Hodruša Hámre

Baňa Starovšechsvätých


Useful Information

Location: Hodruša Hámre, near Zarnovica. 165 km from Bratislava, towards east/Zvolen.
baňa Starovšechsvätých č. 786, 96661 Hodruša-Hámre.
(48.464534, 18.829074)
Open: All year Mon-Sat 9.
Reservation at least one day in advance mandatory.
[2020]
Fee: Surface tour: Adults EUR 2.
Mine tour: Adults EUR 10.
Short Mine Tour: Adults EUR 5.
Mining trail guided: Adults EUR 2.
Museum: Adults EUR 5.
Mineral Exhibition: Adults EUR 3.
[2020]
Classification: MineGold Mine MineSilver Mine polymetallic
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography: only with permit
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Baňa Starovšechsvätých, Slovenská banská, spol. s r.o., 966 61 Hodruša-Hámre č. 388, Tel: +421-45-684-4288, Cell: +421-903-185-777. E-mail:
Information centre Banská Štiavnica, Námestie Sv. Trojice 6 (Holy Trinity Square 6), 969 01 Banská Štiavnica, Tel: +421-45-694-9653.
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.

History

13th cty first traces of gold and silver ore mining.
1352 first written mention of Banská Hodruš.
1364 Hodruš is mentioned as part of Banská Štiavnica.
1510 oldest inscription in the mine.
1521 banícka klopačka (miners belltower) built.
1525 most important mining uprising in Banská Hodruš.
12-MAR-1555 first use of a compass for surveying.
1616 136 mining operations in Hodruš mentioned.
1709-1710 a plague in Hodruš.
1751 visited by Franz Stephan von Lothringen, husband of Maria Theresa.
1752 Gerambov Mining Union founded.
1764 visited by the crown princes of the Austrian monarchy, Joseph II. and Leopold.
1765 Kaiser Franz adit completed (12,149m).
1906 end of the Gerambovská Mining Union.
1950 mine closed.
1993 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
1994 begin of the creation of the mining museum.
1999 declared a monument zone.

Geology

The mining area, originally called Schemnitzer Lagerstätte - Schemnitz is the former name of Banská Štiavnica - is a system of lodes. The hydrothermal deposits in the dikes contain a great variety of minerals and ores, the classical hydrothermal polymetallic deposit. In an area of 14 km by 5 km a number of 120 lodes is known, many of them between one and five meters thick, which made the mining profitable. There were even rare lodes of up to 50 m thickness.

The lodes contained a great number of minerals, more than 100 were documented. The most important were pyrite (FeS2) which is an iron and sulfur ore, chalkopyrite (CuFeS2), sphalerite (ZnS), galenite (PbS), quartz, calcite, and locally gold and silver. As a result numerous metals and other valuable substances were mined.


Description

The Baňa Starovšechsvätých (Old All Saints Mine) is probably the oldest mine in Hodruš. It was mostly dug by hand using hammer and chisel, and the tunnels were fortified by dry walls. Numerous remains of the first miners, like ceramic lamps, hammers, irons, and wedges were discovered. The oldest inscription of a year in the mine is 1510, at this date the mine was already open for some time, probably for centuries. In the years 1600-1936 47 tons of gold and 2577 tons of silver were mined in the district. Mining stagnated at the beginning of the 20th century, because the gold bearing vein was exhausted and mining concentrated on the poor copper-silver ores from the Eastern Vein. In 1950 the mine was completely mined out and was closed.

The Old Saints Mine was accessed by three horizontal tunnels, the Horná štôlňa (Upper Tunnel), the Prostredná štôlňa (Middle Tunnel), and the Hodrušská dedičná štôlňa (Hodrušská adit). The ore of the namesake žily Všechsvätých (All Saints Vein) vein was mined in eight levels. This main vein of gold and silver ores in quartz was split into different section by tectonic movements. The parts were named Jozef žila (Joseph vein), Východná žila (Eastern vein), Erzsinken žila (Erzsinken vein), Wasserbruch žila (Wasserbruch vein), Všechsvätých žila (All Saints vein), and Podložná žila (Underlying vein).

The mining museum consists of several parts which may be visited independently. The former mine administration building contains a mining museum and a mineral exhibition. Both exhibitions are centered on the local gold mining and are very interesting. There is also a surface nature trail called We travel in time which may be visited self guided or with a guide. The operating building may be visited on a guided tour which explains the history of the town and mine, and the geology of the ore body. There are two underground tours through Starovšechsvätých mine, children under the age of 8 are allowed only on the short tour. All visitors of the underground tour must wear walking shoes and warm clothes, they are equipped with a helmet and a personal light.

The tourist mine is operated by the Slovenská banská, spol. s r.o. Hodruša-Hámre, a mining and trading company founded in 1993. The company is actually earning its money with the mining and processing of ores of non-ferrous and precious metals. The active mine is Rozália mine in the Tanád and Paradajz hills at the end of Hodrušská valley. There is also a procession plant with a modern ball mill, where the ores are concentrated by floatation, the last plant still in operation in Slovakia. The company was founded in 1993 and started the creation of the museum in 1994.

The village Hodruša - Hámre has actually three distinct villages: Banská Hodruša, Dolne Hámre and Kopanice. It is located in Hodrusska dolina (Hodrusa valley) in the Stiavnicke vrchy (Stiavnica hills). Banská Hodruša is the location of the historic mining activities. However, this is only one end of the famous Schemnitzer Revier, the center is at Banská Štiavnica.