Entente Mine Cockerill Esch sur Alzette

Katzenberg Mine


Useful Information

Location: Esch sur Alzette
(49.47624380814974, 5.97634119806248)
Open: Museum: APR to OCT Mon-Fri 8-12, 13-17, Sat, Sun 8-12.
Guided tour: only for groups affter appointment.
Blacksmithing demonstration: only for groups affter appointment.
[2021]
Fee: Museum: free.
Guided tour: free.
Blacksmithing demonstration: free.
[2021]
Classification: MineIron mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: D=2 h. Lëtzebuergesch - Luxembourgish Deutsch - German Français - French
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: Museum: yes.
Mine: no
Bibliography: Mine Katzenberg à Esch, Du passé Industriel à la Préserveration d'un Site; 25 ème anniversaire de l'Entente Mine Cockerill. Clemens Heng, Luxembourg, SBN/GTIN 978-99959-0-306-0. €25 Lëtzebuergesch - Luxembourgish
Henri Clemens (): Geschichte der Grube Katzenberg Britta Winkel (): Die Grube Katzenberg als Museum und Industriedenkmal
Address: Musée de la mine Cockerill, Rue Jean-Pierre Bausch, 4114 Esch-sur-Alzette. E-mail:
Naturschutzzentrum Ellergrund, 4114 Esch-sur-Alzette, Tel: +352-2654-421. 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.

History

1887 mining operations at the foot of the Katzenberg started.
1892 concession in Ellergrund granted and mining operations relocated from Eisekaul to Ellergrund.
1898 Katzenberg concession acquired, which gives the name to the mine.
1900 modernization of the mine.
1913 after the death of Charles Collart compßany converted and Felten & Guilleaume Carlswerk from Köln-Mühlheim becomes the leading shareholder.
1919 sold to the French Société des Mines de la Loire.
1921 taken over by the Belgian company Athus-Grivegnée.
31-MAY-1931 due to the global economic crisis in 1929 Steinfort foundry is shut down.
1940 placed under forced administration by the Germans.
01-APR-1943 integrated into the Lutzelburg Union.
1946 S. A. Angleur-Athus merges with S. A. John Cockerill.
1950s mine is mechanised, scrapers and loading machines are acquired.
31-DEC-1967 Grube Katzenberg closed.
1988 mine site purchased by the state to create a nature reserve.
08-MAY-1991 Initiativ fir d’Erhaalen vun de Cockerillsgebaier zu Esch-Uelzecht am Ellergronn is founded.
1995 initiative renamed Entente Mine Cockerill.

Description

The Musée de la mine Cockerill (Cockerill Mine Museum) displays fossils, lamps and mining tools, as well as other artefacts from the life in the miners. It was created by the Entente Mine Cockerill Esch sur Alzette, a non-profit organisation of volunteers, who preserve the local mining heritage. They work for the preservation and promotion of the Katzenberg mining site in Esch-sur-Alzette. They also offer guided tours for groups of eight people or more. The Cockerill Mine Museum is a site on the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

The museum shows all the typical machinery and tools of a working mine. There are hammers, chisels, lamps of all kinds, helmets and protective gear. The miners used carbide lamps in the early years, but in the 20th century they were replaced by electric lamps with lead batteries. The museum has a station in which the lamps were charged for the next shift. There are also some smaller machines, for example a short piece of railroad tracks with a transport cart and a special saw to cut the rail to the right length by hand. There is also a section of communication gear, which were simple but robust telephones which were connected by copper wires. Henkelmänner are enamelled or painted sheet metal containers, which were used to transport lunch into the mine for the lunch break. One of the highlights is a miner in full gear who drills a hole in the ceiling with a pneumatic drill to place ceiling anchors. Another section is dedicated to the use of explosives, boxes for dynamite or other explosives, ignition cables and machines. A manual siren was used to announce the detonation. The collections also includes fossils and ore specimens from the mined Middle Jurassic limestones.

