Besucherbergwerk Grube "Hühn"

Useful Information

Location: 5 km from Trusetal towards Schmalkalden.
(50.783493, 10.422141)
Open: APR to OCT daily 10:30, 13, 14:30, 16.
Fee: Adults EUR 8, Children (4-14) EUR 6.50, Children (0-3) free.
Groups (10+): 5 % discount.
Classification: MineIron Mine MineFluorite Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=8-10 °C
Guided tours: D=60 min.
Address: Besucherbergwerk Trusetal - Grube Hühn, Eisensteinstrasse, 98596 Trusetal, Tel: +49-36840-81087, Tel: +49-36840-401955. E-mail:
Tourismus GmbH Brotterode-Trusetal, Rathausstraße 7, 98596 Brotterode-Trusetal, Tel: 036840-401955. 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.


1185 first written mention of the place Ezzelingweneden, later Erzschwinde.
1348 mining first mentioned in a document.
1536 mines on the Mommel first mentioned in a document.
1677 copper smelter and Seiger smelter with potash built in Herges.
1743 copper smelting works closed again.
1827 merger of the iron mines into the two unions Mommel and Stahlberg.
1861 invention of aniline by the chemist August Wilhelm von Hoffmann.
09-JUL-1899 Trusetal is connected to the railway network.
1900 beginning of barite mining.
1954 the Hühn mine is incorporated into the VEB Eisenmanganerzbergwerke.
1970 all mines are merged to form the VEB Fluß- und Schwerspatbetrieb Lengenfeld.
31-JUL-1990 closed down.
16-JAN-1992 pumps shut down, mine flooded.
12-MAY-1996 Besucherbergwerk Hühn opened to the public.



The Trusetal Grube Hühn show mine displays the remains of thousands of years of iron mining as well as fluorspar and barite mining in the 20th century. Visitors are given a protective cape and helmet and then travel into the mine on a mine locomotive and the typical miners' team cars. After 250 m, you reach the actual exhibition mine, which vividly illustrates the different mining methods. You can see the tunnels, the workings, a blind shaft with its hoisting machine and many mining tools. Particularly interesting are the many passages that contain a wide variety of minerals.

Ore mining has a long tradition in the Schmalkalden district. Archaeological finds indicate that the Celts were already mining iron ore 2000 years ago. The village of Trusetal was probably founded as a result of mining, and the medieval centre of the village stands on even older slag heaps. The first documented reference to the village is a papal property deed of Herrenbreitungen Monastery in 1185. Ezzelingweneden, the later Erzschwinde, is mentioned there, although it no longer exists today. The word ezzeling is interpreted as smelting furnace or ore.

Mining reaches a heyday in the 17th century. In 1689, 8,000 hundredweight of ore is extracted annually from the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Stollen. There were, however, other mines. There were nine unions at the Mommel, three unions at the Stahlberg and, in addition, numerous day labourers in the so-called badger holes. These were merged in 1827 to form the two unions Mommel and Stahlberg. In 1820, 2,500 tonnes of iron and steel were processed annually.

The end of mining came with the railway. It allowed the transport of iron and coal from the Ruhr area and brought competition that led to the collapse of the industry. What finally saved the mining industry was the invention of aniline in 1861 by the chemist August Wilhel von Hoffmann. Barite was needed to produce this important dye, which subsequently led to an increase in barite mining on the Mommel. And now the railway came to the rescue: the connection of Trusetal to the railway network made it possible to transport the barite flour from the spar mills.

The mining of barite gave the region work for 100 years. Only interrupted by the Great Depression and the Second World War were there a few hundred jobs in mining. This ended abruptly with reunification. The mine was no longer economically viable, there was no sales market. Within a very short time, mining was stopped and the mines were closed down.

Next to the mine there is a museum that shows many objects from the daily life of the people. There is also an exhibition of minerals from the area.