Sztolni Królowa Luiza

Useful Information

Königin Luise Zeche, Poland. Public Domain.
Surveying, Königin Luise Zeche, Poland. Public Domain.
Miners in Front of the Colliery, Königin Luise Zeche, Poland. Public Domain.
Location: ul. Maurycego Mochnackiego 12, 41-800 Zabrze
(50.29648448186449, 18.799051732020708)
Fee: Underground Water Route: Adults PLN 60, Children (6-16) PLN 45, Students (-26) PLN 45, Seniors PLN 46.
Underground Family Route: Adults PLN 35, Children (4-16) PLN 27, Students (-26) PLN 27, Seniors PLN 27.
Tourist Route: Adults PLN 45, Children (6-16) PLN 35, Students (-26) PLN 35, Seniors PLN 35.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: Adit: L=14 km.
Guided tours: Underground Water Route: D=2 h, L=2,000 m, MinAge=6, Max=10, T=14-16 °C. Boat tour: L=1,100 m.
Underground Family Route: D=1.5 h, MinAge=4, Max=10.
Address: Sztolni Królowa Luiza, Maurycego Mochnackiego 12, 41-800 Zabrze, Tel: +48-3227-14077. 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.


1779 Friedrich Wilhelm von Reden becomes director of the Higher Mining Authority in Wrocław.
24-NOV-1790 Salomon Isaak discovers 1 m thick coal seam on the border between Pawłowo and Zaborze, in the Czarniawka valley.
1791 "Królowa Luiza" Mine opened.
1799 beginning of the construction of the Głównej Kluczowej Sztolni Dziedzicznej adit.
1816 "Królowa Luiza" Mine produces 25% of all coal extraction in Upper Silesia.
1842 "Dechen" shaft completed, mining starts on the coal seams below the adit.
1846 first mine connected to the railway in Upper Silesia.
1863 adit completed.
1898 Queen Louise Mine produces 3.3 million tons of coal, employing 8,500 miners.
1953 Primary Adit closed by walls and outlet filled in.
APR-1957 mines merged into KWK "Zabrze" plant.
1962 modern longwall shearer introduced and development of a special work organization.
JUN-1965 Ośrodek Propagandy Górnictwa show mine opened to the public.
1976 mines Zabrze and Bielszowice merged.
1979 show mine closed due to problems with the maintenance of the network of underground workings.
1983 decision to construct a new training and propaganda tunnel.
DEC-1985 Ośrodkiem Szkolenia Zawodowego i Propagandy Górnictwa przy KWK „Zabrze–Bielszowice” (Center of Vocational Training and Propaganda of Mining at KWK "Zabrze-Bielszowice") opened to the public.
1987 mine employes 12,000 people and produces 5 million tons of coal.
1990s branch of the Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze operates the Wilhelmina shaft and the surface structures as open air museum.
27-MAR-1998 Zabrze mine closed after 207 years of operation.
1999 Primary Adit explored for the reopening.
2009 Carnall Shaft excavated to the level of 40 m.
2011 open air museum becomes part of the Queen Louise Adit project.
2012 Primary Adit cleared and restored.
2015 staircase built in the Carnall Shaft and Wilhelmina Shaft equipped with transport lifts.
2019 restoration of Primary Adit completed, new tours opened to the public.



Coal Mining, Königin Luise Zeche, Poland. Public Domain.
Hauptschlüssel-Erbstollen, Poland. Public Domain.

Sztolni Królowa Luiza (Queen Louise Adit) is the name of the show mine, which actually consists of the Kopalni "Królowa Luiza" (Queen Luisa Mine) and the Głównej Kluczowej Sztolni Dziedzicznej (Primary Adit). The adit was originally named Hauptschlüssel-Erbstollen, where Haupschlüssel means master key, because it was the main adit of the whole mining district, the key to make mining possible. Erbstollen is the German miners term meaning drainage tunnel, as adit is the English miners term for drainage tunnel. So the Polish name is actually a literal and thus wrong translation, which was then literally translated into "Main Key Heritage Adit", again a mistranslation. We use Primary Adit, the correct translation of the German name.

