|Location:||Recht, near St. Vith. German speaking Belgium.|
APR to OCT Tue-Sun 10-18, last tour 16:30.
NOV to MAR after appointment.
Adults EUR 7, Children (4-15) EUR 5, Children (0-3) free, Family (2+*) EUR 20.
Groups (+): Adults EUR 6, Children (4-15) EUR .
|Address:||VoG "Schieferstollen Recht", Poteauer Straße 1, 4780 Recht, Tel: +32-80-570067, Fax: +32-80-570067.|
|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.
|1886||mine opened by the brothers Margraff, upper tunnel started.|
|1890||lower tunnel started.|
|1895||lower tunnel completed.|
|1920||last quarry closed.|
|JUN-2007||opened to the public.|
The slate at Recht was mined for centuries, in quarries. The mine was started in the mid 1880s by the brothers Margraff to mine the lower and more valuable slate. Also the surface mining had reached depths which made quarrying difficult. The mine had two tunnels to the slate, an upper and a lower one, which created a natural air circulation. The lower one lies about 60m below the suface and reaches the slate after 300m. It was mined almost completely which created a huge chamber called Kathedrale (cathedral), which is 300m long and up to 14m high. The mined rock was transported to the surface in miners trains, typically in 750kg blocks. A part of the rails still exists.
The slate mine here was called Rechter Blaustein (blue rock of Recht), because of the typical blueish or dark violet colour. It could not be used for roofs and walls as it was not possible to split it thin enough. But the rock is extremely resistant against acids and weathering, so it was used for sauerkraut and as tan basins in the tanning industry of St. Vith, Malmedy, Stavelot, and Antwerp The rock had the biggest importance in the creation of religious art, especially crosses. The oldest burial stone created of this rock is from 1649, one year after the end of the 30 years war. It is located in the entrance hall of the chapel Wiesenbach near St. Vith. The oldest cross made of Blaustein is found at Mackenbach near St. Vith, . In daily life it was used for window and door frames, keystones, corner stones, troughs, sinks, and water pipes.
The village recht belongs to Belgium, but it is a German speaking enclave. At the begin of the 18th century hewers from Tyrolia, right on the other end of the German speaking area, moved in from Kappl in the Paznautal. They influenced the art and the techniques of the Blaustein processing. Their characteristic symbol was the Christian JHS.