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Mines Underground adventures

Mines in South Tyrol that go deep underground and under the skin

For a long time, South Tyrol was in gold-digging mood, because South Tyrol’s mountains are true treasure troves. Silver, zinc, copper, lead –the mines in South Tyrol were used to extract the valuable raw materials for centuries. Today, the abandoned mines in South Tyrol and extensive mining areas in the high mountains remind us of this history. The history of mine owners who attained immeasurable wealth and the history of thousands of miners who worked day and night under the most difficult conditions. Go underground on a family holiday in South Tyrol and experience exciting adventures in the mines of South Tyrol that you will remember for a long time.

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Mines in South Tyrol: Underground adventures

Mines in South Tyrol: Ridnaun, the silent witness of the industrial revolution

In Ridnaun, the most impressive mine in South Tyrol, industrialisation with its insatiable hunger for raw materials led to the creation of a unique industrial plant 150 years ago: a modern ore processing plant with enormous machines, large flotation basins, and the world’s largest surface conveyor system to the ore district in the high mountains. The Poschhaus tunnel runs for 6 kilometres through the Schneeberg into Val Passiria/Passeiertal. Today, families with children can take part in the hands-on tour with real miner’s equipment with mallet, iron, hoe, shovel and sieve through the show tunnel. On this tour you will learn more about the hard life of the miners, who have been mining for precious metals in this mine in South Tyrol since the Middle Ages as well as the hidden treasures inside the mountain and their use.

Schneeberg, the highest permanent settlement in Europe

Unimaginable 150 kilometres of tunnels run through the Schneeberg, which is home to the largest mine in South Tyrol. Until 1985 the miners were mining for ore in this mine in South Tyrol. At first with pure physical strength, later with heavy equipment, which remained on site after the mine was closed. The miners’ settlement of St. Martin at 2,355 metres above sea level was inhabited by up to 1,000 people until 1960. Today, some of the residential and factory buildings of what was once the highest permanent settlement in Europe are still preserved and can only be reached on foot. On nature trails you can explore the ore mining area with its buried galleries and spoil heaps. A fascinatingly beautiful family adventure!

Steinhaus and Prettau: clean air in these mines in South Tyrol

Put on your raincoat! Fasten your helmet! Switch on your headlamp! The underground railway takes you deep into the mountain, more precisely into the St. Ignaz tunnel of the Prettau mine, which experienced its heyday 600 years ago. In the 20th century this mine in South Tyrol was still the third largest copper supplier in Italy. Today you can explore the inside of the mountain during the adventure tour "Abenteuer Stollen". A special highlight: The Climate Gallery, which lies 1,100 metres deep in the mountain. Here the air is pure, so that allergy sufferers can breathe again. In Steinhaus you will get to know the exciting biographies of mining entrepreneurs, miners, and women working in the mining industry in a permanent exhibition with photographs, sound recordings, and personal objects, which have shaped the history of this mine in South Tyrol

Villanders mine – the silver mine with hidden gold shaft

The Villanders mine, one of the attractions near the family hotels in Valle Isarco/Eisacktal, was one of the most important mines in South Tyrol and North Tyrol in the Middle Ages. 25 kilometres of galleries were dug into the mountain. Two thirds were driven into the rock by hand, one third with blasting powder. Today you can dive into the unique labyrinth of the Elisabeth and Lorenz tunnels on a guided tour and discover fascinating minerals in the most dazzling colours. Keep your eyes open, because even gold could be found in this mine in Tyrol!