Zufahrt Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße, 07580 Ronneburg.
Ronneburg, near Gera. A4 exit Gera-Leumnitz or Ronneburg, follow B7 to Ronneburg. Use parking lot of the Bogenbinderhalle, between Bahnhofstraße and Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße. If there is no event, the car park of the hall can be used.
Materialschacht 407: 1.5 km south.
Bergbaumuseum und Schaubergwerk:
All year daily Wed-Sun 10-16.
Materialschacht 407: After appointment.
Bergbaumuseum und Schaubergwerk:
Adults EUR 3, Children (6-16) EUR 1.50, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 2, Children (6-16) EUR 1.
Materialschacht 407: Adults EUR 2, Children (6-16) EUR 1, Children (0-5) free.
|Classification:||Uranium Mine Replica Underground Mine|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
Informationszentrum Bogenbinderhalle, Zufahrt Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße, 07580 Ronneburg, Tel: +49-36602-44316.
Bergbauverein Ronneburg e.V., c/o: Ekkehard Riedl, Bachgasse 5, 07580 Ronneburg, Tel: +49-36602-65656. E-mail:
|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.
|1949||first exploration by Sowjet geologists.|
|1953||start of uranium mining by the SDAG Wismut.|
|1980||end of mine growth.|
|1990||uranium mining ended.|
|1991||begin of reclamation by the WISMUT GmbH.|
|2000||Expo on the former open cast.|
|05-JUN-2004||begin of reclamation of the waste heaps.|
|2007||Bundesgartenschau on the former open cast.|
In the basement of the Bogenbinderhalle, or more precisely in the basement of the outbuilding, is the Bergbaumuseum Ronneburg (Ronneburg Mining Museum), which is dedicated to the history of uranium ore mining. It is also called Informationszentrum der Stadt Ronneburg (information center of the town Ronneburg). The museum is run by the Bergbauverein Ronneburg e.V. (Ronneburg Mining Association) and can be visited self-guided or with a short guided tour. It is also possible to simply ask specific questions about individual aspects. There is always a knowledgeable member of the association present, but it may be that the person is busy with repairs or other work. This makes for quite a relaxed atmosphere, which makes the visit thoroughly enjoyable.
The exhibits all come from the uranium mining operations of SAG WISMUT near Ronneburg and have been collected and restored by the members of the association. In addition to general mining machines and tools, some special features of uranium mining can be seen and explained. A large section is uranium minerals, and a bottle of ammonium diuranate is also on display, known as Yellow Cake because of its yellow colour. This was the final result of ore processing and was delivered to Russia in this form.
Another section deals with the special position of the miners in the WISMUT. Of course, they were not allowed to talk about what was being mined, but that was probably an open secret. They were paid extraordinarily well and received many goods, even from the West, at reduced prices in their own shops. In addition, they were given preferential treatment for many products, such as cars. For example, they only had to wait one or two years for a Trabbi, whereas the waiting time for ordinary people could be over ten years. However, miners were affected by silicosis, or pneumoconiosis, just like others, so life expectancy was 40 to 50 years. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that the dust was slightly radioactive due to the uranium and also caused cancer. That, too, was probably an open secret.
Miners were supplied, if you want to put it cynically, with cheap schnapps to stupefy people. So there were probably many who were alcoholics and also entered the mine in an inebriated state. This was neither good for health nor for the accident statistics. The schnapps was therefore also cynically referred to as Kumpeltod (miner's death).
The museum is located in the basement, and in addition to some quite normal exhibition rooms, some corridors were fitted out like mine tunnels. The walls have been covered with wooden or steel support or with natural stone so that it looks as if you are underground. In fact, it is an artificial mine that looks deceptively real in some places. It shows various tools and machines, mining technologies from the 1950s.
Ronneburg, unlike the other mines, was operated until the 1980s. Many other mines were simply exhausted at some point, most of them already in the 1960s. Ronneburg, however, was probably the largest uranium deposit, and it was mined for decades. In the GDR, contaminated sites and environmental pollution were not discussed, and so the museum can contribute little to this. The Museum Objekt 90, very close by, is much better equipped for this.
In addition to the museum, the association also operates Shaft 407, which is a winding tower, accessible are only the above-ground installations. The shaft is freely accessible, but if you want to visit the interior with the winding machines, you have to make an appointment. It is located on Weidaer Straße, about 1.5 km to the south.