Friedrich Wilhelm von Reden became director of the Wyższego Urzędu Górniczego (Higher Mining Authority) in Wrocław (Warsaw). He was appointed by Friedrich Anton von Heinitz, minister of state in Prussia and co-founder of the Bergakademie Freiberg, the world's oldest Mining Academy in Freiberg Saxony. Reden planned to build the first modern industrial area east of the Elbe. For this he employed many outstanding scientists and entrepreneurs. The Jewish merchant Salomon Isaac from Brabant discovered coal seams and became a senior official of the Mining Authority in Tarnowskie Góry. Scotsman John Baildon constructed the second largest furnace on the European continent Królewska Odlewnia Żeliwa in Gliwice. The furnace needed coke which was produced at the Queen Louise Mine, named after the Prussian Queen Luisa, which was opened by Reden in 1791.

The mining started rather shallow, only 30 m below the surface. However, when the miners dug deeper, the groundwater became a thread, and the easiest way to get rid of it was the construction of the adit. The construction of the Primary Adit took 64 years, and it finally drained two state mines and about 20 private mines, and it made additional coal seams available for exploitation. It was also used for transport, as the Kłodnica Canal started at the exit of the adit connecting Upper Silesia with the ports of Western Europe.

After World War II, the Queen Louise West and Queen Louise East mines were renamed Zabrze-West and Zabrze-East. In April 1957, both mines were merged into one KWK "Zabrze" plant. The mine achieved a record-breaking daily production through the use of modern longwall shearers named ściany Zabrze (Zabrze wall) and the development of a special work organization called systemem Zabrze (Zabrze system). The mines Zabrze and Bielszowice were merged and employed 10,000 employees and mined 6 million tons of coal.

The first show mine at Zabrze was officially named Ośrodek Propagandy Górnictwa (Mining Propaganda Center), because it was opened in June 1965 for propaganda and to encourage young people to work in the mining industry. But it was normally called czarną Wieliczką (Black Wieliczka). It was actually one of the first coal show mines in Europe. The highlight of the show mine was the mechanized mining wall located at the level of 503 m. It was reached by the mine elevator of the Carnall mining shaft. It was managed by the Mining Branch of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society (MGO PTTK). The show mine had to be closed in 1979 due to problems with the maintenance of the underground workings.

In 1983, it was decided to create a new show mine, officially called "training and propaganda tunnel". The Ośrodkiem Szkolenia Zawodowego i Propagandy Górnictwa przy KWK „Zabrze–Bielszowice” (Center of Vocational Training and Propaganda of Mining at KWK "Zabrze-Bielszowice") was opened to the public in December 1985. Since the beginning of the 1990s, this show mine was replaced by the "Królowa Luiza" Mining Open Air Museum at the Wilhelmina shaft and the Carnall shaft, operated by the Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze. It included a demonstration of the still operational steam engine, ride of the Karlik cable car or chopping coal with a real pickaxe. The museum was filming location for the Polish-Italian production of Marcinelle about one of the worst mining accidents which occured in the Belgian "Marcinelle" Mine in 1956. In 2011 it became part of the Queen Louise Adit project.

This historic mine dates from 1791 and in 1985 a new building was erected, especially for visitors, to house an exhibition of mining equipment through the ages. Visitors are shown around the plant and buildings at the pit top, including a 1915 steam hoist. The tour includes a descent to the 35 m adit level and ends in the gift shop.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

The Podziemna Trasa Wodna (Underground Water Route) is an underground boat ride in the mine adit. An adit is an almost horizontal tunnel which drained the mine by allowing the mine water to flow out simply by gravity, by its own weight. The adit was dammed on one side, and so it is now partially filled with water. The tour starts with a descent to the level 40 m below surface and a short walk to the jetty. Then a boat ride of 1,100 m length follows.

The Podziemna Trasa Rodzinna (Underground Family Route) is the same tour for the whole family, Children from the age of 4 are allowed on this tour, but it is a walking tour and does not include the boat ride. Highlight is a 22-ton giant scraper, which was used to extract the coal. The machine still works and is run to give the visitors an idea how loud the working conditions in the mine were. Then the groups return with a ride on an authentic mine train.

The Trasa Turystyczna (Tourist Route) is closed until further notice. It was the underground mine tour before the restoration of Primary Adit was completed, and the two new were tours opened to the public. It is not clear if it will be refurbished and reopened or if it is finally closed. Probably this has just not been decided jet.