4 Chem. de la Viache, La Croix-aux-Mines.
JUL to AUG Thu, Sun 14-18.
Adults EUR 5, Children EUR 3.
|Classification:||Silver Mine Lead Mine Mining Museum|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||L=120 m.|
Georges Allemand (1908):
Les mines de plomb et d'argent de La Croix aux Mines en Lorraine
imprimerie A. Lamaignière, Bayonne, 1908, 17 p. (avec plan et schémas)
Heinrich Winkelmann (1962): Die Rote Grube Sankt Nikolaus in La Croix-aux-Mines in: Bergbuch des Lebertals, Gewerkschaft Eisenhütte Westfalia, Wethmar, 1962, 175 p. + pl.
|Address:||Musée des Mines d'Argent, 4 Chem. de la Viache, 88520 La Croix aux Mines, Tel: +33-329-51-74-56.|
|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.
|9th century||discovery of silver-bearing veins.|
|15th century||first period of mining.|
|1720||second period of mining.|
|1760||mines forced to close after a series of fatal accidents.|
|1924||mines reopened for|
|23-JUN-2012||mining museum and show mine opened to the public.|
The mines were based on poylmetallic seams or clefts containing ores like pyromorphite, goethite, and argentiferous galena. It also contained varying amounts of fahlores, chalcopyrite, pyrite, marcasite, and bournonite. The ores had a high content of various metals, but were hard to mine as they formed rather thin seams in the hard, crystalline rock, strongly altered gneisses and granites. The main vein of La-Croix-aux-Mines represents a tectonically brecciated zone with a width of up to 100 m. Richly mineralised northwest-southeast trending veins alternate with poorly mineralised northeast-southwest trending ones, and north-south trending veins of barren gangue material. The galena ore contained 1 to 1.5 kg of silver per ton which was a low amount but of great economic value.
Mines d'argent de La Croix-aux-Mines (Ancient Silver Mines of La Croix-aux-Mines) are numerous 15th and 17th centuries mines at the village La Croix-aux-Mines in the Vosges. While the museum is dedicated to the silver mining of the area, it is located at the historic St. Joseph mine. There is a new mining museum built at the hillside, and the entrance to the mine is right behind. The museum shows historic pictures and drawings, mining related tools like chisels, helmets and carbide lamps. There is also an exhibition of the typical ores. The visit includes an underground tour into the historic mine behind the museum. The museum and show mine are operated by the non-profit Association pour la sauvegarde des mines d'argent de la Croix (Association for the Safeguarding of the Silver Mines of La Croix, ASMAC).
There were two rather short periods of mining, in the 15th century, and 200 years later in the 17th century. The mining was rather difficult and so the economic and technological situation was important for the success of the mines. In other words, the size and value of the ores was not high enough to allow a longer lasting mining, both period were rather brief. Nevertheless, the St. Joseph mine shows all peculiarities of a manual mining operation, before the use of explosives the passages were hand dug and thus narrow.
There are numerous silver, copper, and mercury mines in the area and also numerous show mines and mining museums. The mining area is known as Val d'Argent (silver valley). Mining started in the 10th century and ended in 1940. In the last period, the late 19th and early 20th century cobalt and arsene were mined.
One of the most impressive exhibits of the small museum is a series of 25 drawings from 1529. They were drawn by Heinrich Gross for the attention of the Duke of Lorraine when he visited his mines at La Croix-aux-Mines in 1529. They show the central aspects of the mining techniques in great detail, and are thus a solid reference of the work of the 15th century miners. The originals are kept in the museum of the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, the museum shows reproductions.