Historisches Schmucksteinbergwerk "Kittenrain"

Historisches Schmucksteinbergwerk Silberschacht - Historisches Schmucksteinbergwerk Bach a.d. Donau - Grube Kittenrain - Schönfärbiges Bergwerk

Useful Information

Location: Am Kittenrain, 93090 Bach.
At the road Bach-Hammermühle-Sulzbach, near the Fürstlicher Wildsaupark.
(49.028116, 12.296086)
Open: closed.
Fee: closed.
Classification: MineFluorite Mine MineGem Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=390 m asl.
Guided tours:
Photography: not allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: H.L. Gehrmann (1978): Fundpunkt für Fluorit, Die Hammermühle ist einen Besuch wert Mineralien-Magazin, Jg.2, Heft 6, 1978, S.389-91. Deutsch - German
Harald G. Dill (1988): Lagerstättenkundliche und strukturgeologische Untersuchungen im Umfeld der Kittenrainer Flußspat-Gänge östlich von Regensburg. Mit einigen genetischen Bemerkungen zur Kokardenerzbildung, Mainzer Geowissenschaftliche Mitteilungen, 17:221-234, Januar 1988. researchgate Deutsch - German
Address: Historisches Schmucksteinbergwerk "Kittenrain", Am Kittenrain, 93090 Bach an der Donau, Tel: +49-9403-961073, Fax: +49-9403-961075. 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.


1496 Duke Albrecht IV grants mining freedom to Jörg Valldrer, who starts the "Silberschacht" that still exists today.
1669 Dr. phil. et med. Johannes Lehner describes the fluorspar as an "emerald" because of its intense colour.
1702 Mining of fluorspar as a gemstone.
1703 Beautiful-coloured mine with the "St. Barbarastollen" and the "Dreifaltigkeitsstollen am Sandspach" established.
1704 invasion of imperial troops brought mining to a standstill.
1880 mining of fluorspar in open cast.
1889 end of fluorspar mining.
1923 Mining of fluorspar by the princely administration Thurn und Taxis with the newly founded company "Bayerische Land- und Industrie GmbH".
1925 Hammer mill rebuilt for grinding the fluorspar.
1931 end of mining.
1970 the company "Handels- und Finanzierungs-Gesellschaft mbH" from Goslar reopened the mine as a fluorspar exploration operation.
1971 opened by the company "Handels- und Finanzierungs-Gesellschaft mbH", Goslar, fluorspar mine Kittenrain.
1996 mining ceased.
2013 Remains of mining disposed of.
2022 Show mine closed.



The name Historisches Schmucksteinbergwerk (Historic Gemstone Mine) is unfortunately somewhat generic, and therefore it is often confused with other historic gemstone mines, even though these are very rare. But there is at least Steinkaulenberg near Idar-Oberstein, and various others in other countries. In recent years it has been known under various compound names, first with the place Bach an der Donau, then as Silberschacht, because it was originally used for silver mining. Now people seem to have settled on Kittenrain, after the road on which it lies. But that's just the beginning of the name confusion.

The mine was originally operated to mine silver. In 1496 Duke Albrecht IV granted the mining freedom to Jörg Valldrer, who opened the Silberschacht mine. The mining of silver ores was very widespread at that time, in the Erzgebirge, in the Bavarian Forest and also in the Black Forest. Unfortunately, it didn't work here, because the fluorspar gangue was extremely poor in metal ores, and mining was very quickly discontinued.

In the Middle Ages, fluorspar was considered slag rock, and only in a few exceptional cases was it used as a gemstone. The fluorspar made headlines as the "Smaragd von Bach" (Emerald of Bach), it was described as an emerald in 1669 by Dr. phil. et med. Johannes Lehner because of its intense colour. At the instigation of the Prince of "Thurn und Taxis", these were processed into table tops, bowls and other gemstones. Apparently, mining was resumed for this purpose around 1700. Nevertheless, in 1703, experienced miners from Bodenwöhr and Rauschenberg opened the Schönfärbige mine in search of iron and silver. Two adits, the St. Barbarastollen (St. Barbara adit) and the Dreifaltigkeitsstollen am Sandspach were opened, but no ores were found. However, mining was already ended by the invasion of imperial troops in 1704.

A new mining phase took place from 1880 to 1889, but with numerous interruptions. The outcrop of the fluorspar veins was now actually exploited for fluorspar over a length of 100 m in Tagröschen (open casts). The open pits were at that time called Silbergrube (silver pits), a colloquial term used for open pits and very small pits, not for silver mines.

After another break, the princely administration of Thurn und Taxis founded the company "Bayerische Land- und Industrie GmbH" in Regensburg in 1923. This company began to mine fluorspar in two galleries on the corridor of the former Schönfärbiges Bergwerk. This mine was called the Grube Kittenrain. The nearby hammer mill, which had previously been a flour mill, was converted to grind the fluorspar. With up to 36 employees, mainly women, 50 tonnes of fluorspar were processed per day. 7,000 to 9,000 tonnes of fluorspar were mined and processed annually. The company stopped mining in 1931.

The last phase of operation began in 1970 by the company "Handels- und Finanzierungs-Gesellschaft mbH" from Goslar. However, the management was taken over by the company "Flußspatwerke Schwarzenfeld GmbH, vorm. Anton Kallmünzer". The fluorspar mined in the open pit was transported to Freiung for processing; the processing plant belonged to the Cäcilia mine in the Wölsendorf district. But as early as 1971, the Goslar company itself took over, began underground mining and sold the fluorspar to the company "Vereinigte Aluminium Werke" (VAW). VAW processed it and sold it to a hydrofluoric acid factory in Stulln, which in turn sold the hydrofluoric acid to the Austrian cement industry. Mining was finally stopped in 1996, the processing plant, the factory building, and the diesel shovel loaders were finally disposed of in 2013, and the site was subsequently levelled.

The exhibition mine was set up after mining ceased. The tour begins with an audiovisual show. Then the visitors are outfitted with historically recreated mine clothing, a cape with the pointed cap of the old miners. However, this is accompanied by a modern helmet. After a guided tour of the mine, there is a visit to an underground museum.

The mine is used for speleotherapy, but obviously the operators have tried to avoid the discussion about medical effectiveness. Thus, the visits are advertised as wellness offers underground. The visits are offered with tickets of 10.

The last tenant of the show mine retired in 2022. So far, no new tenant has been found, so the mine is currently closed.