|Location:||Hinterdorf Engi. A3 between Zürich and Sargans, exit Niederurnen, through Glarus, Schwanden, towards Elm. Behind Engi at the left.|
APR to SEP on certain Sundays, see website.
Adults CHF 18, Children CHF 13, Soldiers CHF 15.
|Address:||Landesplattenberg Engi, 8765 Engi-Hinterdorf, Tel: +41-55-642-1140, Fax: +41-55-642-1340. 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.
|1565||first written mention of slate mining at Engi.|
|17th cty||mining almost ended tue to difficult transport out of the valley.|
|1705||visited by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer.|
|1826||road through the Sernftal opened.|
|1833||taken over by county Glarus and renamed Landesplattenberg.|
|1855||Sernftal road renovated.|
|1995||show mine opened.|
|2004||Glarner Naturmuseum opened.|
The history of Elm and the Sernftal (Sernft valley) was dominated by the slate mining. One of the abandoned slate mines, located at Hinterdorf Engi, is open to the public. The 2.5 hour long tour shows the conditions under which the miners worked and explains the economic situation of the locals.
The mining is documented since 1565 and faded out during the 17th century. The reason was the difficult and expensive transport of the slate out of the valley. There were only narrow trails and the slate was transported to Schwanden on the back of mules. When the first road through the Sernftal was opened in 1826 the slatemining immediately became a good income for the extremely poor valley. But soon the country government discovered the revenue the mining produced and took it over. It was renamed Landesplattenberg (literally: country slate mountain) to commemorate this.
The mine was finally closed, because it was not very profitable any more and there were problems with the security of the workers.
The slate mine is famous wordlwide due to the fossils found in the slate. This started in the year 1705, when the naturalist Johann Jakob Scheuchzer from Zürich first visited the mine. He discovered some fossils and asked the miners to send him all fossils they discovered to Zürich. They had no objections, as he payed well for them. Scheuchzer prepared the fossils and they then went to natural science museums all over the world. A huge collection of the fossils may be found in the Glarner Naturmuseum, which opened 2004 in the former Weseta Textil AG in Vorderdorf.
The tour starts at a small museum located at the citiy limits towards Matt. The museum contains a collection on the working conditions and the local history. Good shoes and warm clothes required for the tour. The tour may be booked with a meal afterwards.