Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

The towering winding tower, a rapid rope ride underground, 1.2 kilometer long stretches full of machinery - this can only be a former mine! But it isn't. Or rather, it is many mines at once. Because here, in the world's largest mining museum and Leibniz Research Museum for Georesources, it's all about mining per se and its consequences: in the Ruhr region, in Sauerland and Siegerland, and elsewhere ...

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… Four tours – hard coal, mining, mineral resources and art – with more than 3,000 objects on 8,000 square metres illustrate where humans hunted for various raw materials and how this shaped their history. Interactive games, multimedia displays, mining machines and – a special attraction – the simulation of a 1,200-metre descent are waiting for you.

In reality, visitors are just 20 metres below ground level. The setting down there is "excavated" in 1937 in strict accordance with mining technology, yet designed as a mock-up mine right from the start. Over a distance of 1.2 kilometres, the underground facility evokes the miners' routine at work in different eras. That' s meant in a literal sense, as much of the machinery is operational and just awaiting activation. And because mines are different, the exhibition features both coal mines, which were common especially in the Ruhr District, and iron ore mines typically found in the Siegerland region.

The idea of establishing the Bochum Mining Museum is closely linked to the "Miners' Utensils" teaching collection, founded by the Westphalian Miners' Union in 1868 to provide better training for young miners. However, it takes more than 60 years before the museum opens on 1 April 1930 in the former Bochum slaughterhouse. The new building, completed in 1941 by Fritz Schupp, who is also involved in the designs of Shaft XII of Zollverein Colliery, is subject to several extensions in the post-war period. Following the affiliation of the Bochum Mining Archive (now part of the Documentation Centre for Mining History) in 1969, the museum turns into a research institute. The pithead erected in 1973, providing a broad panorama of the Ruhr region, originates from Germania Colliery in Dortmund-Marten. Since 1979, the German Mining Museum Bochum is one of the eight research museums of the Leibniz Association, and the completely relaunched exhibition with its four thematic tours opens in 2019.


The "Steel Time Travelers" Luise & Alfred: Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum


Ever heard of "mountain schooling," Luise? Or do you only know the nursery and the rabbit school? ...

Full dialog text
Al: Ever heard of "mountain school lessons", Luise? Or do you only know the nursery and the rabbit school?

Lu: Do you always have to talk shit about my beautiful Sauerland homeland? But you don't have anything in mind with nature!

Al: Coal and steel are my nature! And I know everything about it!

Lu: ... from the mining school lessons?

Al: Well - here in Bochum we collect mining utensils and miners' knowledge. That is our capital. And that has to be increased constantly.

Lu:What is the third verse of the miners' song? Are miners friends? Watt is a steam engine? Can weather beat? - Something like that?

Al: You don't show the necessary seriousness! Here, in any case, school classes and scientists alike are put into the light about the world underground - you'll see!

Lu: ... and I'm also opening a museum: "South Westphalia - starting point of mining and industry - role model of the Ruhr area!"

Visitor information

Am Bergbaumuseum 28
44791 Bochum
Phone: 0234/58770

Opening hours:
Tue-Sun: 9.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
Every first Thu: 9.30 a.m. - 8.30 p.m.

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"Through beautiful Westphalia" (1929) + "My friend becomes a miner" (1956)

Short description (film without sound)

The first excerpt shows a shift change. Miners in a changing room ( = Umkleideraum) where clothes are hung on hooks and pulled up to the ceiling with a chain. Men at the pit bank, shortly before entering the pit cages. Two miners underground with mining hammers and a group of miners "churning butter".

The second sequence shows different working stages underground in the mid-1950s: a single-chain conveyor, a hewer with a mining hammer, the (then modern) fully mechanised mining with a cutting machine, the support, i.e. the securing with an iron cap, and a chain-drawn fast planer. The coal enters the hoisting cars via a long rubber belt, which are taken to the "filling point" where the cars are mechanically transferred to the hoisting cage.


The German Mining Museum through the ages

Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Bergbau 2 Bergbaumuseumbochum

The towering headframe, a rapid descent underground, 1.2 kilometres of machinery – this can only be a former mine! But it isn't. Or rather, it is many mines at once. Because here, in the world's largest mining museum and Leibniz Research Museum for Geo-resources, it's all about mining in general and its consequences: in the Ruhr District, the Sauerland and Siegerland regions and elsewhere …

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Jahrhunderthalle Bochum with Westpark


So it was here on Essener Chaussee that the good Jacob Mayer set up his cast steel factory in 1842. This "Bochumer Verein" is a real thorn in my side - very capable people, but competition. I'm sure they'll be able to build a cathedral of steel and glass - they know a thing or two about bells ...

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Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität Bochum


Can you imagine that here on the hills above the Ruhr once studies can be done and science and aesthetics triumph?
If the black gold and the steel age produce such blossoms, then also the newfangled art will find a place - I would like to see that absolutely! ...

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