Parc Explor Wendel, 57540 Petite-Roselle.
A320 exit 42 Petite-Roselle, signposted through the city.
Parc Explor Wendel:
All year Tue-Sun 10-18.
Mine Wendel: All year Tue-Sun 11, 14:30, 16:15.
Closed 01-JAN, 01-MAY, 24-DEC, 25-DEC, 26-DEC, 31-DEC.
Musée Les Mineurs Wendel:
Adults EUR 9, Children (6-15) EUR 5, Children (0-5) free, Student EUR 5, Disabled EUR 7, Seniors (60+) EUR 7, Family (2+3) EUR 28.
Groups (13+): Adults EUR 7, Student (6-15) EUR 4.
Musée Les Mineurs Wendel plus Mine Wendel: Adults EUR 13, Children (6-15) EUR 6, Children (0-5) free, Student EUR 7, Disabled EUR 11, Seniors (60+) EUR 11, Family EUR 38.
Groups (13+): Adults EUR 11, Student (6-15) EUR 5.
|Classification:||Coal Mine Replica Underground Mine Écomusée|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
Musée Les Mineurs Wendel:
D=1 h, self guided.
Mine Wendel: D=90 min.
|Address:||Musée Les Mineurs Wendel, Parc Explor Wendel, 57540 Petite-Rosselle, Tel: +33-387-87-08-54, Fax: +33-387-85-16-24. 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.
|1793||Saarland becomes French.|
|1807||coal mining in the Saarland developed.|
|1815||Saarland becomes German, coal is missing.|
|1856||first coal mining concession for Petite-Rosselle.|
|1862||begin of coal mining at Wendel 2.|
|1866||begin of coal mining at Wendel 1.|
|1881||begin of coal mining at Vuillemin 2.|
|1939||begin of coal mining at Wendel 3.|
|17-MAY-1946||coal mining nationalized in France.|
|1985||first museum opened.|
|1988||mine closed, museum moved to Carreau Wendel.|
|1989||Wendel 1 pit closed.|
|1992||Wendel 2 pit closed.|
|1998||museum renovated by a new-founded Syndicat Mixte.|
|2001||Wendel 3 pit closed.|
|2004||last working coal mine of Lorraine and France, La Houve, closed.|
|28-OCT-2006||new museum opened.|
|2012||Les Mineurs Wendel Museum opened.|
The Musée du Carreau Wendel is located at the closed Carreau Wendel (Wendel Colliery) in Petite-Rosselle. This place is located only a few kilometers south of the German border. In 1856 the coal mining at Petite-Rosselle started with a concession Monsieur Charles de Wendel and James Georges Tom Hainguerlot obtained. The mine was soon opened, what is now Wendel 2 was sunk in 1862, in 1866 the pit of Wendel 1 was started. It was mined for more than 100 years until it was closed in 1988.
The first coal mining museum in the area was opened in 1985 in nearby Folschviller and named Centre de culture Minière (Centre of Mining Culture). In 1988 when the colliery was closed they moved into the former mine and created the Centre de Culture Scientifique, Technique et Industriel (CCSTI). They maintained the mine and preserved as much as possible, but as a non-profit organization of volunteers, they lacked the necessary funding. This changed in 1998 when the French ministry of education and culture created a Syndicat Mixte (joint venture). In France, this term means a joint venture between various public authorities of different types, typically the département and a communauté d'agglomération or several communes. The well-funded museum was completely renovated and in 2006 the new concept, the Musée de la Mine as a model in original size was opened to the public. Only ten years later the concept was changed again. The site is now called Parc Explor Wendel and includes the Musée Les Mineurs Wendel and the Mine Wendel with 1,200 m underground tour. The Lavoir Wendel, the former washhouse for the coal is now a 1,500 m² event location.
The tour into Wendel colliery starts with a ride on a miner train. Once inside the elevator is used, it goes down with a speed of 12 m/s for some two minutes. Now the visitors have reached the working level of the mine, with working machines and the sound of the miners. The tour shows three different types of mining, the exploitation en plateures (lying mining), semi-dressants (half elevated mining), and dressant (upside down mining). Actually, this means the mining is following the dipping coal seams. The coal is descending into a syncline, and so the miners followed the dipping coal measure. They were mining using gravity as much as possible, so if they scrached the coal from the ceiling, it was falling down effortlessly onto the conveyor belt below. A good reason to mine from the bottom up.
The museum was created inside the mine property, a collection of red boxes protruding in various angles. Actually an obstinate design, but the modern architecture is just showing the content. Inside the dipping buildings is the simulated mine, which shows dipping coal seams. The mine tour is completely simulated, as the original mine is inaccessible. After the mine was closed, the pumps were turned off, and so the mine is now filled with water. But the virtual mine is not only a very realistic replica, it is actually a sort of 3D movie, and visitors get glasses with polarized glas to see it in 3D. The sensory input is completed by temperature, humidity, and smell of a mine.
The museum is a good way to spend the time while waiting for the tour. We strongly recommend arriving early, if you are too early, you can visit the museum. If you are too late the tour will start without you. The museum is included in the underground tour, for those who do not wish an underground tour they can just visit the museum. There are a lot of reductions, for example, with the Saarland Card, or if you visited the Völklinger Hütte bring your tickets to get reductions.