|Location:||Wetzlar, Hausertorstraße, at the deer memorial for the Rheinisches Jägerbataillon.|
after appointment with the tourist information.
|Classification:||Iron Mine World War II Bunker Factory|
|Address:||Tourist-Info Wetzlar, Domplatz 8, 35578 Wetzlar, Tel: +49-6441-997750.|
|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.
|1842||iron mine opened.|
|1944||factories moved underground.|
The Hausertorstollen is a former iron mine, which was transformed into an underground factory during World War II. It is located at the Hausertor, an old door of the Medieval city fortification, and located at the northern rim of the city, on the shores of the river Lahn. The entrance is in a small park with a deer monument dedicated to the Rheinisches Jägerbataillon, an German army unit which was stationed in Wetzlar until 1877. This tunnel belongs actually to three completely different categories.
First it was mined as a iron ore mine, thats how the vast system of tunnels was created. There are numerous iron ore mines in the area, many of them very important, even for modern times. The last, the Grube Fortuna was closed rather recent in 1983 and is now a show mine. This mine was opened in 1842 and was mined until 1928. So close to a city there were always enough labour force, and the nearby river was ideal for transporting the ore. Obviously the mine had numerous advantages.
Wetzlar always had a diverse industry for high tech products, especially optics and precision mechanics. Numerous goods important for the war were produced in the city and were in danger by the allied bombardements during World War II. So the mine was used to provide a shelter for the factories. Production was moved underground, the tunnels were prepared for the needs of the industry by Italian prisoners of war. It was also a place were forced labourours had to live underground under pretty poor conditions. The factories produced parts for the famous german weapons V1, V2, and V3.
However, despite this infamous aspect the tunnels were also used as air raid shelters and saved the lives of many citizens of Wetzlar.