Grube Silberhardt

Silberhardt Mine

Useful Information

Location: Eisenbergstrasse 29, 51570 Windeck-Öttershagen.
A3 to Autobahnkreuz Bonn/Siegburg, A560 towards Hennef, exit Hennef Ost/Eitorf, Siegtalstraße L333 to Rosbach, K1 to the Öttershagener Sportplatz. Public transport: RVK-Linie 334 from Bahnhof Rosbach or Schladern, stop Silberhardt.
(50.823105, 7.642445)
Open: 02-JAN to MAR Tue-Wed 11:30, Sat, Sun, Fri 14.
APR to OCT Mon-Fri 11:30, Sat 13-17, Sun, Fri 11-17.
NOV to 16-DEC Tue-Wed 11:30, Sat, Sun, Fri 14.
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (4-12) EUR 3, Children (0-3) free, Families (2+2) EUR 18.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 6, Children (4-12) EUR 2.50.
Classification: MineSilver Mine MineLead Mine MineIron Mine MineZinc Mine MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=8 °C.
Guided tours: L=150 m, D=60 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Harald Patzke (2003): Die Grube Silberhardt: Ein Besucher-Bergwerk lädt ein, Martina Galunder, Nümbrecht 2003, ISBN 3-89909-024-1.
Address: Grube Silberhardt, Eisenbergstrasse 29, 51570 Windeck-Öttershagen, Tel: +49-2292-928887. 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.


13th century beginning of mining.
1618-1648 shut down during the Thirty Years' War.
1752 reopened.
1808 Johann Caspar Rumpe, mayor of Altena, buys the mine.
1810 he sells it on to the miner Metzger, but after a partial collapse he buys it back again.
1819 large quantities of silver-bearing galena are mined, Bröler Eisenhütte is rebuilt for the smelting of lead and silver ore.
1824 Bröler Ironworks extended.
1824 Waterworks installed.
1825 Pochwerk built in Rosbach (Sieg).
1833 workers' revolt.
1834 production stopped.
1873 AG Ertsdelveriy Amsterdam founded.
1881 Mine closed again.
1920 Thyssen reopened and extended the Obere Neue Stollen, among others.
1924 taken over by Käsgen.
1926 closed down.
1930 reopened by the Vereinigte Stahlwerke.
1936 finally closed.
15-NOV-1997 opening of the backfilled Upper New Adit.
15-NOV-1999 opened as a show mine.
2001 1.7 km long and 14-station mining trail inaugurated.
2002 Association for the Preservation of Mining and Hut Traditions founded.
13-SEP-2003 opened as a show mine.



The show mine Grube Silberhardt is run by the Förderverein zur Erhaltung der Bergbau- und Hüttentradition e.V., a non-profit association. It was excavated by volunteers from 1997 and offered guided tours for the first time in 1999. From 2000, the first mine locomotive was ready to run again. The volunteers founded the association in 2002 and opened the mine the following year. At the same time, a 1.7 km-long Bergbauwanderweg (mining trail) with 14 stations was laid out, leading to various mine entrances, a furnace and a charcoal kiln. In 2017, a mining history exhibition was added to the show mine. The association is still actively expanding the show mine. At the moment, they are expanding the mineral exhibition and the mining history exhibition, and restoring a rope pulley which was donated by the Ruhrkohle AG (RAG).

Mining of silver-bearing ore began at this site as early as the 13th century. However, few details have survived from that time, but it is likely that only silver was mined. The only known fact is that mining ceased during the Thirty Years' War, between 1618 and 1648. Mining was resumed in 1752, but seems to have ceased again after some time.

The main phase of mining began in 1808, when Johann Caspar Rumpe, the mayor of Altena, acquired the mine. He sold it on to the miner Metzger as early as 1810, but after a partial collapse he bought it back again. In 1819, large quantities of silver-bearing galena were extracted and the Bröler Ironworks was converted for the smelting of lead and silver ore. In 1824 the Bröler Ironworks was extended, and mining seems to have taken off, presumably through improved smelting and the additional use of the lead content. The mine also received a waterworks in 1824; the increased mining made drainage necessary. In 1825 another stamping plant was built in Rosbach (Sieg). But in 1833 there was a miner revolt, and in 1834 mining ceased. This was probably not only due to staff problems, but also to the first investigations of the Sieg for contamination. It can be assumed that either environmental protection measures or compensation payments were already pending at that time.

In the following, the mine was reopened several times and closed again soon after, with changes of ownership occurring in quick succession. From 1859 to 1861 it was operated by small companies, and in 1863 by a joint-stock company Silberhardt en Jucht founded in Amsterdam. In 1873 a joint-stock company Ertsdelveriy Amsterdam was founded, shares with a nominal value of 150,000 guilders were issued, and in 1881 the mine was closed again. In 1884 a Mr. Dahm founded the 100 Kuxe Gewerkschaft Silberhardt, in 1892 the consolidation also took place and in 1900 the mine was opened. The only strange thing was that it produced nothing. In 1920 the Thyssen steelworks took over the mine, in 1924 a Mr Käsgen took over the processing plant and the mine, and in 1926 the property was sold by compulsory auction to the Vereinigte Stahlwerke. They actually produced from 1930 to 1936. In 1953 Erzbergbau Siegerland acquired the mine, and in 1965 Barbara Rohstoffbetriebe. All in all, the mine seems to have been not very profitable, and to have served primarily as a money pit for investors. With the rather impressive list of owners and bankruptcies, one can probably also suspect fraud. No mining seems to have taken place after 1936; the later owners merely secured the option.