Energiefabrik Knappenrode

Lausitzer Bergbaumuseum Knappenrode

Useful Information

Location: Knappenrode near Hoyerswerda. A4 exit Bautzen.
Open: APR to OCT Tue-Fri 9-17, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-17. NOV to MAR Tue-Fri 9-15, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-17. [2006]
Fee: Adults EUR 4, Children (7-18) EUR 2, Wehr- und Zivildienstleistende EUR 2, Students EUR 2, Disabled EUR 2, Family (2+n) EUR 8. Groups (+): Adults EUR , Children (7-18) EUR . [2006]
Classification: MineLignite Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: W. Nowel, R. Bönisch, W. Schneider, H. Schulze (1994): Geologie des Lausitzer Braunkohlenreviers, Senftenberg (Lausitzer Braunkohle AG), 107 S. (Deutsch - German)
C. F. Zincken (1867): Die Physiographie der Braunkohle, A. Krüger Verlagsbuchhdl., Leipzig, 818 S. (Deutsch - German)
Address: Sächsisches Industriemuseum, Energiefabrik Knappenrode, Ernst-Thälmann-Straße 8, 02977 Hoyerswerda/OT Knappenrode, Tel: +49-3571-604267, Fax: +49-3571-604275. 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.
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1914 erster Spatenstich zur Errichtung der Brikettfabrik und des Kraftwerkes.
1918 Inbetriebnahme der Brikettfabrik I mit 7 Tellertrocknern und 10 Dampfpressen.
1947 Befehl zur Demontage des Werkes.
1948/49 Wiederaufbau der Brikettfabrik.
25-FEB-1993 Stillegung der Brikettfabrik Knappenrode.
18-JUN-1994 Eröffnung des Bergbaumuseums Knappenrode.


The lignites of Germany were formed during the Tertiary, between 44 and 17 Million years ago. The climate in this period was subtropical to tropical all around the world, even in northern Germany, which allowed gigantic growth of plants. Europe was covered in wide areas by rainforest. This was especially the case for the flat basin in the area where today is Niedersachsen, Brandenburg and Poland. In this area extensive wetlands and swamps existed, which were flooded periodically by the North Sea. This sedimentation basin was bounded by the Bohemian Massif to the south and the Scandinavian Shield to the north.

For the formation of massive layers of peat, which were later transformed into lignite, not only the amount of plant material is important. It is also necessary that the amount of the decay is very low. This is a result of water covering the swamps and stopping the supply of oxygene, and the interception of decay by the flooding with sea water. Once the plants were covered by sand or silt layeres, the decay was stopped completely.

The next step in the process is called , which means the slow vanishing of hydrocarbons, until only pure carbons remain. This process is started and powered by high pressure and temperature caused by huge layers of rock on top of the former peat. But here the process has not gone very far. Time was too short, and the coverage too small. That why this coal is called lignite and has many remains of its origins as plants. It has a high amount of water, solid material (ashes), sulfur, and various hydrocarbons. This causes several bad qualities of the lignite, especially the environmental pollution and the low caloric value.


The Energiefabrik Knappenrode (Energy Factory Knappenrode) is located in a former briquette factory. Between 1918 and 1993 this facory produced briquettes from the nearby lignite mining. It is the place where all stages of the local mining activites are collected and on display on an area of about 250,000 m². This includes machinery for large scale open cast mining, subterranean mining, transport, production of briquettes for heating and electricity.