Bergbau-Museum Kupferberg

Besucherbergwerk St.-Veit-Zeche

Useful Information

Location: Kupferberg.
A9 Himmelkron exit, B303 to Ludwigschorgast, turn right to Kupferberg. Mining museum on the main road, St. Vitus mine on the road to Neufang.
(50.139409, 11.576105)
Open: Bergbau-Museum: APR to OCT Sat 13-17, Sun 10-16.
St.-Veit-Zeche: APR to OCT Sat, Sun 11, 13, 15.
Fee: Adults EUR 6, children (-15) EUR 3, families (2+*) EUR 15.
Classification: MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Accessibility: no
Address: Bergbau-Museum Kupferberg e.V., Wirsberger Weg 34, 95362 Kupferberg, Tel: +49-9227-9727833. 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.


12th century Copper finds cause the village of Kupferberg to grow rapidly
1326 Copper Mountain receives the town charter.
1340 Bishop Lampert promises all miners and citizens 10 years of tax exemption if the "waters would be managed".
1685 Report from the St. Vitus shaft on the extraction of 520 centners of ore.
1700 J.K. Kropf Director in the Kupferberg mining district,
1732 End of mining due to financial problems.
1855 Restart of regular mining activity on the initiative of Pastor Georg Thiem.
1940 Mine finally closed.
1880 Diabas quarry opened.
1998 Mining Museum Kupferberg e. V. association founded.
15-JUL-2000 Mining Museum Kupferberg opened.
13-NOV-2009 development of the show mine started.
2015 Visitor mine opened.


A geological feature in the immediate vicinity is the Peterleinstein (589 m asl) which consists of greenish serpentinite. Only sparse vegetation thrives on the weathering-resistant rock. The serpentinite is a metamorphic rock formed from the transformation of ultramafic rocks interacting with aqueous fluids. The special feature is that the serpentinite is magnetic, which is why the mountain is often called Magnetic Mountain.


The Mining Museum Kupferberg is located in the town of the same name, Kupferberg, and both owe their name to the rich copper finds made here in the 12th century. The first mining attempts were made as early as the 9th century AD, at least that is what the monk Otto von Weißenburg suspects. It is documented that in 1005, as a result of plague and famine, the Harz was depopulated and therefore Frankish miners resumed mining. Otto von Weißenburg therefore argued with good reason that these Frankish miners had probably previously worked in Franconia. There is no real evidence, however. What is certain, however, is that after the discovery of copper ores in the 12th century, the village rapidly gained in importance. In the 14th century, 1600 to 1700 miners were active here and the copper ore was smelted in ten furnaces. Prince-Bishop Heinrich II v. Sternberg (*1324-✝1328) therefore granted Kupferberg town charter in 1326.

A major problem of mining was the large amount of mine water. Therefore, in 1340, Bishop Lampert created an additional incentive and promised all miners and citizens 10 years of tax exemption for solving this problem. The copper discoveries were very productive, according to a report of 1685 the ore had a copper content of 15%, normal at that time were in 2%. In 1700, J.K. Kropf became director of the Kupferberg mining district. He drained tunnels and shafts with the gehangenen Kunst (lit "hanged art"), a gigantic drainage system. Thereupon, copper mining experienced another heyday, which, however, ended as early as 1732. The elaborate drainage technique may have worked, but it also led to financial problems. In other words, the yield could not finance the expensive drainage despite excellent extraction rates. Later mining attempts failed again and again because of the drainage. It was not until 1855 that Pastor Georg Thiem once again achieved regular mining activity, which lasted for almost a century. In 1940, the mine was finally closed. After the loss of its largest employer, Kupferberg is now one of the smallest towns in Bavaria.

The Bergbaumuseum Kupferberg was founded in 1998 by the association Bergbau-Museum Kupferberg e. V.. The museum presents the development of copper mining and shows historical tools and equipment. The main focus of the exhibition is the mineral collection with minerals and ores from the local mining industry. Part of the exhibition is the slate mining gallery, the entrance of a drainage gallery behind the museum. The surface diabase mining at the entrance to the village is also a topic of the exhibition. The volcanic hard stone has many uses in the construction industry.

The Besucherbergwerk St.-Veit-Zeche (show mine St. Vitus Pit) is quite young, it was only opened in 2015. The idea was to make the "old" mining industry in Kupferberg accessible to visitors. The theme is the geological and historical conditions of the town's foundation and the success of the mine. The show mine offers insights into the geological conditions and work processes of historical mining. After all, mining created almost 2,000 jobs for Kupferberg over the centuries. The mining museum, which was previously located in a historic stable building, has been moved to a new building on the St. Vitus Mine.