Red Bear Pit

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Red Bear Pit
General information about the mine
Red Bear Mouth Hole.jpg
Oral hole of the visitor mine
Rare minerals Red bearite
Information about the mining company
Start of operation circa 1800
End of operation 1860s
Funded raw materials
Degradation of Iron ore
Geographical location
Coordinates 51 ° 42 '45 "  N , 10 ° 31' 37"  E Coordinates: 51 ° 42 '45 "  N , 10 ° 31' 37"  E
Red Bear Pit (Lower Saxony)
Red Bear Pit
Location of the Red Bear pit
Location Sankt Andreasberg
local community Braunlage
District ( NUTS3 ) Goslar
country State of Lower Saxony
Country Germany

The Red Bear mine in Sankt Andreasberg in the Upper Harz is an iron ore mine operated from around 1800 to the 1860s . Today it is operated as a visitor mine by the Sankt Andreasberger Association for History and Archeology under the name of the Lehrbergwerk Grube Roter Bär .

Based on history, the founding of a trade union and the issue of Kuxen succeeded in raising the funds to restore the mine historically.


The former iron ore mine, located in the Bären Valley at the foot of the ankle, east of Sankt Andreasberg, forms the core of the Red Bear mine training mine.

The mining of brown iron ores , which occur here as lens-shaped deposits in a Middle Devonian slate-limestone series, began around 1800 and ended in the mid-1860s. The mine, operated by private individuals (“ Eigenlehnern ”), produced around 50–60 tons of iron per year with a workforce of just 4–6 men. The very soft, often clay-like ore could only be mined with wedge hitting without drilling and shooting . It was enriched to 35–40% Fe by simple hand picking . The only customer was the state-Hanoverian Königshütte in Lauterberg (founded in 1733).

Despite the moderate iron content, this ore was in great demand there because of its good smeltability and high manganese content. Blended with red iron ore from the Siebertal , good forged iron and rope could be produced from it. During this period, a network of mining sites with a total length of more than 1000 m was created relatively close to the surface. Today these mostly backfilled or broken quarries are only accessible in a few places.

With the transition from Hanover to Prussia (1866) and the cessation of the charcoal blast furnace on the Königshütte (1871), the ore of the red bear was no longer sold. The pit was abandoned and fell into disrepair.

Ten years after the silver mining in Sankt Andreasberg ( Samson mine , 1910), the old mine was cleared up again by the Ilseder Hütte company located in Groß-Bülten near Peine as part of a nationwide exploration program . Although the unworthiness of the collapsed and practically erased deposit quickly became apparent, the search was extended after 1923 to previously unknown metal ore veins.

For around 10 years, search sites were driven north and north-east into the mountain and up to 42 miners were employed . The ore search was started not only at the level of the day tunnel, but also at a depth of 170 m on the bottom of the Sieber tunnel ( hereditary tunnel of the Sankt Andreasberg district). From the Wennsglückter Gang , where the tunnel was elongated, the 700 m long, north-facing Bärener cross passage was created . Despite the excavation of Suchörtern with a total length of about 4 km failed to prove economically recoverable ore reserves. The discovered low-thickness and relatively low-metal gait disturbances (Hermannsglücker, Wilhelmsglücker and Ernst-Gang) turned out to be very interesting from a mineralogical point of view. Particularly noteworthy are arsenide nickel - cobalt ores as well as a complex composed selenide mineralization.

History of the visitor mine

Dennert fir at the mouth hole

In 1931 the newly founded Sankt Andreasberger Verein für Geschichte und Altertumskunde e. V. opened the mine and set up the first Harz visitor mine there. After ten years, the management company came to a standstill due to the Second World War . The facility, which now served as an air raid shelter, saved the lives of many people who had fled there during the fighting in April 1945.

In 1947–1949 unsuccessful attempts to mine clay minerals took place in the eastern field of the mine. When the history association set about creating a mining museum on the Samson mine in the early 1950s , the then owner of the mine field Ernst Bock took over the tunnel and used it at times as a training mine for the Clausthaler Bergakademie . The facility later fell into disrepair. In 1988 the mining working group reopened the day tunnel and made some of it accessible to visitors.

However, the pit is not used solely as a visitor mine; it is also used to obtain drinking water and as a shelter for bats during the winter . In addition, clearing work serves to further research and secure the old buildings. Great importance is attached to the best possible preservation of the original condition.


  • Mining working group, St. Andreasberger Association for History and Archeology V., founded in 1931

See also


  • Wilfried Ließmann : The operational history of the Red Bear mine . In: St. Andreasberger Association for History and Archeology e. V. (Ed.): Contributions to the mining history of St. Andreasberg . tape 1 . St. Andreasberg 1998, p. 33-40 .
  • Wilfried Ließmann: Mining on the Beerberg near Sankt Andreasberg . A (hiking) guide through the “by heart” and the facilities of the teaching mine “Grube Roter Bär”. Mecke, Duderstadt 2002, ISBN 3-932752-90-2 .

Individual evidence

  1. Christian Ernst: Clausthalers discover new mineral in the Harz., August 21, 2019, accessed on August 23, 2019 .
  2. Sensation in the Harz Mountains: the first new mineral discovered since 1908., August 22, 2019, accessed on August 23, 2019 .

Web links

Commons : Grube Roter Bär  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files