German Mining Museum Bochum

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German Mining Museum Bochum
German Mining Museum Bochum
German Mining Museum Bochum
Category: Museum , research facility , archive
Carrier: DMT Society for Teaching and Education
and the City of Bochum
Membership: Leibniz Association
Facility location: Bochum
Type of research: Basic research
Subjects: Humanities , natural sciences
Areas of expertise: History , engineering
Basic funding: Federal (50%), federal states (50%)
Research area
Management: Stefan Brüggerhoff
Employee: approx. 140 (2012)

The German Mining Museum Bochum - Leibniz Research Museum for Georesources ( DBM ) is one of the most visited museums in Germany with around 365,700 visitors (2012) per year . It is the largest mining museum in the world and at the same time a research institute for mining archeology and archeometry as well as a documentation center and archive in the field of mining history .

Open-air exhibitions of around 12,000 m² and a true-to-original mine below the museum grounds with a length of around 2.5 km (currently 850 m accessible) give visitors an insight into the world of mining . The main research interests of the scientists are the history and technology of mining and the documentation and protection of cultural assets . As a research facility, the museum is a member of the Leibniz Association .

The sponsors are the DMT Society for Teaching and Education and the City of Bochum .

The institution's budget in 2013 is € 10,555,000, of which the federal and state governments each contribute 39%, the city of Bochum and DMT-LB each 11%. The DBM has 140 employees (2012).

The museum's sponsoring association is the registered association, Vereinigung der Freunde von Kunst und Kultur (VFKK), which also publishes the magazine Der Anschnitt . The German Mining Museum in Bochum is part of the Route of Industrial Culture and housed the largest of the five visitor centers that functioned as cultural tourism hubs for the Ruhr Metropolis in the year of the Capital of Culture 2010 , and have since been central starting points for exploring the entire Ruhr area .


The beginnings of the museum go back to the 1860s, when the Westfälische Berggewerkschaftskasse (WBK) set up a permanent exhibition of mining utensils in Bochum, which was mainly used for mining school lessons. At the end of the 1920s, representatives of the WBK and the city of Bochum developed ideas for establishing a publicly accessible mining museum .

The founding contract for the History Museum of Mining was signed on April 1, 1930 between the city of Bochum and the WBK; The old cattle slaughterhouse of the disused Bochum slaughterhouse served as the first hall of the museum. On the grounds of the slaughterhouse, a new building for the museum building with additional exhibition space was carried out in 1935 based on designs by Fritz Schupp and Heinrich Holzapfel. In 1936 the construction of the exhibition mine began .

In 1943, the unfinished museum buildings were largely destroyed by Allied air raids , and the mine was rebuilt for air protection .

In 1946 the museum was reopened with a small exhibition. In the 1950s, the museum was rebuilt and expanded, and in 1960 the routes of the exhibition mine were expanded to a total length of 2,510 meters.

In 1973 and 1974, the headframe of the closed Germania colliery was moved from Marten to Bochum. The implementation was paid for from the budget of the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Culture. In 1973 Gerd Weisgerber became an employee of the museum, which set up the mining archaeological department.

In 1976 the previous mining museum was renamed Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum (DBM), in 1977 it was recognized as a research museum by the federal-state commission for educational planning and research funding (BLK) and included in the joint research funding of the federal and state governments . It has since been one of the Blue List institutes .

Aerial view of the museum grounds: the black diamond can be seen to the right of the complex around the headframe .

In the years that followed, the museum was continually expanded and research was supplemented by other topics.

On December 6, 2009, the Black Diamond , an extension for special exhibitions, was opened. The building with its striking, deep black facade that glitters when exposed to sunlight, designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects, is a section through a tunnel system.

Rainer Slotta was the museum director from 1987 to 2012. Stefan Brüggerhoff has been running the museum since May 2012.

From 2016 to 2019 the museum was renovated and rebuilt; this meant that the exhibitions were only partially accessible. The redesigned museum reopened on July 13, 2019. Four tours lead through the newly designed permanent exhibition: hard coal, mining, natural resources and art.



Map of the viewing mine of the DBM as of June 2017
Map of the viewing mine of the DBM as of June 2017
Amber from the mining museum in Bochum

On an exhibition area of ​​12,000 square meters, visitors are shown the development of mining from prehistoric times to the present day. The various technical areas of mining as well as its cultural and social aspects are presented thematically and chronologically.

Exhibits such as:

  • A branched trunk of a shed tree that weighs around seven tons and comes from the coal layers of the Piesberg near Osnabrück. With a total height of approx. 2.5 meters and a trunk circumference of approx. 5 meters, the tree is one of the largest preserved objects of its kind from the Carboniferous period .
  • The original of a briquette press from 1901. The steam-operated single-strand crank press with a weight of 18 tons and an output of 4.2 tons of briquette per hour was decommissioned in 1985 and transferred to the museum by Rheinbraun AG .
Rope ride
  • One in the well production used, bobbins - Carrier . Their characteristic feature is the use of flat ropes. The original shown was built around 1905 and initially used for sinking , then until 1949 for coal mining at the Hanover colliery in Bochum - Hordel .
  • In the machine cellar of the museum there are also numerous mining machines which, due to their size and weight, cannot be exhibited on the upper floors.
  • In the entrance area of ​​the Schwarzer Diamant extension building , a black diamond weighing 3.401 carats is exhibited, which was donated to the museum in 2011 by a Bochum jeweler.

