Carolinen Grube


Useful Information

Location: Eberbächle, Sexau.
A5 exit 61 Freiburg Nord, B294 to Gundelfingen, on B3 towards Emmendingen, exit Denzlingen, through Sexau. 1.4 km after Sexau Caroline Silbergrube car park on the right. 1 km/15 minutes walk to the mine.
(48.125470, 7.919057)
Open: APR to NOV one Saturday a month 11-16.
Dates see website.
[2022]
Fee: Free. Donations for the maintenance of the pit are appreciated.
[2022]
Classification: MineSilver Mine MineCopper Mine MineLead Mine MineBaryte Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: W. Werner (1994): Ergebnisse geologischer und historischer Forschung im alten Bergbaurevier Freiamt–Sexau (Mittlerer Schwarzwald) – ein Überblick Abhandlungen des Geologischen Landesamt Baden‑Württ., Band 14: Seiten 9–26; Freiburg i. Br. Deutsch - German
W. Werner & H. J. Franzke (1994): Zur Tektonik und Mineralisation der Hydrothermalgänge am Schwarzwaldrand im Bergbaurevier Freiamt ‑ Sexau (Mittlerer Schwarzwald) Abhandlungen des Geologischen Landesamt Baden‑Württ., Band 14, Seiten 27–98; Freiburg i. Br. Deutsch - German
W. Werner & S. Kaltwasser (1994): Zur Geschichte des Bergbaureviers Freiamt–Sexau (Mittlerer Schwarzwald) Abhandlungen des Geologischen Landesamt Baden‑Württ., Band 14, Seiten 221–280; Freiburg i. Br. Deutsch - German
W. Werner & D. Matz (1994): Beschreibung der Blei‑Silbergrube "Caroline im Eberbächle" und ihrer Bergbaugeschichte Abhandlungen des Geologischen Landesamt Baden‑Württ., Band 14, Seiten 295–342; Freiburg i. Br. Deutsch - German
W. Werner (2002): Geologie und Geschichte der Grube Caroline im Eberbächle, Revier Freiamt-Sexau, im Mittleren Schwarzwald Zeitschrift zur Geschichte des Berg- und Hüttenwesens, 2/2002, Seiten 28 – 36; Idar-Oberstein. Deutsch - German
Address: Gemeinde Sexau, Bürgermeisteramt, Postfach 45, 79349 Sexau, Tel: +49-7641-9268-0.
Voranmeldung Tel: +49-7641-939-10. 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

1234 First written evidence of mining in the area.
16th century Mining heyday.
18th century Nachlesebergbau (post-harvest mining).
1768 Investigation work on the old mines in the northern Brettental (Silberloch, Freiamter Schloßberg) by J. Ch. Giehne, a schoolmaster from the Harz, with the support of a trade union from Sulz am Neckar.
1780 Giehne is granted the mining licence for the Caroline mine by the Margravial Mining Office in Emmendingen.
1793 Mining finally ceases due to high debts.
1987 Mining group founded.
2000 Support association founded.
2006 Discovery of a fir plank from the backfilling of one of the day shafts ("ore holes").

Geology

The hydrothermal veins were formed by 150 °C to 220 °C hot water. The convection cells transported dissolved substances and deposited them as ore and mineral veins in fissures. This fault zone was formed about 290 - 240 million years ago during the Permian, but the hydrothermal deposit is much younger, having been formed only about 20 - 15 million years ago in the Late Tertiary. The old faults were reopened during the formation of today's Upper Rhine Graben. These processes led to the formation of vein mineralisations in the Münstertal, on the Schauinsland, near St. Ulrich, near Badenweiler, in the Glottertal and in the Suggental. In Sexau, these are mainly silver-bearing lead and copper ores (galena, pale ores), which occur in baryte veins.

Description

The Grube Caroline (Caroline Mine) show mine is located in the 450 m long Tiefen Stollen (Long Tunnel), which runs from the Eberbach brook to the Trottbühl hill to the north. Then, through a daylight shaft, you visit the first level of the medieval mine, the oldest part of the mine. Via ladders you can descend a blind shaft to the sixth level. Here you can see the traces of the hammer and chiles, which were used to carve the galleries out of the hard bedrock by hand. You can see mining and search tunnels, cross-cuts and a reel shaft.

Ore was probably mined in the Freiamt-Sexau area as early as Roman and Alemannic times. However, this mining was done by open-cast mining and a large number of pits were created, many of which are still preserved. The age of the mine cannot be precisely determined, but the uppermost galleries are probably the oldest and date from the 11th to 13th centuries. The first documentary evidence of mining in the area dates back to 1234, but no name is given, so it is not possible to make a definite assignment. However, found pieces of wood could be dated dendrochronologically and date from this time.

The most intensive mining probably took place in the 15th and 16th centuries. After a long pause, the 18th century saw a so-called re-excavation mining, in which attempts were made to make already abandoned mines profitable again by using more modern mining and smelting methods. After various attempts in the 1720s, J. Ch. Giehne, a schoolmaster from the Harz region, began investigations in 1768 with the support of a trade union from Sulz am Neckar. He started with the old mines in the northern Brettental (Silberloch, Freiamter Schloßberg), then moved mining activities to the Eberbach valley. He explored the Caroline pit for nine years until he was finally granted the mining licence for the Caroline pit by the Margravial Mining Office in Emmendingen in 1780. But after only three years he gave up in disappointment. The continuation of the work with the support of the margrave and his mining office in Emmendingen was successful, but obviously not profitable. In 1793, high debts forced the final cessation of mining.

The present name of the mine also dates from this time. In historical documents, the mine in the Eberbachtal is referred to as the Carolina pits, Carolinen pits or Caroline pit. It was named in honour of Margravine Caroline Luise of Hesse. As a great lover of fossils and minerals, her collection also included pieces from Sexau and the Freiamt. Margravine Caroline Luise was the wife of Margrave Carl Friedrich (*1728-1811).

The mine was excavated by the mining group, which was founded in the summer of 1987. The work was supported by the Sexau municipality. In 2000, the sponsoring association was founded.