unfortunately very common in mining, so we have decided to simply add the name of the town. The mine is located at the foot of the hill called Hestenberg behind the Weidenhof hotel and cinema. Various entrances have been walled up, but through one that is still accessible, a mine tunnel has been secured and developed. In fact, this was also walled up and forgotten; the old mine tunnel was cut through in 2002 during the construction of the road tunnel for the Westtangente bypass. guided tours take place on special dates during the summer months, online booking via Plettenberger KulTour GmbH website is recommended. However, tickets can also be purchased at the Tourismusinformation Wilhelm 9 (Wilhelm 9 tourist information centre).

The Neu Glück Stollen was mined in 1755 by Hermann Schantz. He was actually a stocking weaver; his older brother Johann Eberhard Schantz had founded the first stocking weaving mill in Plettenberg in 1735, ten years after the devastating town fire. Plettenberg was already known for its textiles, and the cloth weavers' guild was heavily subsidized by the sovereign of Brandenburg-Prussia. The measures included export bans on local raw materials, customs duties on foreign textiles and financial support for foreign skilled labour and business start-ups. The younger brother moved to Plettenberg in 1736, and both were very successful, married and started families. In the middle of the 18th century, mining already had a long tradition in Plettenberg. After 20 years, Hermann Schantz went into mining, but it is not known why he did so. But at that time, cloth-making, and with it the entire textile business, was in crisis. He was probably trying to create a second source of income.

He "muted" a lead ore mine, the German mining term for applying for a licence to mine ore. As soon as it was granted, he started a tunnel and optimistically called it New Luck. After three months, the tunnel was already 18 lachter long, i.e. around 36 metres. The technique used was the so-called Dreistufen-Abbau (three-stage mining), with three men working one behind the other. Mining progressed quickly and rich lead ore was found. Hermann Schantz then had a side gallery built, which was unfortunately not authorized. In the past, mining enjoyed even more special regulations than it does today; there was often a tax exemption or a separate jurisdiction with its own law, the Bergrecht (mining law). But meticulous compliance with the authorization was also part of it, which was probably a consequence of the great dangers in mining, which left little room for experimentation. Unfortunately, he had not applied for the side tunnel and therefore did not receive authorization. The mining authority closed the tunnel immediately. Fortunately, he had not given up his stocking weaving business, which was later continued by two of his sons, Hermann Richard and Johan Christoph Henrich. Hermann Schantz died in 1769 and the lead mine fell into oblivion.

In 1944, underground locations were sought for air raid shelters and the Neu Glück lead mine was converted into an air raid shelter for employees of the Voß & Schröder company. A second entrance was built, a standard measure for air raid shelters, in case one entrance was blocked by rubble. The tunnel was also extended, but it was still quite cramped for over 100 people. Shortly before the end of the Second World War in 1945, 25 American soldiers were imprisoned in this tunnel as prisoners of war. They were liberated by their comrades a few days later. After that, the tunnel seems to have fallen into disuse and was again forgotten for half a century.

The official reason for its rediscovery was the construction of a bypass, the Westtangente highway. A tunnel was blasted into the Hestenberg because the valley was narrow and completely built up at this point. Of course, documents still existed, so local historians and experts in historical mining provided information about the historic tunnel. It was reopened, cleared of rubble and surveyed. It turned out that the tunnel ran through the adit; with so many old mining relics in the area, not every metre of adit can be protected. So the tunnel was built through the adit, which was thus divided into two parts by the tunnel. The rear part of the tunnel is therefore no longer accessible. The front part of the tunnel, with a length of 40 m, had already been cleared of debris, secured and surveyed, and was equipped with electric lighting. Since then, it has been open as a show mine, or rather an underground museum.

A visit to the mine provides an insight into local mining history, geology and, of course, the general history of the town. Tools and lamps give an impression of the working life of a miner. But the time as an air raid shelter is also depicted. Nevertheless, you have to realize that this is a rather small show mine that is only open a few days a year. But it is larger than one would expect from the information that there are only 40 m of mine tunnel left. On these 40 m there is a mine face, and 10 m before the mine face the side tunnel branches off, which led to the closure. After 30 m this passage leads to a second mine face and then 40 m further on to a 6 m deep shaft. The show mine is a stop on the Eisenstraße Südwestfalen (South Westphalia Iron Route) and the WasserEisenLand - Industriekultur Südwestfalen (WasserEisenLand - Industrial Heritage South Westphalia).

There were around 80 mining fields in the Plettenberg area. A variety of mineral resources were mined here: hard coal, ironstone, lead ore, sulphur pyrite, barite, copper ore, zinc ore and even silver. Mining began over 900 years ago and there were over 120 pits. You can discover many traces of mining activity within the Plettenberg urban area. Hiking trails through the surrounding forests reveal further mining remains.