La mine St Nicolas

Mine Saint Nicolas

Useful Information

Location: Clairière du Silberthal, 68700 Steinbach.
From Steinbach follow the main street, Rue de Cernay, into the Silberthal. About 1 km on a single lane gravel road.
(47.825987, 7.138290)
Open: APR to OCT Sat 14-17, tours 14, 15, 16.
Fee: free, donations welcome.
Classification: MineSilver Mine MineLead Mine MineIron Mine MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=400 m.
Guided tours: L=215 m, D=1 h, Max=7. Français - French Deutsch - German
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Mine d'argent saint-Nicolas, Clairière du Silberthal, 68700 Steinbach.
Thann-Cernay Tourist Office, Tel: +33-389-75-50-35. E-mail:
Groupe Minéralogique "Potasse", Christophe Beck, 22 les Tuileries. 68120 Pfastatt, Tel: +33-367-11-74-49, Tel: +33-754-82-92-35. 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.


1477 first written mention.
1633 mining destroyed by the Swedish occupants under the command of Bernard Saxe Weimar (Thirty Years War).
1695 mine St Nicolas ropened.
~1850 mining declined.
1871 Alsace annexed by Prussia.
1874 mine reopened by the German owners.
1902 first mine closed.
1904 end of mining.
1989 restauration of the mine by the mineral collectors club Groupe Minéralogique "Potasse".


The rocks around the Silberthal (silver valley) contain veins of polymetallic ores, mostly galena and chalcopyrite in quartz and barite. The veins were up to 60 cm wide. The ore is of very good quality, typically "45 to 64 pounds of lead and 1/2 to 1 loth silver per quintal of ore". This means 45 to 64% lead and 0.03% to 0.06% silver content.


The mine St Nicolas (Mine Saint Nicolas) is located at the mining district Steinbach. It was renovated since 1989 by the club minéralogique "POTASSE" (mineral club Potash). The entrance was collapsed, so a section of about seven meters had to be reopened.

The mine was operated from the 17th century to the early 20th century. The passages show the marks of their creation with a hammer and chisel, and they are truncated by later passages built with the use of explosives. During the 18th century ventilation shafts were created to provide better air.

The mine was completed by a mining trail, the educational trail with numerous explanatory signs shows the above ground remains of the mining. In contrary to the mine it is open without restrictions. The starting point is at the parking lot of the mine. It is also the start of other trails which are quite interesting.