Technisches Denkmal Historischer Schieferbergbau Lehesten

Historical Slate Mines Lehesten

Useful Information

Location: (50°27'46.55"N, 11°26'18.53"E)
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Hr. Liebeskind, Obere Marktstr. 1, 07349 Lehesten, Tel: 036653-22212
Stadtverwaltung Lehesten, Tel: 036653-22381, Fax: 036653-22518.
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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The Technisches Denkmal Historischer Schieferbergbau Lehesten, literally Technical Memorial Historical Slate Mining Lehesten, is a huge open air museum explaining the slate mining tradition around the village Lehesten. It includes the abandoned open cast slate quarry, and the last remaining Göpelschachtanlage (whim head frame) in Germany which sits on a 70 m deep mine shaft. The Spalthütte is the shed where the mined slate blocks were split and cut to form tiles. It contains all necessary machinery and tools needed for the work, the mining equipment, typical raw blocks and examples for the produced tiles, gravestones and other products.

Lehesten als had part in the history of the V2 rocket of the Nazis. In August 1944 an explosion at the Redl-Zipf V-2 liquid oxygen plant in Schlier stopped production. It was replaced by the third V-2 liquid oxygen plant, which was built at the slate quarry Lehesten. It produced 5000 tons/month in 16 liquid oxygen production plants and performed acceptance testing of the V2 combustion chamber.

Dr Martin Schilling, the head of testing at Peenemünde and 400 engineers were moved from Peenemünde to Lehesten. Again much of the work was done by forced labour, more than 1,200 worked here, and 600 died on site. Others were deported to Bergen-Belsen or Mittelbau before they died. There is a memorial at the former concentration camp Laura.