Besucherbergwerk Zinnkammern Pöhla

Useful Information

Location: From Pöhla S271 towards Globenstein, in the suburb Siegelhof turn left into the Luchsbachtal. Signposted.
Open: All year daily 10, 14.
Closed 24-DEC, 01-JAN.
Fee: Adults EUR 14, Children (10-16) EUR 10, School Pupils EUR 8, Students EUR 8, Apprentices EUR 8, Family (2+*) EUR 38.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 11, Children (10-16) EUR 8.
Classification: MineUranium Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: At least 10 persons. D=3 h.
Address: Besucherbergwerk Zinnkammern Pöhla e.V., Luchsbachtal, 08352 Pöhla, Tel: +49-3774-81078, Tel: +49-3774-81079, Fax: +49-3774-81078. 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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The Besucherbergwerk Zinnkammern Pöhla (Tourist mine tin chambers of Pöhla) has as its main attraction, as the name suggests, three huge chambers. They are located more than 3,000 m in the mountain, at a sea level of about 600 m and are reached after a three kilometer long ride on the mine railway. Each mining chamber is about 45 m long, 10 m wide and 12 m high. We strongly recommend warm clothing for such a long ride in the cold mine.

This was probably the most modern mine in the GDR. Mining began here very late, in 1967, and uranium ore was mined for the Soviet Union over a period of 14 years. In the GDR an organization was responsible for this, which had the code name Wismut (bismuth). During a large-scale prospection in the 1950s and 1960s, many abandoned mines were examined or even briefly reactivated. Here, however, mining was carried out without existing old mines. The ore deposits were very productive and were also by far not completely mined. However, mining is no longer economically viable under the present circumstances.

This mine has been operated according to modern standards. For example, machines have already been used on a massive scale to replace muscle power. The galleries were driven by blasting, the boreholes were drilled with drill mounts that could drill several holes at the same time. Afterwards, explosives were pumped into the boreholes from a special vehicle. The explosive was in the form of granules in a tank and was filled into the boreholes with a pump and a hose. Then electric detonators were attached and ignited electrically.

This technology is still up to date today, so even 30 years later it is still being used in mining and tunnel construction in only slightly modified form. The result were very straight tunnels. This mine can hardly be compared with the narrow, cleft-like, mostly diagonal mining in old mines.

The employees of Wismut had a special status in the GDR. Not only did they earn extremely well, they could also use this money to buy in special shops with a much better assortment. An ordered Trabbi (car produced in GDR) was also delivered with much shorter delivery times. Nevertheless, this job also had its downsides. The drilling produced dust which leads to the well-known silicosis (pneumoconiosis). So many miners died young. often in their 40s. In later years, when the problem became known, the boreholes were flushed with water to bind the dust. It was also compulsory to wear paper masks to filter out the dust. However, the result of these actions was poor, and this was not least due to the miners themselves. The miners stopped flushing manually, because the drilling was faster and the piecework rate was higher. Or because the cold flushing water was very unpleasant, especially when you were drilling in the ceiling and the cold water was flowing all over your body. Standing for hours in cold running water is certainly not healthy.