The slate gallery Wilhelmslust was hewn by a master roofer from Mudersbach in 1856 after a permit from the Interessenwald. The length is approx. 80 m with two large mining halls. The miners opened the gallery by hand, armed only with hammer and chisel, and brought the valuable slate to the surface. About 10% to 20% of the moving rock masses were usable material as end product. The surrounding rock was used for road construction and quarry stone walls. Some stalactites and stalagmites formed in the passage. The air in the tunnel is clear and pure. The temperature is about 8 º C and the humidity is about 90 %.
In the years 2004 to 2006 the Sauerländische Gebirgsverein Abt. Siegtal-Mudersbach e. V. (Sauerland Mountain Association) has established a new tunnel. (SGV) prepared the tunnel for visits. Approx. 800 working hours were spent. The gallery was cleared, the corridors laid out with gravel and the entrance area reinforced. Dry walls were renewed. The entire tunnel is illuminated and supplied with electricity by a generator. In front of the entrance there is an information board, a mine car and a miner. Two benches invite you to linger.
Slate is a product of nature and originated in the Siegerland region, especially in the Devonian period 350 to 400 million years ago, through deposits of fine-grained clay slurry, which solidified in claystone under the bearing pressure. During the later rock formation, the clay layers were unfolded by lateral pressure. During these tectonic processes the clayey rocks were shattered. As a result, a new structural element was impressed on the original clay rock: the foliation. The mining of slate can be traced back to the Middle Ages. The oldest preserved concession for slate mining dates back to 1717. In the first years, slate was mined in open-cast mines. It was only after 1850 that underground mining began. The heyday of the roofing slate industry came in 1860 with a ministerial decree that roofs could no longer be covered with straw. Due to the increased demand for roofing slate, numerous slate pits and tunnels were created in which miners earned their daily bread. For three centuries, slate was a sought-after building material far beyond the borders of Germany.
Visits to the gallery are possible by arrangement.
Contact person for guided tours:
Hans-Josef Söhngen Tel. 02745 932471, E-Mail: email@example.com
Ulrich Merzhäuser, Tel. 02745/1618, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We recommend the Otto-Hellinghausen-Platz (fairground square) at the corner "Im Hüttenwald"/Brückenstraße in 57555 Mudersbach. From here the slate gallery can be easily reached on foot in 5 minutes.
The slate gallery Wilhelmslust was hewn by a master roofer from Mudersbach in 1856 after a permit from the Interessenwald. The length is approx. 80 m with two large mining halls. In the years 2004 to 2006 the Sauerländische Gebirgsverein Abt. Siegtal-Mudersbach e. V. (Sauerland Mountain Association) has built a new mining hall. (SGV) prepared the tunnel for inspections. Since 01.01.2020 the local community of Mudersbach has been the operator of the visitor mine.