Special exhibitions

Death mask of a Moche nobleman (exhibit from the special exhibition 2011/12)

Special exhibitions are held regularly. From May 8, 2011 to February 19, 2012 the special exhibition Treasures of the Andes - Chile's copper for the world was shown. The special exhibition is dedicated to the importance of copper for the (cultural) history of mankind from the beginning to the present day, as well as the economic importance of the Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile ( CODELCO ) in the national and international context as well as its opencast and civil engineering facilities, which are among the largest of their kind in the world.

In 2006 the mine disaster in Courrières was discussed, in 2007 a painting exhibition on mountain works by Alexander Calvelli took place, in 2008 there was a special exhibition on NEAT (New Railway Alps Transversals).

Visitor mine

Conveyor system
Joint cap removal with hydraulic rams

A system of routes and struts at a depth of around 20 meters and a length of around 2.5 kilometers explains the tunneling and coal extraction as well as some safety aspects under almost realistic conditions. However, the routes have never been used to mine mineral resources and were only created for the purpose of demonstration.

The replica of the last German pit horse, Tobias, has been on view in the mine since 1995 .

Visiting the mine is only partially suitable for museum guests with walking difficulties or a wheelchair ; Accompaniment and assistance are absolutely necessary underground, but can be provided with prior appointment by telephone.



In good weather, the headframe offers a wide view of Bochum and the Ruhr area . In bad weather, e.g. B. strong wind, it remains closed for safety reasons.

It dates from 1938/39 and was designed by Fritz Schupp. It was originally installed at the Germania colliery in the Marten district of Dortmund . It is 71.4 m high and weighs 650 t. The viewing platforms are reachable by elevator at a height of 50 m and, accessible via additional stairs, 62 m.


Window in a miner's house

As a Leibniz research museum for georesources, the German Mining Museum Bochum conducts research in many different disciplines, which are grouped into the focus on the history and technology of mining and documentation and protection of cultural assets . The research activities within the two focal points are divided into research fields (including mining archeology , archeometallurgy ) and core topics using chronological, regional or thematic criteria .

The research on prehistoric mining and mining is based on archaeological investigations in connection with scientific processes. The consideration of the medieval extraction of mineral raw materials, their processing or smelting and their trade follows the archaeological field research with an intensive study of sources. The modern mining history is recorded in its technical, economic and socio-historical effects. Research into cultural monuments (especially technical monuments) is another focus of our work.

Together with the Archaeological Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum , the DBM runs a graduate college on the subject of raw materials, innovation and technology of ancient cultures (RITaK) from 2011 to 2014 . In this Leibniz Graduate School , eight dissertations are funded that deal with the influence of the extraction and processing of mineral raw materials on the cultural and economic development of humans. The topics include:

  • Prestige metals in magnificent tombs of the Copper and Early Bronze Ages: origin and metallurgical knowledge
  • Central Asia as a raw material supplier of the Bronze Age ( Andronovo cultures )
  • Western Mediterranean metal trade and technology transfer of the Phoenicians
  • Silver and lead from the Laurion
  • The Hellwegzone : technology and raw material transfer between the Roman Empire and the Germanic peoples
  • Haithabus metals
  • Development and blooming of the Saxon-Bohemian Ore Mountains

The research department of the DBM and the archaeological institute of the RUB are in one house.

Mining history documentation center

With the mining archive founded on July 1, 1969, the institute has a central historical archive of mining in Germany. The archive comprises over 4,000 meters of 220 holdings from the 18th century to the present day from almost all German-speaking coal and lignite mining areas. In 2002 the VdW awarded the mining archive the Economic Archive of the Year prize. The archive has also been managing the museum's holdings since 2007 and is called the Mining History Documentation Center .

The director Evelyn Kroker was formative for the work of the archive . Michael Farrenkopf has been the director of the archive since 2001 .



  • Olaf Hartung: Museums of Industrialism: Forms of bourgeois historical culture using the example of the Bavarian Transport Museum and the German Mining Museum . Cologne [u. a.] 2007 (Contributions to the culture of history; Vol. 32), Zugl .: Kiel, Univ., Diss., 2007, ISBN 978-3-412-13506-5 .
  • Rainer Slotta (Ed.): 75 Years of the German Mining Museum Bochum (1930 to 2005). About the growth and development of a museum. 2 volumes, Bochum 2005, ISBN 3-937203-15-X .
  • Evelyn Kroker: The Bochum mining archive and its holdings. Bochum 2001.

See also

Web links

Commons : Bergbaumuseum Bochum  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Information from the DBM press office September 12, 2013
  2. Handover of the executive chair ( Memento from September 12, 2013 in the web archive ) (accessed on September 12, 2013)
  3. RuhrNachrichten (RN): “Visitor Center for 2010 comes to the Mining Museum”, December 12, 2008 (accessed on March 18, 2009)
  4. Press information on the 75th anniversary of the German Mining Museum ( Memento from June 30, 2013 in the web archive )
  5. ^ The directors of the museum. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013 ; Retrieved April 30, 2013 .
  6. The DBM is rebuilding. Retrieved January 2, 2018 .
  7. New permanent exhibition completed: four tours open from July 13th. German Mining Museum, July 8, 2019, accessed on July 14, 2019 .
  8. Free: Das kleine Schwarze ( Memento from January 17, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), Ruhr Nachrichten, January 13, 2011, Ronny von Wangenheim.
  9. Treasures of the Andes - Chile's Copper for the World (May 8, 2011 to February 19, 2012).
  10. ^ DBM - German Mining Museum ( Memento from April 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  11. ^ Starting shot for the House of Archeologies

Coordinates: 51 ° 29 ′ 21 ″  N , 7 ° 13 ′ 2 ″  E