Siegerland is Ironland – already the Celts knew that. Since then, mining and smelting have been the most important livelihoods of the people of Siegerland – for 2,300 years! Not surprisingly, as late as 1962 the region was home to Europe's deepest iron ore mine, and at times a town like Steinebach had more people working underground than above ground. The result – thousands of ore mines – is illustrated by an interactive map in the Altenkirchen District Mining Museum in Herdorf-Sassenroth. In the Sauerland region, iron and other metals play an important role as well. The Brilon Iron Mountain, for example, features one of the oldest and most productive ore mines in the region. But the emerging industrial age requires more than abundant gushing water power. A new pace is set by the coal mining industry in the neighbouring Ruhr area. It was in 1801 that the first steam engine went into operation there, followed by a whole series of further technological innovations. As a result, the annual production of hard coal jumps from 20 to almost 115 million tonnes between 1858 and 1913. Boosted by the construction of the railway, industrial tycoons such as Krupp, Klöckner and Hoesch invest in the Siegerland as a source of raw materials and cause the local ore mining industry to experience its greatest boom around 1900. Large companies from the Ruhr area also take an interest in the Marsberg ore district in the Sauerland, while, on the other hand, Ruhr coal fuels the industries of South Westphalia. In both regions, visitor mines and industrial museums keep the memory of the great days of coal and ore mining alive.


All mining destinations

On this Google map you can find all the highlights and other destinations of the steel time trip from the mining category. So you can navigate and plan easily. Alternatively, you can also download our overview map with all info as a PDF file.

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