Historisches Dachschieferbergwerk Assberg

Historic Slate Mine Assberg

Useful Information

Location: Limbach.
At the end of the village towards Heimborn, turn left, follow the single lane road for 700 m to the end. 5 minutes walk. Signposted.
(50.694542, 7.792781)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: MineSlate Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: VR=20 m.
Guided tours: self guided, St=30, Max=7.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Heinz Leyendecker (2007): Prähistorischer Fossilienfund im mittelalterlichen Besucherbergwerk "Assberg" in Limbach. In: Heimat-Jahrbuch des Kreises Altenkirchen. - 50 (2007), S. 118-119. - 2006. - 2006. - Ill.
Heinz Leyendecker (2003): Dachschieferbergwerk "Assberg" in Limbach. In: Wäller Heimat. - 2003, S. 78-81. - 2003. - 2003. - Ill.. - Wäller Museen und Sammlungen.
Address: Historisches Dachschieferbergwerk "Assberg", Mühlenau 5, 57629 Limbach, Tel: +49-2662-4483, Fax: +49-2662-942592. E-mail: contact
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.


1548 first mentioned in a bestowal document of the nearby Cistercian monastery Marienstatt.
19th century Friedrich Schneider, a citizen of Limbach, is fined for mining the original entrance to the adit after procuring stones for building his house and pouring the secondary rock into the mine.
1981 Mayor Heinz Leyendecker searches for the forgotten slate mine.
05-NOV-1987 adit entrance discovered during the construction of the new footbridge over the Nister by the Kroppacher Schweiz Development Association.
DEC-1997 to FEB-1998 pit cleared of mud, rubble and stones and mine exposed.
01-SEP-2013 mine festival with opening of the show mine.


The roofing slate dates from the Lower Devonian (400 Ma), clayey marine deposits were consolidated into thinly bedded mudstones. The Rhenish Slate Mountains were folded into a mountain range, the high directional pressures and temperatures led to schistosity. The platy and lath-shaped mineral constituents of the rock aligned themselves in parallel, and further minerals formed from the pore water, also in parallel. This made it possible to split the clay layers into thin and large slabs, which makes it roofing slate.


The Historisches Dachschieferbergwerk Assberg (historic roofing slate mine Assberg) began with a 70 m wide and 240 m long open pit. Later, mining was continued underground to a depth of 20 m. However, this was not a mine in the true sense of the word, it was more or less an underground continuation of the open pit. The result was a large hall with a shape reminiscent of a church or chapel. The stability of the slate allowed it to be mined without any measures to support it. The pointed arch of the ceiling further increased the stability.

The mine was used for the extraction of clay slates. They were primarily processed into roof shingles and were used at Marienstatt Abbey and Hachenburg Castle, among other places. The site belonged to the nearby Cistercian monastery, which is thought to be the reason why a cross was carved into the wall inside. Another theory is that the pit had a secret sacred function as a chapel or a hiding place. According to this theory, the underground part of this mine was created during the troubled times of the 30 Years War (1618-1648). This theory is supported not only by the unusual shape of the room and the cross, but also by the smoothly hewn walls unusual in mining and other peculiarities. It is assumed that the pit was used for a very long time, probably slate was mined long before it was first mentioned in documents.

Roofing slate was cut out of the hard rock with cleavers and wedge hews. This was done in layers from top to bottom. It is unusual that the quarried stones were then passed from hand to hand in a communal action to bring them to the surface. The miners used wooden Fahrten (ladders) that stood on Strossen (steps) several metres high, similar to the staircases of today. The pit was also drained in the same way when needed, even though the water was not a big problem. Today it is drained through a canal.

It is unclear when mining ended, but in the 19th century the pit was obviously no longer in use. The Limbach citizen Friedrich Schneider nevertheless used the mine to procure stones for his house construction. In the process, he mined the original entrance to the mine and poured the slag rock into the mine, for which he had to pay a fine. In 1981, the mayor of Limbach, Heinz Leyendecker, learned about the mine from the sparse documents and began to search for the forgotten slate mine. But he was unable to locate the mine and the entrance to the adit was discovered by chance during the construction of the new footbridge over the Nister by the Kroppacher Schweiz development association. But at least it was correctly identified and so the open pit and mine were cleared of mud, rubble and stones and the mine was uncovered.

The mine is quite unusual because it can be visited without a guide and without restrictions. It can be reached on a short hike from the Limbach sports field. It is also a stop on the Westerwaldsteig, Marienwanderweg and Druidensteig trails. It offers some covered seating and is therefore popular with hikers as a resting place. Boards with explanations and baskets of slate serve as introductions. The entrance is in a wooden hut, stairs lead 20 m down to the floor of the hall. Access is easy, but walking shoes are still recommended. The light switches on and off automatically. Due to the limited space, no more than 7 people should visit the mine at the same time.