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English Version




The Spiegelberg Whetstone Mine

 

The ‘whetstone ravine’ is mentioned as early as 1694 in the land register as the western limit of the Steinheim nunnery’s property in Jux forest. It would seem that knowledge of the whereabouts of this hard sandstone – with its fine, regular grain and rich silicate content making it perfect for whetstone production – goes all the way back to the Middle Ages. The local population could hardly make ends meet with farming and working in the forests, so manufacturing and peddling useful wooden objects and especially whetstones was essential for the families’ survival.
 

When in 1836 the Royal Forest Board outlawed and penalised with a fine the ‘wild digging for whetstones’, the farmers founded a co-operative society in order to open and run an authorised quarry. Thus the more than welcome additional income could be maintained.
 

The ‘upper quarry’ dried up in 1847 but a new one, fittingly called ‘lower quarry’, was opened 500m further down the ravine and run until 1879. The quarrying proved so lucrative that the society was able to install a 2-foot-gauge light railway track, which at the time was the state-of-the-art means of transporting the heavy sandstone plates from the remote quarry to the block yard near the road. Here the raw plates were split to the required thickness and then cut into slices which the farmers then made into whetstones at home after work.
 

In 1880 a ‘new quarry’ was started just opposite the working area and it was here that history was made: The sought after sandstone layer, a 240 million-year-old seam, reached back into the steep hillside. The demand for raw material was enormous however, and the workers were extremely reluctant to abandon the valuable seam. Consequently, they followed the stratum where it led them – underground – and thus the only known whetstone mine in Europe began.

 

 

Interested?

Do you want to know more about the mine?

Come and meet us – we’d be glad to welcome you on your visit!



Opening Times



From May to September every 2nd und 4th Sunday of the month and


05/01  Start of Season

05/21  Ascension

05/31  Whit Sunday

09/20  Day of the Swabian Wood

10/03  German Unity Day

10/11  End of Season


from 1.30pm to 5.00pm

 

A guided tour is mandatory to visit the mine.



Guided Tours



The tour takes about 1½ hours. First tour starts at 1.30pm.

Addition tours upon request. Last tour of the day starts at 4pm on the latest.



Prices



Adults

 3,00 Euro

Children and adolescents
up to 16 years of age

 free



Special Tour Prices



A special tour is available on appointment outside scheduled opening times only.


Up to 10 adults

30,00 Euro

More than 10 adults

  3,00 Euro per person



Contact



Manfred Schaible (project manager and guide)

Sulzbacher Straße 2

71579 Spiegelberg

Phone: 07194 8422

E-Mail: m.schaible-spi@t-online.de


Deputies


Roland Theophil

Phone: 07194 3810148

E-Mail: rosothe25@gmx.de


Klaus Frank

Phone: 07191 343798

E-Mail: frk-stollen@aikq.de


 

How to find us



 

 




Entertainment and Leisure Activities at Spiegelberg



Glasmuseum Spiegelberg

Glass museum and exhibition

 

 

Kabirinett

Theatre in the country

 

 

Klosterhof Großhöchberg

Culture and Culunary in the Red Room at the Klosterhof

 

 

MSGB

Private garden railway

 

 

Silberstollen

Ancient silver mine. Mining attempts from the 1780s.
Now a home for bats

 

 

Juxkopf tower

Lookout, height 22m
Built in 1932 on the Juxkopf (533m asl)

 

 

Car Parks

13 car parks for walkers and mountain bikers.
Starting points for signposted tours

 

 

200 km tours

Signposted circular tours for walkers and mountain bikers over hills and through valleys, gorges and ravines

 

 

Bike Marathon

Lautertal Bike Marathon - Cross-country bike event - every year in October

www.wetzsteinstollen.de | info@gemeinde-spiegelberg.de