Tonbergbaumuseum Westerwald

Tonbergbaumuseum Siershahn

Useful Information

Location: Siershahn
Open: All year Wed 14:30-16:30, please make an appointment.
Fee: Adults EUR 3, Children (7-15) EUR 2, Children (0-6) free, Students EUR 2, Family EUR 6.
Classification: MineClay Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Address: Tonbergbaumuseum Westerwald, Poststraße, Postfach 1132, 56427 Siershahn, Tel: +49-2623-951363, Fax: +49-2623-831499. 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.


10-DEC-1961 shaft Gute Hoffnung inaugurated.
1979 closed due to lack of rentability.
1987 Museumsverein founded.
1989 Museumsverein buys abandoned mine.
1992 Museum created.
1998 featured by the local TV station Südwestrundfunk (SWR) as one of the 10 best nonprofit initiatives.



The Tonbergbaumuseum (Clay Mining Museum) is located at the rim of the huge open cast clay mine Hohewiese owned by the company Sibelco Deutschland. Until recently, clay was mined right here and the mining could be observed from the museum. But now mining activities were relocated and the abandoned mine is recultivated. During dry periods, guided tours through this part of the mine are possible. But the clay mining museum is not dedicated to this mine. It explains the geology of the clay deposits, the historic and modern mining techniques and the modern recultivation of mines. Around the museum, abandoned mining machinery shows the technology of a clay mine. One of the most popular exhibits is a working mine train.

In the area of Siershahn once 32 underground clay mines existed. Today they are all closed and the mining is only open cast. The museum is operated by a non-profit group of enthusiasts which formed to buy the abandoned mine shaft Gute Hoffnung. They renovated the surface buildings and machinery and installed a museum. The original plan to renovate the underground mining and make it accessible to visitors had to be abandoned. It was too expensive for the small group of enthusiasts.

The underground mine Gute Hoffnung was inaugurated in 1961 and closed in 1979 becuase of unrentability. During its 18 years of operation, it offered work to 20 miners in two shifts. The mining was underground and was reached through a 38 m deep shaft. Every shift produced between 50 and 60 t of ceramic clays which get white when they are baked.

The clays of the Westerwald are well-known in Germany. A lot of pottery is produced in the area, especially the gray Steingut with salt glaze. You know the term Stein for a German beer mug, Steingut is the hard and very robust ceramics which was produced in this area. But also bricks and roof tiles are produced in this area.