Samson Mine

You can visit the mine just in a guided tour.
Public guided tours in German: mon - sun 11:00 & 14:30
Please contact us for English guided tours!

The Samson Mine, located in Sankt Andreasberg, is counted among the most significant mining monuments in Europe. From 1521 until 1910, silver ore in particular was mined here. For many years, the Samson Mine was one of the world’s deepest. It is also home to the man engine known as the Fahrkunst, which is still in operation and is now recognized as an international machine monument. Equally impressive are the two water wheels - the reversible overshot wheel from 1820, which is 9 m high, and the pump wheel, which stands 12 metres tall and is driven by water during the tour, just as it was centuries ago.

The building complex as we know it today is the last completely preserved mine from the historical mining of the Upper Harz region. Since 2010, the Samson Mine has formed part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing the mine at Rammelsberg, the Old Town of Goslar and the Upper Harz Water Management System.

 

Virtual 360-Degree-Tour of the Mine

To start, simply click on the picture.

Museum

A tour of the Samson Mine always ends with a visit to the adjacent museum. Here you will gain additional insight into historical mining and ore dressing, as well as the working and living conditions of miners and their families in the Bergstaat or state of mines. Our models, some of which are more than 100 years old, are true gems. They impressively demonstrate the technical installations and functional principles at work in the Samson Mine.

The minerals that comprise the world-famous “treasure chest” of St. Andreasberg are particularly remarkable. Further rock samples, information on the geology of the Harz and a landscape model round out the visit. We may be an historical museum, but our visitors enjoy concepts and objects, for there is much to discover.

Harzer-Roller-Museum

The Samson Mine is also home to the Harz Roller Museum, the only one of its kind internationally. Here, you will see and hear how these canaries are taught to sing and the important role they have played throughout the world as warning birds in the mining industry. You will learn about the breeding of these birds, the production of cages and the sale of the canaries as far away as North America. The museum illustrates the great significance of bird breeding for Harz mining families in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Moreover, we have an exhibition room with extensive information about the breeding and keeping of chaffinches. These birds perform in the famous Finch Manoeuvres. Did you know that in 2014, UNESCO declared the tradition of the Harz Finch Manoeuvres an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?

 

Catharina Neufang

This mine, which is located opposite the Samson Mine, was in operation well before 1575; its narrow, crooked extraction area makes it particularly authentic.
Today, a visit to the Catharina-Neufang mine is an exciting trip through time. Along with the historical mining techniques featuring hammer and pick work, a modern hammer drill driven by compressed air is shown in operation. The highlight is an open, completely mined ore crevice that is around 240 m deep.

World Cultural Heritage Site

The Samson Mine is part of the Upper Harz Water Management System, which was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2010. The Upper Harz Water Management System is also called "Water Regale". It is the third component of the Cultural Heritage Site which has existed since 1992, encompassing the Rammelsberg mine and the Old Town of Goslar.

This system of ponds, ditches, mines and adits forms the world’s largest energy system from pre-industrial times. Water was used to load water wheels, drive pumps, move ore bins and transport miners. Today, you can experience this Cultural Heritage Site both above and below ground on various tours and walks.

More information is available here.

The TRAFO program is an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. From 2016 until 2023, the Foundation will provide long-term support to regional cultural sites and programs and accompany them on their first steps towards the future.

In the regions of Oderbruch, South Lower Saxony, Saarpfalz and the Swabian Jura, all of which are participating in the initiative, models and approaches are being tested in order to make smaller institutions in rural areas more attractive and viable for the future. One of the most important questions to emerge is: how can cultural institutions open themselves up to new tasks, content and cooperative efforts at the local level?

Finding answers to this question is taking place in conjunction with citizens and schools, as well as local associations and companies, who as experts concerning their respective home regions can take part in decision-making about what they expect from their cultural institutions and what should happen there in the future.

Further information about all TRAFO projects currently underway in Germany is available on the  TRAFO-Homepage.

More Activities

Make an appointment for your group to take part in embossing coins at the Samson Mine. Then, old and young alike can create their own historical Andreastaler coins. Please register for this event by calling at least one day in advance.
Our Charcoal Burner’s Hut, which features a barbecue area, is an idyllic place to take a break.

The building that once housed the Samson Mine’s ore-washing plant is now the St. Andreasberg National Park House, where visitors of all ages can learn interesting details on the topics of nature conservation, mining and landscape change in the Harz.

The highlight at this house is the interactive exhibition FledermausReich [Engl. World of Bats], which opened in 2016. Other exhibition areas, a cinema and a small café with a regional shop invite visitors to explore and linger.

Visit the Roter Bär Pit Educational Mine (tours April-October, always at 2:00 pm on Saturdays), whose subterranean experience - unique to Germany - of historical mining in the Harz provides an authentic presentation.

More information on mining in St. Andreasberg, as well as the region’s geology, is presented on display boards on the Educational Mining History Trail on the Beerberg and Jordanshöhe mountains.

To experience the historical water regale of the St. Andreas mine, we recommend a visit to the Oderteich reservoir (WasserWanderWeg 17) and a walk along the Rehberger Graben ditch (WasserWanderWeg 20).

After a 7-km route over easy terrain, you will come to the famous Rehberger Grabenhaus, the building where the keeper of the Rehberger Graben ditch lived since 1772 in order to be able to reach the ditch quickly at any time. Today, the “honorary ditch supervisors” Volker Thale and his wife, Margarete, will welcome you to their Waldgaststätte restaurant. In winter, the Grabenhaus is also a popular destination thanks to its wildlife feedings. Surely you will never have come so close to the Monarch of the Glen…

The mountain walking trail in St. Andreasberg offers not only a beautiful view of the town and the surrounding mountains; the unique Harz mountain meadows will invite you to enjoy a picnic in the green. At Neigenfind Farm, Harz livestock stand in the pasture, enjoying nature and the view.

Are you interested in traditional crafts? Talk to us about courses on bobbin lacemaking, felting and soapmaking. In the near future, we will also be offering programs on woodworking, charcoal burning and forging.

The Bergsportarena St. Andreasberg, which features a high-rope course and a zip line, is located close to the Samson Mine. During the summer months, visitors of all ages can prove their courage and agility. In the winter months, the meadow at the Kurpark offers sledding and tubing activities.

Another activity centre is located approx. 500 m in a beeline from the Samson Mine: Matthias-Schmidt-Berg and its ski lifts. Here, an alpine slide and an MTB centre offer fun and downhill action. In the wintertime, ski lifts and snowmaking machines are operated here.

The Kurpark, located directly adjacent to the grounds of the Samson Mine, invites visitors to take a stroll. The park also has a miniature golf course.

Up close to the sky: St. Andreasberg is one of Germany’s few Dark Site Areas, making it a perfect location for Germany’s first barrier-free observatory, which is currently under construction. Even now, you can get close to the sky with the experts from the Observatory Association, either as an interested stargazer… or for romantic moments…

Links to the activities offered by our partners can be foundhere.