Saturday, November 1, 2014

Rammelsberg

The Rammelsberg is a 635 m high hill south of the town of Goslar in Lower Saxony . Contained within is a mine that after 1,000 years almost continuous ore extraction was closed in 1988.  Since 1992, it is part of visitors' mine Rammelsberg for UNESCO - World Heritage Site .

The Maltermeisterturm is the oldest Tagesanlage of the Rammelsberg and - probably - even in Germany. It was built in 1500 on a heap on the slope of the Rammelsberg. Initially, the tower was used to monitor the pits, from 1578 it was used as an Anläuteturm.
Since the mid-18th century, the Maltermeister lived in the tower. He administered the mining operation, centered on the measuring system of the MalternHence the name of the tower originated.
The museum is outstanding.  It contains a vast wealth of technical details and artifacts that relate to the industrial and cultural history of this unique place.  The exhibition area is underground and quite atmospheric, and the collection so extensive that one can feel a bit lost.  
At one point  I was completely alone, and it was a strange sensation as it was nearly closing time and eerily quiet and I even became paranoid that the doors would be shut and I would be trapped inside.  
A dark mine can have a sinister, even hellish, aura.  And being trapped underground ranks among the most frightening things that I can imagine.  Miners are a unique type of man.  

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