The Waschkaue, the German term is also used in Lëtzebuergesch, is the room where the miners changed into their working clothes. It is rather small but very high, so there are no lockers, insted each miner hat a chain with hooks, on which the working clothes were hanging, and which was pulled to the ceiling. When they changed they lowered the hooks with the chain, put there normal clothes on the hook and pulled them back to the ceiling. At the end of the shift they showered and then changed back. The room is part of the museum and the walls are used for the exhibition of historic photographs. The blacksmith's shop is not only in working condition, it is actually used by the members of the society to repair broken tools, and show the visitors how this work was done.

The adit of the Grube Katzenberg is accessible on guided tours only. However there is no underground tour, only the museum and the open air exhibition of heavy machinery and mine trains. On special occasions train rides are offered.

The Grube Katzenberg is also known as Grube Collart. Located in the Höhl valley south of Esch an der Alzette, there are two tunnels. The mine hat no shaft, it was mined horizontally and the ore was transported by train to the railroad station.

The Katzenberg mine was founded by the brothers Charles and Jules Collart, foundry owners in Steinfort and Rodingen. They were locals from Dommeldingen and the first industrialists in the area. They founded the Gesellschaft Charles & Jules Collart, which took over the Steinfort foundry in 1856. On 08-AUG-1881 they were granted the Schlossbüsch concession for a term of 50 years at an annual rent of 18,750 francs. They opened their first mine tunnel at Eisekaul. In 1887 they started the mining operations at the foot of the Katzenberg. The construction of the buildings on the lower Katzenberg mine site was under the direction of mining engineer André Koch. After they are granted a further concession in Ellergrund in 1892, they relocate their mining site from Eisekaul to Ellergrund. The mine is known as Grube Collart.

The company expanded and enlarged over the next few years constantly. In 1898 they acquired the Katzenberg concession, which gives the name to the mine and all previously acquired concessions brought together. And the mine was quite successfull, in this year it produced 72,000 tonnes of ore.

In 1900 the foundry in Steinfort and mining operations at Katzenberg are modernized. A large repair workshop, an electrical supply station, and two houses were erected. Two electric Lahmeyer locomotives were purchased and drainage pumps installed for the grounwater, allowing mining from deeper deposits. Mining continually grows.

After the death of Charles Collart in 1910 the company had to change. It had been a simple limited commercial partnership of the brothers. Now it was converted into Hochöfen und Stahlwerke Steinfort and in 1913 the German company Felten & Guilleaume Carlswerk from Köln-Mühlheim became the leading shareholder. They immediately launched a large investment programme for the Steinfort foundry and acquired two new ore concessions. The production at the Katzenberg mine reaches 216,000 tonnes in 1913.

After World War I the Steinfort foundry and Katzenberg mine are sold to the French Société des Mines de la Loire. In 1921 they are taken over by the Belgian company Athus-Grivegnée. In 1928 the merge and are renamed S. A. Angleur-Athus. During World War II Luxembourg is occupied by the Germans and the mine is placed under forced administration. On 01-APR-1943 it is integrated into the Gewerkschaft Lützelburg.

After the end of the war S. A. Angleur-Athus merges with S. A. John Cockerill in 1946. The company was originally founded by the English-born Belgian industrialist John Cockerill, who founded John Cockerill & Cie. in 1817. After his death in 1840 it became the state-owned S. A. John Cockerill. The company operated Katzenberg until its closure in 1967 and is the reason why the museum is called Musée de la mine Cockerill. In the late 1950s the mine is mechanised, scrapers and loading machines are acquired. An ore crusher is installed in the mine and the ore is now brought above ground by a conveyor belt. The or is stored in ore silos, from where it is loaded into dumper trucks.

The Katzenberg mine was closed 31-DEC-1967, the ore reserves and the workforce are divided up among the companies, ARBED, HADIR and MMR. But the site in the Ellergrund valley is abandoned. In 1970 the former mine buildings are sold to a building company, but whatever they intended is never realized. The whole area is finally purchased by the state in 1986 and 1988 to create a nature reserve. On 08-MAY-1991 the Initiativ fir d’Erhaalen vun de Cockerillsgebaier zu Esch-Uelzecht am Ellergronn is founded, a non-profit group which occupies the mining site and executes maintenance works to preserve the site. In 1995 the are renamed Entente Mine Cockerill. Since then the volunteers not only preserved the site but also renovated buildings, created the museum and guided visitors.