Besucherbergwerk Graf Wittekind

Zeche Graf Wittekind

Useful Information

Location: Syburg, Dortmund Süd.
(51.421142, 7.480724)
Open: All year Sat 9:30, only after appointment.
Fee: free, donations welcome.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: electric miners lamp provided
Dimension: T=8-9 °C.
Guided tours: L=500 m. V=500/a [2019]
Photography: erlaubt
Accessibility: nein
Bibliography: Tilo Cramm (2005): Aspekte zur Geschichte der Zeche Graf Wittekind bei Syburg. In: Stadt Schwerte (Hrsg.): AS Das Magazin der Stadt Schwerte. 18. Jahrgang, Nr. 71, Schwerte Juni 2005, S. 11–13.
Tilo Cramm (2005): Die Aufwältigung des Förderstollens der Zeche Graf Wittekind bei Syburg. In: Stadt Schwerte (Hrsg.): AS Das Magazin der Stadt Schwerte. 18. Jahrgang, Nr. 73, Schwerte Dezember 2005, S. 32–34.
Tilo Cramm (2006): Das Besucherbergwerk Graf Wittekind in DO-Syburg. In: Stadt Schwerte (Hrsg.): AS Das Magazin der Stadt Schwerte. 19. Jahrgang, Nr. 76, Schwerte September 2006, S. 4–6.
Address: Besucherbergwerk Graf Wittekind, Tel: +49-231-713696. E-mail:
Förderverein Bergbauhistorischer Stätten Ruhrrevier e.V., Postfach 6172, 58430 Witten, 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.


1582 Coal mining first mentioned in a document, mining in pits on the Becker field.
1663 transition to drift mining.
1740 Schleifmühle mine opened.
1801 Schleifmühle mine closed.
1858 efforts to reopen coal mine, disputes over mining rights.
1868 Graf Wittekind mine put into operation.
~1900 Graf Wittekind mine closed.
1970s entrances filled in.
1982 Förderverein Bergbauhistorischer Stätten Ruhrrevier e.V. founded.
1986 Dortmund working group founded.
1990 Förderverein Bergbauhistorischer Stätten Ruhrrevier e.V. begins to uncover and excavate the old galleries.
1997 show mine opened.
2007 awarded the "Silver Hemisphere", the German prize for monument protection.


Between Syberg and Klusenberg lies the Syburger Mulde (Syberg basin), the layers form a syncline, the layers run almost exactly parallel to the slope. The rocks are Carboniferous, sandstones and shales with coal seams. The Sengsbank coal seam runs relatively close to the surface, and erosion by the Schleifmühlenbach stream has exposed or even eroded it in several places. The seam has a thickness of 50-60 cm and an inclination of 25-30° in the mining area.

A special feature of the deposit is the occurrence of clay ironstone geodes which can weigh up to 300 kg. They were partly mined as iron ore. They also have a variety of minerals that have formed in fissures in the nodules. In addition, plant and animal fossils have been found in the mine, for example fish scales, freshwater mussels and ostracods.


Besucherbergwerk Graf Wittekind (Graf Wittekind Colliery) is located in Dortmund-Syburg in the south of Dortmund, in a side valley of the Ruhr below the Kaiser Wilhelm Monument. There is documentary evidence of coal mining in this region since 1582. The Sengsbank seam emerges on the slope of the Syberg and was mined successively in three mines. First it was mined in open pits locally called Pinge, which can still be seen in the forest today. This mining was called Beckersches Feld (Becker's field), presumably because it took place on the field of a Mr. Becker. The surface mining lasted until at least 1663. From that year onwards, galleries were driven into the mountain from the valley slopes, and when the seam was reached, mining galleries were driven up, following the seam. These were connected by small, sloping connecting shafts in the incline of the seam, so-called "Auf- und Abhauen".

The second phase of operation was the Schleifmühle mine from 1740 onwards. In 1755, production was 164 t/a with a workforce of 6 men. The coal was sold to blacksmiths and lime kilns in the Hagen area. Mining ended in 1801.

Efforts were made to mine coal again at the same site from 1858, but there were disputes over mining rights, and it was not until 1868 that the third and last mine at this site, named Graf Wittekind, went into operation. This was a so-called Nachlesebergbau (re-mining operation), in which previously abandoned parts of the seam were mined. Some old galleries and mine workings were used and supplemented by further galleries on the southern side of the valley. The mine was finally closed down before 1900 because it was no longer profitable.

During the Second World War, the galleries served as air raid shelters for the citizens of Syburg. It was not until the 1970s that the entrances were filled in, presumably for safety reasons. But only a decade later, from 1986 onwards, the galleries were uncovered and excavated again by the Arbeitskreis Dortmund (Dortmund working group) of the Förderverein Bergbauhistorischer Stätten Ruhrrevier e.V. (Association for the Promotion of Mining History Sites in the Ruhr Area). They also operate the resulting show mine to this day. The Förderverein Bergbauhistorischer Stätten Ruhrrevier e.V. was founded in 1982, the Dortmund working group in 1986. First they laid out the present-day mining hiking trail on the Syberg, then they researched the history of local mining. The mouth holes of gallery 4, the Graf Wittekind gallery and the Schleifmühle gallery were uncovered and secured. The mine workings were secured by inserting new lining, and fallen rock was cleared out of the way.

The guided tour is somewhat more demanding than in other show mines. Visitors are given overalls and Arschleder (arse leather), a helmet and a miner's lamp. These are electric lamps which were common in mining for decades. A relatively heavy lead battery, worn on the belt, was necessary to power a light bulb long enough for a shift. A cable connects the battery to the helmet-mounted light. Gloves and knee pads are particularly important, as the average height of the cleats and routes underground is 60-80 cm. In other words, the tour takes place on all fours. This probably explains the low number of visitors, the tour requires physical fitness and the willingness to cover longer distances on all fours. However, it is probably the most realistic introduction to coal mining you can get in Germany.