Hausertorstraße 40, 35578 Wetzlar.
Wetzlar, Hausertorstraße, at the deer memorial for the Rheinisches Jägerbataillon.
after appointment with the tourist information.
Group EUR 85.
|Classification:||Iron Mine World War II Bunker Factory|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||D=90 min, MinAge=14, Max=25.|
|Address:||Tourist-Information der Stadt Wetzlar, Domplatz 9, 35578 Wetzlar, Tel: +49-6441-99-7755. 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.
|1842||iron mine opened.|
|1944||factories moved underground.|
The Hausertorstollen is a former iron mine, which was transformed into an underground factory during World War II. It is located at the Hausertor, an old gate of the Medieval city fortification, and located at the northern rim of the city, on the shores of the river Lahn. The entrance is in a small park with a deer monument dedicated to the Rheinisches Jägerbataillon, a German army unit which was stationed in Wetzlar until 1877. This tunnel actually belongs to three completely different categories, mine, air raid shelter and underground factory. However, as it the guided tours concentrate on the historical site rather than the mine, we have classified it as a subterranean site.
The gallery, or more precisely the vast system of tunnels, originated as an iron ore mine. There are a large number of iron mines in the area, some of which were of great importance until the recent past. The last, the Grube Fortuna was closed rather recently in 1983 and is now a show mine. This mine was opened in 1842 and was mined until 1928. So close to a city, there was always enough labour force, and the nearby river was ideal for transporting the ore. Obviously, this mine had considerable locational advantages, so it was easily profitable.
Wetzlar always had a diverse industry for high-tech products, especially optics and precision mechanics. Numerous goods important for the war were produced in the city and were in danger by the allied bombardements during World War II. So the mine was used to provide a shelter for the factories. Production was moved underground, the tunnels were prepared for the needs of the industry by Italian prisoners of war. The factory produced parts for the famous german weapons V1, V2, and V3. It was also a place where forced labourers had to live underground under pretty poor conditions. However, despite this infamous aspect the tunnels were also used as air raid shelters and saved the lives of many citizens of Wetzlar.
The tours are at ground level and therefore also suitable for wheelchairs. Due to the low temperature, however, warm clothing and good shoes are recommended. Helmets and lamps are provided, but we recommend bringing your own if available.