Rothschönberger Stolln

Useful Information

Location: Viertes Lichtloch: Badstraße 1, 09629 Reinsberg. (51.006790, 13.366710)
Siebentes Lichtloch: Straße der Jugend 49, 09633 Halsbrücke. (50.963655, 13.344367)
Mundloch: Rothschönberger Str., 01683 Klipphausen. (51.067290, 13.400480)
Open: Viertes Lichtloch: Tag der offenen Schauanlagen, Tag des offenen Denkmals.
Siebentes Lichtloch: Tag der offenen Schauanlagen, Tag des offenen Denkmals.
Classification: SubterraneaMining Museums
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=50,9 km.
Hauptstollen: L=13,9 km, W=2,50 m, H=3 m/1,50 m, Gr=0,033 %.
FLavg=685 l/s, FLmax=14 m³/s, FLmin=80 l/s.
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Viertes Lichtloch des Rothschönberger Stollns e.V., Badstraße 1, 09629 Reinsberg. E-mail:
Dr. Jens Kardel, Tel: +49-1520-8767517.
Dr. Uwe Klopfer, Tel: +49-177-2234624.
Siebentes Lichtloch e.V. Halsbrücke, Straße der Jugend 49, 09633 Halsbrücke, Tel: +49-3731-4559955. 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.


1844 Start of construction.
1877 Main tunnel completed.
1882 Secondary facilities completed.
1897 during a flood, large masses of water cause a rupture near Halsbrücke.
1970 end of mining in the Freiberg area.
12-AUG-2002 a flood causes damage to the gallery.
2017 Viertes Lichtloch (Fourth Light Hole) receives the Monument Award of the District of Central Saxony.


The Rothschönberger Stolln (Adit of Rothschönberg) is an Erbstollen, an adit with a slight gradient that was used to drain mines by diverting the water out of the mine with the help of gravity. Such tunnels were often built before the development of efficient pumps, because they caused very low running costs. Nowadays, they would have to be described as climate-neutral and sustainable; at that time, it was simply not possible or very expensive to operate pumps permanently. The gallery was built from 1844 to 1877, so it took 33 years, and this was in the early 19th century, when modern mining machines and explosives were already available. At that time, the drainage gallery was still an investment for future generations, and could never have been financed without a state subsidy. The gallery drains the mines of the Freiberg mining district, including the Brand mining field. All the drainage galleries from the various mines meet above Halsbrücke, from where only the main gallery of the Rothschönberger Stolln leads to the mouth hole in the Triebschtal valley.

The gallery was originally planned by Baron von Herder, under the name Tiefer Meißner Erbstollen (Deep Adit to Meißen). It was supposed to reach as far as the Elbe valley to Meissen, but was not built in this form because of the enormous costs. The cheaper version had the mouth hole near Rothschönberg in the Triebsch valley, hence the different name. A technique known since ancient times was used to build the tunnel. Seven auxiliary shafts were built, so-called Lichtloch (light holes), from which the tunnel was driven in both directions. The advantage is that, including the mouth hole and the pit to be drained, 16 sections were built at the same time, so that in the best case the gallery was completed in a 16th of the time. In order for these sections to meet, very precise surveying was necessary. In fact, all the sections fitted together perfectly in the end. Later, an VIII. Lichtloch (8th light hole), was built near Halsbrücke to optimise the drainage of the mine water.

The main tunnel has a length of 13.9 km and runs between Halsbrücke and Rothschönberg at a depth of up to 100 metres. The mines constructed further side tunnels as supply lines, bringing the total length to 50.9 km. The main tunnel was financed by the state, the side tunnels had to be financed by the mines themselves. The construction costs of the main tunnel amounted to 7,186,697.43 Reichsmark and exceeded the estimate by 79 %. The average gradient is 0.033%, the main gallery is 2.50 m wide throughout, 3 m high in the lower gallery section between Rothschönberg and the VII light hole, and 1.50 m high above the VII light hole. The average water flow is 685 l/s, but during floods like the one in 2002, 14 m³/s can be reached, but this is not without damage. The lowest measured flow was 80 l/s on 27-SEP-1942.

The gallery is not a single show mine, but different parts can be visited individually. There is the main gallery mouth at Rothschönberg and the lower-lying Röschen mouth. The mouth hole has an impressive façade and is well worth a visit. The mine water was led out of the mountain further down so as not to impair the water supply to the village. You can also visit the hat houses and installations of light holes four, seven and eight.

At the IV. Lichtloch (4th light hole) there is a Wasserkunst (water system), two water wheels that were driven by the water of the Brobritzsch river. The Grabentour (channel system) is a 3557 m long system of canals which was used to divert the stream from the Krummenhennersdorf mill. Only a part are above-ground canals, a total of 1905 m are underground. Those tunnels are locally called Rösche, which is an ancient miners term for adit. The channel system was built right at the beginning of the construction period, between 1844 and 1847, as the water was needed to power the hoist during construction. The Schachtgebäude (shaft building) or Treibehaus (hoist house) stands on the actual shaft of the 4th light hole. On the first floor of the building is a working hand reel from 1891. Immediately to the west is the Radstubenkaue (wheelhouse), below which are the two water wheel chambers for the two water wheels. One was called Kunstrad (power wheel) which was used to power pumps and other machinery. The other was called Kehrrad (reverse wheel) because it was possible to change its direction. The Kehrrad was used during construction to haul the accumulating rock out and to transport material and tools into the shaft. The Kunstrad drove a turbine to raise water. Both water wheels had a diameter of 11.9 m, the Kehrrad was 1.6 m wide, the Kunstrad 0.9 m wide. However, the two wheels have not been preserved, only the Radstuben (wheel houses, wheel chambers) can be visited.

The fourth light-hole was, however, in addition to its task for the construction of the gallery, also the seat of the administration, both for the construction and afterwards for the operation of the gallery. This is probably also the reason why the buildings here have been almost completely preserved.

The VII. Lichtloch (7th Light Hole) also consists only of surface installations. These are the shaft or hoist house with an attached wheel room, the miners' forge with a crew room, and, some distance away, the powder house, which was used to store explosives. A highlight of the small museum is the Mechanisches Bergwerk (mechanical mine), a wooden model with a stamp mill, iron hammer, hand reel, miners in the drift, ore extraction and the horse-drawn wagon. During the opening days, the miners' forge is open all day, demonstrating the work of the blacksmith.

Mining in the Freiberg area finally ceased in 1970. Although this theoretically means that the gallery is no longer needed, it continues to drain the mines. It is now, so to speak, an important part of the safety measures for the old mines. The parts that can be visited are, however, only open on two days a year, on the Tag der Schauanlagen (day of the show mines) on the first Sunday in July and on the Tag des offenen Denkmals (day of the open monument) on the third Sunday in September. The Tag der Schauanlagen is a local speciality, a modernised version of Tag des Bergmanns (Miners' Day) in the GDR. The rest of the year, the sites are open to groups by appointment.