Zechenhaus Goldhausen, Turmweg 4, 34497 Korbach.
In the Eisenberg near Korbach.
Mid-APR to OCT Sat 14:30, Sun 10:30.
Online reservation required.
Adults EUR 7, Children (6-14) EUR 3.50.
|Light:||helmet and headlamp provided|
Paul Ramdohr (1932):
Die Goldlagerstätte des Eisenbergs bei Corbach,
Abhandlungen zur praktischen Geologie und Bergwirtschaftslehre; Bd. 21: 37.
B. Jäger (1987): Gold aus dem Eisenberg Emser Hefte 8(3), 39-48.
|Address:||Tourist-Information Korbach, Stechbahn 1, Rathaus, 34497 Korbach, Tel. +49-5631-53-336, Tel. +49-5631-53-232. 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.
|11th century||beginning of mining.|
|1244||first written mention, a gold tithe of the Schaaken monastery.|
|1254||mentioned by Albertus Magnus in De Mineralibus.|
|1429||Nurembergers acquire land near Eppe to mine gold, Goldhausen is mentioned for the first time as Goldhüser.|
|1480||mining regulations for the Eisenberg.|
|1496||discovery of a nugget of about 150 g of gold.|
|1516||Count Philipp pays 100 gulden of gold from his Goldberg as a ransom to Götz von Berlichingen.|
|1524||grant of a mining freedom.|
|1615||last mention of gold mining on the Eisenberg.|
|1617||end of mining.|
|1642-1918||various unsuccessful attempts to resume gold mining.|
|1918||mining rights for 165 km² acquired by the mining consulting company of the Rauschenbusch brothers from Kirchen/Sieg.|
|1923||Gewerkschaft Waldecker Eisenberg founded.|
|1974-1978||thorough investigation by the Hessian State Office for Soil Research.|
|1995||first exhibition of the Rauschenbusch and Kulick gold collections.|
|2002||Verein Historischer Goldbergbau Eisenberg (association Historical Gold Mining Eisenberg) founded.|
|2003||show mine opened, Verein Historischer Goldbergbau Eisenberg takes over the mining rights.|
About 360 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, mud rich in pyrite was deposited at the bottom of a sea. The pyrite reacted with gold in the seawater and thus acquired a low gold content. At the end of the Carboniferous period, the sea retreated and the mud, now transformed into black shale by diagenesis, was folded by orogenesis (mountain building). Fault zones form and rising magma leads to heating and hydrothermal convection currents. These continue long after the end of mountain building and lead to the rearrangement of many substances. The pyrite is also chemically transformed and the gold it contains is transported into cavities and enriched there. In the veins, calcite, lead-selenium ore, and elemental or native gold were formed hydrothermally.
In the geologically recent past, the rock with the ore veins was weathered and washed into the rivers in the area, especially the Eder. Gold is normally does not react with other substance, so it is found in its elemental form and was not influence by weathering in any way. The heavy gold was only transported in the stream by strong currents, basins at the bottom are like traps for the gold, it fell in and the current was not strong enough to wash it out again. Such enrichment is called alluvial deposits or placers, for which the Eder has been famous since Celtic times.
Germany's richest gold deposit was located at the Eisenberg near Korbach, where a total of 1 to 1.5 tonnes of gold was extracted. It was first mentioned in Roman times, the Roman historian Tacitus mentions a gold-bearing river in his Analae Germania, which the locals called the Aedra. It is quite possible that this meant the Eder, in which the Celts had already searched for gold placers. Over the centuries, the source of the gold was searched for and finally found on the Eisenberg. Mining was carried out for 500 years during the Middle Ages, but has been closed since the beginning of the 17th century. During mining, a 900 m long, up to 12 m wide and 9 m deep open pit mine and more than 48 galleries and 45 shafts were built. Goldhausen developed as a miners' settlement at the beginning of the 15th century. However, the exhaustion of the deposits put an end to gold mining as early as 1617.
Attempts in more recent times to revive gold mining failed because there were actually no usable ores left. In some cases, examinations of the gold deposit gave a false positive assessment of the deposit, then unsuccessful attempts were made to mine accompanying minerals such as selenium lead. Even during the world wars, when economic factors were secondary, mining was not successful. The Hessian State Office for Soil Research finally investigated the Eisenberg gold deposit thoroughly from 1974 to 1978 with funding from the State of Hesse and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The result was again no mineral resources, but a thorough exploration of historical mining. Later, international companies tried again and again to reactivate mining, all unsuccessfully. In recent times, local residents are no longer willing to accept mining with its noise and pollution and are protesting. Completely unnecessary, the absence of any gold makes mining nonsensical.
Today, the 250-metre-long Untere-Tiefen-Tal-Stollen on the Eisenberg is a show mine. Visitors are equipped with a helmet, boots and a light; old clothes and an anorak are a good idea. Then it's up to the 14th-century tunnels into the mountain. Although this is a gold mine, there is little to see of the gold. Instead, you see an extraordinary outcrop of a hydrothermal deposit. Guided tours take place about once a week on alternate days at alternate times. It is necessary to book at least one working day in advance by email, online or by telephone at the Korbach Tourist Information.
The Untere-Tiefe-Tal-Stollen was excavated in the 15th/16th century as a 100-metre-long exploratory gallery. From 1922 to 1929 it was extended by Carl Theodor Rauschenbusch by 160 m into the ore-bearing zone. In the process, the medieval St. Sebastian mine was approached and, among other things, a reel room and offset gold workings were discovered.
There is a small museum in the mine building where minerals and pictures of gold are exhibited. Carl Theodor Rauschenbusch acquired the mining rights in 1918 and sparked a veritable gold rush in the 1920s. His hopes for big money were not fulfilled, but he left behind a large collection of gold minerals. From 1974 until the 1990s, geologist Dr Jens Kulick documented the remains of gold mining. The two collections were first shown to the public in 1995 and today form the basis of the museum. There is a memorial room in the museum in honour of each of them. Jens Kulick also managed to get the Eisenberg protected by the state of Hesse as an outstanding medieval industrial monument.
The exhibition mine is complemented by a mining history hiking trail called Goldspur Eisenberg. It leads past interesting gold mining sites and explains the history of mining.