Who we are
The Samson Mine is one of the most famous mining monuments in Europe and has long been one of the deepest mines in the world. The Samson is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Rammelsberg Mine, Old Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System". The Upper Harz Water Management System is the largest energy system of pre-industrial times in the world. For more than 100 years, two turbines installed in the shaft of the Samson mine have been generating renewable energy. In order to maintain the turbines, technicians still drive into the shaft today with the only original "man engine" in the world. The "Fahrkunst" is an international mechanical engineering monument and an outstanding monument to the history of technology.
In our museum we show minerals and rocks that make it clear that St. Andreasberg is one of the most important sites of these "treasures" in the world. Profile cracks and landscape models provide an overview of the extent of mining in Sankt Andreasberg and the landscape change by humans. Some of our handmade mechanical models are 100 years old and demonstrate technical developments from different mining periods. Other exhibits vividly trace the life of the miners and their families in the "mountain state". In the adjoining Harzer-Roller-Kanarienvogelmuseum (canary museum) we show the breeding and sale of these birds with their enormous economic importance for the Sankt Andreasberger miner families.
What we stand for
We are committed to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention of 1972 and preserve our World Heritage Site as required by §4 with the participation of mining archaeology, monument protection authorities, ministries and commissioned institutions. We teach the Samson pit as a "masterpiece of human creativity" in educational programs according to §27. We promote local identity and combine love of home with "cosmopolitanism". We are for human rights, diversity, integration, self-determination, participation, autonomy. We are against nationalism, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, discrimination or cultural exclusion.
Where we come from
With the closure of the Samson mine in 1910, ore mining in St. Andreasberg was finally stopped. A centuries-old mining history ended. The Harzverein für Geschichte und Altertumskunde, Ortsgruppe Sankt Andreasberg (today: St. Andreasberger Verein für Geschichte und Altertumskunde e.V.) was founded in 1931. The aim is the preservation of local history, the protection and revival of old customs, the preservation of technical cultural monuments, especially those from the mining history, as well as the establishment of a local history museum with departments for mining, cultural history, forestry and natural history.
1931 The first mining museum is established at the Roter Bär mine. During the time of National Socialism and the turmoil of the war, the museum was closed.
1951 On July 7, the mining museum at the Samson pit is (re)opened, Fritz Klähn becomes the first museum director.
1958 Renovation and expansion work takes place under the professional support of the Upper Harz Mining Museum in Clausthal-Zellerfeld as well as the support of committed citizens and local companies.
In 1978, Jochen Klähn, the son of Fritz Klähn, becomes director of the Samson Mine Museum.
In 1987, the Samson mine is declared an "International Mechanical Engineering Monument" (ASME).
2001 The Harzer-Roller-Kanarienmuseum (canary museum) is opened in the shaft building of Samson mine.
2010 As part of the Upper Harz Water Management, the Samson mine is declared a "World Heritage Site" by UNESCO.
2017 Hans-Günter Schärf and Christian Barsch are the new managers of the Samson mine.
Where we are
The Samson mine tells the cultural and natural history of the Harz Mountains. The region exemplifies the history of human development from the Middle Ages to modern times. The team of the museum mine presents the mining in the Harz at an authentic location. We convey the interdisciplinary relationships between resource use and renewable energy production, wood and water, technology and innovation, people and cities, economy, trade and wealth distribution over a period of 500 years.
We research the mining history of the Harz and preserve the local history of St. Andreasberg. We convey history lively and vividly. We illuminate the past, explain the visible present and give suggestions for shaping the future. We strengthen the identity of the region and open up global perspectives. We serve guests from all population groups and educational backgrounds. As a place of education and learning, we support schools, universities and other educational institutions with expert knowledge. Our mediation uses the latest historical and social science research. We also work with modern didactic concepts.
Our museum pedagogy imparts design skills within the framework of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and promotes "Global Learning". "Education through real images" means that we carry out a change of perspective in terms of content, time and space and learn at the authentic place of work and in nature. We compare the values in the historical "mountain state" with those of today. We also convey sustainability at the historical site of the emergence of this thought model and transfer its principles into current social issues. In this way, we promote the self-understanding process of society in the context of a cultural event and a discussion about a desired future.
Where we want to go
Together with other partners, we want to build missing and necessary infrastructures at the Samson mine: a welcome and lounge area, new toilets, a cloakroom, a cash register and shop area, seminar and exhibition rooms, etc. An expansion of tourist offers is intended to give a new meaning to traditional mining with its outstanding cultural history. Our future goals are to implement participatory development processes with the population and with local institutions in order to maintain a lively cultural site. We want to network even more intensively with partners from education and science.
We would like to further establish ourselves as an extracurricular place of learning for the interdisciplinary relationships between sustainable resource use, renewable energy generation, innovative technology and social responsibility. In times of the "Anthropocene" we want to assume social responsibility and become an institution that actively participates in the "formation of the future": we want to encourage our guests to participate in the creation of a just and peaceful world for all present and future generations. We are thus expanding the classic museum tasks of collecting, preserving, researching and presenting by another one: change.
St. Andreasberg, April 2019