Sauerländer Besucherbergwerk Ramsbeck

Above ground: idyllic hills. Below ground: a journey back in time through around 1,000 years of mining history on board a mine train from the 1950s. In the mid-19th century, more than 2,000 miners were working here - immigrants from Saxony and the Harz region seeking their fortune in the Ramsbeck mining district. Ore mining and smelting on a grand scale transform the place for a few years into a kind of Ruhr area in the Hochsauerland ...

Infotext read more
… But the boom swiftly leads to bankruptcy and urges hordes of workers to seek work in the Ruhr District and as far away as America. Today, experienced miners report how Ramsbeck is gradually recovering. They reveal the once largest underground dual-drum headgear in the world, take visitors on a tour of the wages hall and miners' washrooms, and recommend the exciting mining trail to explore the nearby area.

On 41 boards, the 11-kilometre theme trail illustrates how mining has shaped the landscape. It starts with the striking sinkholes all around - collapsed remains of primitive mines from the late Middle Ages. In 1518, evidence of lead and zinc extraction is first documented. Well over a century later, the Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Heinrich (1621–1688), frequently visits Ramsbeck, well aware of the local ores' silver content which he uses to mint most of his coins.

In 1848 – with the onset of California's gold rush – rumours spread of the legendary wealth of ores in Ramsbeck's mines. This prompts a flurry of speculation. The obscure "Stollberg AG", founded in 1854 under the auspices of a director who calls himself the Marquis de Sassenay and is already accountable for eight bankruptcies, seeks to challenge the Ruhr District by turning the Ramsbeck area into one of the major industrial hubs in Europe. 2,000 skilled workers, accommodated in the first miners' settlements on the territory of today's North Rhine-Westphalia, plus 25 new crushers for ore processing and the establishment of the Friedrich Wilhelm ironworks in Ostwig push the area to become a "Westphalian California". But corruption and the poor productivity of the Ramsfeld deposits spoil everything. As early as 1856, the dream of an industrial metropolis in Ramsbeck is shattered, leaving behind nothing but hardship and misery. It is only after the Second World War and a number of refurbishments that the local ore mines once again deliver outstanding results. Yet in 1974, the low metal content of the ores spells the end of the centuries-old mining industry.


The "Steel Time Travelers" Luise & Alfred: Sauerländer Besucherbergwerk Ramsbeck


Are you actually claustrophobic, dearest Luise? ...

Full dialog text
Al: Are you actually claustrophobic, dearest Luise?

Lu: You like to joke, "mon cher"! Don't you see how tight my dress is laced?

Al: All right - put on this helmet ... and then we'll drive in. "Let's go to ... California!"

Lu: Do you want to show me a gold rush village or even an Indian camp? We're not in the Wild West - more likely behind the seven mountains! Far away from ...

Al: Just close your eyes and sit in the lorry - you're not a chicken. All that glitters is not gold - but you'll see!

Lu: With your eyes closed? Oops, I don't see anything - turn on the light! Where is the gold?

Al: This is what mining freedom looks like - the mine gold of Ramsbeck is zinc, lead and silver. Inexhaustible veins - just my taste!

Al: Too late, Alfred. Your competitor Josef Cosack has already invested here!

Visitor information

Glück-Auf-Str. 3
59909 Bestwig-Ramsbeck
Phone: 02905-250

Opening hours:
Tue - Sun: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Dec - Feb: Different opening hours

inwebco.block.attribute.outdooractive.poi.pictogram_3 inwebco.block.attribute.outdooractive.poi.pictogram_5 inwebco.block.attribute.outdooractive.poi.pictogram_6 inwebco.block.attribute.outdooractive.poi.pictogram_7 inwebco.block.attribute.outdooractive.poi.pictogram_8

"Treasures Beneath Your Feet" (1950s and 1960s).

Short description (film without sound)

In the first (posed) scene, two miners are mining ore. The ore is no longer transported away with shovel and wheelbarrow, but with a "backpack loader".

The Ramsbeck visitor mine in the Sauerland yesterday and today

Sauerländer Besucherbergwerk Ramsbeck

Bergbau 7 Besucherbergwerk Ramsbeck

Above ground: idyllic hills. Underground: a journey back in time covering some 1,000 years of mining history aboard a mine train from the 1950s. In the mid-19th century, more than 2,000 miners work here – migrants from Saxony and the Harz region who seek their fortune in the Ramsbeck mining district. Large-scale ore mining and smelting turn the place for a couple of years into a kind of Ruhr area in the Upper Sauerland …

Read More

Bike tour (ore and water)


Let's saddle up the bikes! It's not far to Bestwig or Ramsbeck. We can take a rest at one of the small rivers. Come on, Alfred - before you rust! The landscape is magnificent, and the Ruhr, Henne and Valme accompany us on the round through their valleys. Go!

Read More

Hiking trail Ramsbeck


Now it's over hill and dale and high up. Some of the highest peaks of the Sauerland rise around the narrow Valmetal. I'll show you flue gas chimneys that prevent thick air down in the settlement, but also wide views and deep insights, dumps and tunnels. Speaking of which, sturdy footwear is quite conducive here ...

Read More

Wir binden die Videos der Plattform “YouTube” des Anbieters Google LLC, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA, ein. Datenschutzerklärung:, Opt-Out: