Grube Samson

Samson Pit

Useful Information

Location: Am Samson 2, 37444 Sankt Andreasberg.
A7 exit Seesen, B243 to Herzberg am Harz, turn left to St. Andreasberg.
(51.713000, 10.516100)
Open: All year daily 11, 14:30.
Closed Sundays in NOV and DEC.
Closed 24-DEC, 01-JAN.
Fee: Adults EUR 4.50, Children (5-18) EUR 2.25.
With Kurkarte: Adults EUR 4, Children (5-18) EUR 2.
Groups: Adults EUR 4, Children (5-18) EUR 2.
Classification: MineSilver Mine
Light: elektric
Dimension: VR=780 m. At the moment accessible: VR=190 m.
Guided tours: D=60 min.
Address: Grube Samson, Postfach 31, 37444 Sankt Andreasberg im Harz, Tel: +49-5582-1249, Fax: +49-5582-923051. 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.


1521 beginning of mining.
1910 end of mining.
1987 declared an International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by American Society of Mechanical Engineers.


In the Samson mine the typical dyke ores of the upper Harz were mined. Those hydrothermal dykes were formed by the circulating groundwater heated by the magmatic intrusion of the Brocken granite. Inside the clefts polymetallic ores were deposited and numerous minerals grew. The most important metal was silver, not because its absolute amount, but because of its value. All together 50 different minerals are known from the mine. The most important is probably samsonite, which has its type locale here. It was fist describe here and named after the mine.


The most impressive sights at Grube Samson are the buildings witrh their weird names: even Germans do not know the terms Gaipel, Seildrift, Kunstradstube, and Kehrradstube, as they are special miner terms. There are huge baskets which carried one ton of ore and a special basket for sick miners, which was used only after accidents. The Kehrrad is a huge wheel with a diameter of 9 m for the elevator to lift the ore from the mine. The Kunstrad has a diameter of 12 m and was used to motor the only Fahrkunst in Europe.

Those terms are difficult and need some explanation. A Kunst or Kunst, literally art or artificial, is a certain elevator which was developed here. Fahren (to drive) is the miner term for moving in the mine, even if they do walk. The mine was very deep, and the miners needed too much time and energy to reach the ore. So they invented a wooden system of two vertical chains of wooden logs which were fixed on top at a huge wooden wheel. When the wheel turned forth and back, the logs went up and down. On the logs steps were mounted, and the miners were standing on the steps until the direction turned and then changed to the other side. So they were able to either catch all the up movements or all the down movements. This was pretty fast compared to climbing ladders, but also a little dangerous. The elevator was powered by a wooden water wheel which was called Kunstrad.