Kopalnia Podgórze


Useful Information

Location: Podgórze 54, 58-530 Kowary.
(50.759287, 15.840196)
Open: MAY to JUN daily 10-17.
JUL to AUG daily 9-18.
SEP to OCT daily 10-17.
NOV to APR daily .
Tours every hour on the half hour.
[2022]
Fee: Adults PLN 31, Children (6-16) PLN 26, Children (0-5) free, Students (-26) PLN 26, Seniors (65+) PLN 26, Family (2+2) PLN 97.
Groups (20+): Adults PLN 22.
[2022]
Classification: MineUranium Mine MiscRadontherapy
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=8 °C, H=97 %.
Guided tours: L=1,600 m, D=120 min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Kopalnia Podgórze w Kowarach, Podgórze 54, 58-530 Kowary, Tel: +48-538-715-100, Tel: +48-780-161-191. 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

12th century first mining in the area.
1945 Polish/Russian uranium mining started.
1950 begin of uranium mining at Podgórze.
1958 end of uranium mining at Podgórze.
1971–1972 radon tunnel prepared for opening, small amounts of uranium ore mined.
1974 radon tunnel opened for the public.
1990 radon tunnel closed.

Geology

At Kowary, uranium was found bordering the granite with metamorphic rocks. The ores are seams of hydrothermal origin, both the metamorpic rocks and the ores are a result of the granite intrusion. The typical minerals of the deposit are iron ores, fluorite, calcite, silver, uraninite.

Description

The Kopalnia Podgórze (Podgórze Mine) is one of several mines in the valley south of Kowary. There is already a show mine only 500 m east in the next valley, which is named Sztolnie Kowary (Kowary Tunnel). This is today the radon therapy tunnel, open since 2002. The whole area is full of mines, which were operated since the 12th century. Some of those tunnels were used for uranium mining between 1945 and 1958, other were new. And as far as we see both tunnels were used for radon therapy between 1974 and 1990. So actually you can see more or less the same in this show mine as in the other show mine 500 m away. But there seems to be a different approach.

This mine tour is obviously dedicated to history and mining technology during 700 years of mining, while the other site emphasizes on uranium, radon therapy, and a huge collection of minerals from foreign countries. In general, we consider this new mine to be the more informative and less annoying, while the other is more for families with children. However, this site also offers extreme mine tours, diving tours, zip lines, and a campground with rather weird huts for overnight stay. So they also try to serve the extreme sports and adrenaline junkie community.

This mine was opened for uranium mining, there had been nor Medieval mine before. In 1950, a radon anomaly was discovered in the upper part of the Jedlica valley, which was thought to be a sign for uranium. The "Podgórze" field was identified, documented and exploited at the same time. In total 196.2 tonnes of uranium ore were mined in the Podgórze mine, containing 0.25% of uranium per ton. The entrance tunnel is an adit and drains the mine, it also contains a narrow gauge mine train for the transport of miners and ore.

This tunnel was prepared for radon therapy in 1971–1972, and during these works, small amounts of uranium ore were mined. The radon therapy was opened to the public in 1974. It was operated by PP Uzdrowisko Cieplice and supervised by the Medical University of Silesian Piasts in Wrocław. Per year 3,600 people received radon therapy in ten one-hour sessions. The whole venue was operated by the socialist state, but in 1990 after the end of the Cold War and the transfer to capitalism the operation lacked financial resources and was closed.

The tours are rather long, a lot of walking, and require warm clothes, good shoes, and a little physical fitness. Helmets are provided. The tour includes mining tools, mine maps, and machinery from the 1950s. It also has the largest collection of uranium glass in Poland. The abandoned radon therapy tunnel still contains the deckchairs and other furniture from the 1980s.