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Basaltkeller


Useful Information

Location: Obermendig, northwest of the train station, Brauerstraße. A61 Köln-Ludwigshafen, exit Mendig, towards Mendig, follow signs Lava-Dome. Tickets for the cellars at the Lava Dome museum.
Open: Museum: 26-DEC to 08-JAN Tue-Sun 10-17.
06-FEB to 16-DEC Tue-Sun 10-17.
Cellar: Guided Tours Tue-Sat 14, Sun, Hol 12, 14. Minimum 15 participants.
31-DEC, 01-JAN closed.
[2007]
Fee: Cellar: Adults EUR 4.50, Children (-16) EUR 3, School Pupils EUR 3.60, Students EUR 3.60, Wehrpflichtige EUR 3.60, Zivildienstleistende EUR 3.60, Disabled EUR 3.60.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 3.60, Children (-16) EUR 2.50, School Pupils EUR 2.50, Students EUR 2.50, Wehrpflichtige EUR 2.50, Zivildienstleistende EUR 2.50, Disabled EUR 2.50.
After appointment.
[2009]
Classification: basalt mines
Light: electric
Dimension: VR=35m, AR=2.8ha, T=5-7°C.
Guided tours: VR=35m, AR=0.7ha, D=60min, St=156.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Vulkanpark GmbH, Infozentrum Rauschermühle, Rauschermühle 6, 56637 Plaidt, Tel: +49-2632-9875-0, Fax: +49-2632-9875-20. E-mail: contact
Info-Hotline: +49-180-1885526.
Tourist-Information Mendig, Marktplatz 4, 56743 Mendig, Tel: +49-2652-980011, Fax: +49-2652-980019.
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.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:53:16 $

History

Geology

The basalt layer near Mendig is a cooled down lava flow of basaltic lava, which was produced by the Laacher See volcano, only a few kilometers to the north. The eruption took place some 13,000 years ago, which is almost yesterday from the geologic viewpoint. During the last 500,000 years some 40 volcanoes erupted on the eastern Eifel plateau. The three biggest eruptions were Riedener Kessel, Wehrer Kessel and Laacher See. The Laacher See volcano is not considered inactive, and during the last years increasing volcanic activities have been detected.


Description

The city of Mendig has northwest of the railroad station an area of some 0.3km² which is riddled with old cellars. Actually this underground labyrinth was created by the quarring or mining of basalt. The basalt was used for millstones, which were exported and became the basis of the wealth of the city. They were sold all over Europe.

Later, after the mining had ended the constant temperature of the underground chambers was discovered. The were cellars with different temperatures, between 7°C and 2°C. The 7°C are the natural temperature of the rock, lower temperatures are caused by the cold trap effect. Cold air is flowing into the cellars through openings in the ceiling during winter, but in summer the cold air, which is heavier, is trapped inside the cellars. This is the ideal situation for the storage of beer, and so the cellars were used as beer cellars starting with the early 19th century. In 1900 28 breweries existed in Mendig and all of them stored their beer in the cellars.

The city of Mendig is a hotspot of the Geopark Vulkaneifel. Three sights have been united and called Vulkan Dome: a modern museum, the beer cellars, and the nearby quarry named Museumslay. The museum explains the geologic background of volcanism in general and the somewhat special Eifel volcanism. There are numerous interactive displays and a simulation of a volcanic eruption. The Museumslay (museum quarry) is a sort of open air museum showing the machinery and techniques used to quarry the basalt. Lay is a local dialect word used for rock, but also means quarry.


See also


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