Wettelrode: Show mine in the southern Harz goes under


Sangerhausen – Canoeing through the Röhrigschacht – this was previously considered an attraction in the Wettelrode show mine (Sangerhausen). But for a week now, the tourist ships have become lifeboats for the museum inventory.

“We are fighting massive water ingress at a depth of 283 meters,” said Bernd Sablotny (58) yesterday during an on-site visit to the 150-year-old copper shaft, which only celebrated its 30th birthday as a museum in November. According to the managing director of the mining management company LMBV, it is still completely unclear where the 75,000 liters that currently have to be pumped out per hour come from: “The heavy rainfall of the last week may play a role.”

LMBV Managing Director Bernd Sablotny (left) in conversation with Sebastian Tugendheim, Head of the Central Mine Water Management working group

Photo: steffen schellhorn

At least it seems certain that the problem will not spill over from the neighboring Thomas Müntzer shaft. It was abandoned in the unity year 1990 due to severe flooding. “The barriers from there to the Röhrig shaft are intact,” assures Sablotny.

Until the cause of the problem is found, the only hope lies in stronger pumps. The three standard units that have been used up until now in the belly of the shaft can no longer cope with the doubling of the water volume. An additional pump is already on site, and an extra riser, through which the water is disposed of in the Segen-Gottes-Stollen and the Gonna river, is in the works.

The water is now around a meter high in the tunnels

The water is now around a meter high in the tunnels

Photo: steffen schellhorn

Nobody wants to speculate about a date when the museum tunnel, which is now about one meter under water, can be visited again. “Now it’s all about stopping the water,” says Matthias Grünberg (47), head of the museum operator Rosenstadt Sangerhausen GmbH.

There has been a show mine in the Röhrigschacht in the southern Harz region for more than 30 years

There has been a show mine in the Röhrigschacht in the southern Harz region for more than 30 years

Photo: Steffen Schellhorn

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