Historisches Kupferbergwerk Fischbach

Historisches Kupferbergwerk

Useful Information

Location: K30, Hosenbachstraße, 55743 Fischbach (Nahe).
A61 exit 51 Bad Kreuznach, B41 towards Idar-Oberstein to Fischbach. A62 exit 4 Birkenfeld, B41 via Idar-Oberstein to Fischbach. North of Idar-Oberstein exit Fischbach, through Fischbach into Hosenbachtal. Signposted. Parking on the left of the road, ticket office on the right, 300 m/60 m elevation gain/10 minutes to the entrance of the show mine.
(49.754501, 7.382168)
Open: MAR to OCT daily 10-17, tours Mon-Fri 11, 13, 15, Sat, Sun, Hol, School Holidays 10:15, 12:15, 14:15, 16:15.
NOV to FEB daily 11-14:30, tours Mon-Fri 12, Sat, Sun, Hol, School Holidays 11:30, 13:30.
Closed 24-DEC, 25-DEC.
Fee: Adults EUR 8.50, Children (5-16) EUR 5.50, Family (2+2) EUR 25.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 7.50, Children (5-16) EUR 5.
Classification: MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=11° C.
Guided tours: D=60 min, St=254, Min=2.
V=120,000/a [2000]
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no. Wheelchair accessible special tours in the Erbstollen (adit).
Bibliography: Heinz Walter Wild, Hans-Eugen Bühler (1993): Das mittelalterliche Kupferbergwerk Fischbach (Nahe), Geologie, Geschichte, Gewinnung und Verhüttung der Kupfererze Selbstverlag Dinslaken 1993. Deutsch - German
W. Fischer (1970): Die Kupfergrube zu Fischbach a. d. Nahe Aufschluss, Sonderb.19, S.135-52. Deutsch - German
Heinz Walter Wild (1971): Das Kupfererzbergwerk bei Fischbach an der Nahe Aufschluss, Jg.22, Nr.4, S.129-34. Deutsch - German
Heinz Walter Wild (1976): Zur Geschichte des Kupferbergwerks bei Fischbach/ Nahe Aufschluss, Jg.27, Nr.5, S.191-95. Deutsch - German
Heinz Walter Wild (1977): Das Hosenberger Revier: Die Kupferlagerstätte und das Kupferbergwerk bei Fischbach Lapis, Jg.2, Nr.6, S.14-17. Deutsch - German
Address: Historisches Kupferbergwerk Fischbach, K30, Hosenbachstraße, 55743 Fischbach (Nahe), Tel: +49-6784-2304, Fax: +49-6784-981111. 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.


1461 Fischbach mining district is granted a freedom, first documented mention.
1473 The Count of Sponheim and the Wild and Rhine Count of Kyrburg near Kirn agree that each should be entitled to half of the ore extracted and the tithe.
1544 Description by Sebastian Münster (1489-1552) in his Cosmographia.
1572 Sold to Hans Langnauer and fellow miners and Dr. Gregor Henning from Augsburg.
1624 Mining stopped because of the Thirty Years' War.
1697 mining resumed by Johannes Hehner and comrades from Friesburg/County of Nassau.
1792 mining ends with the French occupation.
1825 public auction of the mine.
1841 land of the mine sold.
1934 Investigations by the German Mining Company.
1975 opened as a show mine.


The rock is andesitic and dates from the Lower Permian. The hydrothermal copper sulphide deposit formed post-Variscan. The copper ores occur both distributed in the rock, as fillings of small cavities, and in ore veins.


The Historisches Kupferbergwerk Fischbach (historic copper mine at Fischbach) is a typical Medieval mine, where malachite and azurite were mined. There is evidence that mining in the Herrstein mining district began over 600 years ago. The first documented reference is the granting of a mining right in 1461, but the document mentions that copper from this district had already been smelted in Allenbach since 1400. In the 18th century, mining had its heyday and was the centre of a nationally important copper industry. At that time, the mine was called the Hosenberger Bergwerk (Hosenberg mine). However, the Hosenberg belonged jointly to the Count of Sponheim and the Wild and Rhine Count of Kyrburg near Kirn. In 1473, they agreed in a partition treaty that each should be entitled to half of the ore extracted and the tithe. The Sponheimers were related to the House of Habsburg-Tyrol and copied the famous Schwazer Bergordnung (Schwaz mining laws) almost unchanged.

Originally, mining was run by the sovereigns. From 1461, however, it was privatised and so the Hosenberg and the Allenbach and Fischbach were taken over by Johann von Rendsdorf and Hermann Smelt. They sold their copper to Dinant and to Nuremberg, among others. Because of the high quality of the Hosenberg copper, the Belgian brass products contained more than the usual 30 % zinc, which led to particularly good workability and a special fire or gold luster. In the middle of the 16th century, mining was expanded and there was an influx of miners from Saxony, Thuringia, Alsace, Tyrol and Styria. Finally, in 1572, the mine was sold to Hans Langnauer and fellow miners and Dr. Gregor Henning from Augsburg. However, the general decline of European mining meant that it was no longer profitable by the end of the 16th century. In 1624, mining ceased due to the Thirty Years' War and was only resumed in 1697 by Johannes Hehner and comrades from Friesburg/County of Nassau. Mining ended in 1792 with the French occupation.

The last chapter in the mining history was written at the beginning of the 20th century. Already during the First World War, unsuccessful attempts were made to resume copper mining. The Deutsche Montangesellschaft (German Mining Company) acquired the concession in 1928 and in 1934, after the world economic crisis, began investigations. Prof. Dr. Schneiderhöhn and Dr. Kautzsch came to the conclusion that there were still 72,000 tonnes of copper ore with 1,200 tonnes of pure copper in the mine. This was not enough for modern mining. However, they suggested that now that their investigations had made the mine accessible again, it should be opened as a show mine. As a result, this actually led to the founding of the Förderverein Historisches Kupferbergwerk Fischbach e.V. and the opening of the show mine.

The special feature of this mine is that it was closed in modern times. The huge caverns, galleries, and shafts were dug by hand with hammer and chisel, the Gezähe. Another common method was fire setting. It was not until the 17th century that black powder was used. However, as the ore was very irregular, a wide variety of methods were used. For larger quantities, large cavities were created by so-called widening or stockpiling.

The 4.5-kilometre-long trail named Fischbacher Kupferspuren begins at the mine. It leads through meadows and along streams to various mining traces, such as ruins, gallery mouth holes and pits. Information boards also explain the necessary timber industry, the daily life of the miners, tools and clothing of the miners and Hildegard von Bingen. She was a representative of German mysticism in the Middle Ages and a scholar of nature and healing. Her works deal with religion, medicine, music, ethics and cosmology, among other things. The geocache "Glück auf!" GC4CM9E extends over 10 stations. There is a quiz for children that can be downloaded from the website as PDF for printing. Another themed hiking trail is the Kupfer-Jaspis-Pfad (Copper Jasper Trail). Information is available at the ticket office.