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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 until 2nd Sunday in October
every 2nd und 4th Sunday of the month


In 2020 also on

05/01

 Start of the season

05/21

 Ascension

05/31

 Whit Sunday

09/13

 Day of the Swabian Wood

10/03

 German Unity Day


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

Combined ticket*

 4,50 Euro

Children and adolescents
up to 16 years of age

 free


*Combined ticket for mine and glass museum valid only on day of purchase



 Special Tours


Only available outside scheduled opening times


Prices

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

Telefon: 07194 8422

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


Deputies


Roland Theophil

Telefon: 07194 3810148

E-Mail: rosothe25@gmx.de


Klaus Frank

Telefon: 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