Down and (not really) Dirty


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This adit supports the lift that delivered us 320 meters under ground

A quick trip down a coal mine


We visited our friends in Gliwice. They took us to visit the Guido Mine and Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze.

The Guido mine was set up in 1855 by Guido Henckel von

Thus electric engine, built in 1923, delivers 560 Kw and drives the lift.


Donnersmarck (1830-1916) to provide coal for the Donnersmarck mills. Maximum production was in 1885 when 312,976 tonnes of coal were cut. When the coal was worked out it continued to draw water from adjacent mines. This function declined in the 1930s and the mine closed in 1960. In 1967 the colliery it reopened as a test mine for colliery machines. In 1987 the site was given “listed” status. Shortly before, in 1982, an open-air museum had been set up on the surface site: that closed in 1996. The current visitor mine museum opened to 170m in 2007 and to the full 320m in 2008.

Mining in the beginning was tough.

Technically the early mine had to contend with sand and the Saara tectonic fault. The first shaft, the 1856 Barbara shaft was abandoned at 30m. The second shaft, the Concordia shaft was renamed the Guido shaft. Exploratory mining at 80m was abandoned due to faulting. At 117m water was struck. Financial assistance was received from the

Pit ponies were used. They were lowered into the mine under the lift.

Upper Silesian Railway Association German. Guido was drained, and a new shaft, the Railway shaft was dug- the 170m level was exploited using shortwall excavation. The workings were bought in 1887 by the Prussian Finanzamt and merged with the Queen Louisa Mine. Guido and Railway were deepened to 320m, the 170m had been worked out. In 1912 the Guido mine was

Modern day visitors have an easier trio. This lift has three boxes. One above the other.

merged with the newly built Delbrück mine (Makoszowy Coal Mine-post 1945) and coking plant. Silesia was partitioned in 1922, and the Delbrück mine (with “Guido” mine) was made over to Prussian Preussag mining company. In 1928, the Guido shaft was closed down and the Railway shaft became transporting shaft for the crew and materials


The underground museum is at 320m beneath the surface, with a second level

Earlier wall support

representing a 19th-century mine at 170m. 320m makes it the deepest visitor mine in Europe. It exploits the black coal vein of No.620 coal seam. It has on display an Alpina tunnelling machine, and a 50 longwall cutter-loader, 250 tonnes coal containers, conveyor belts and the suspended railway which we rode in. It has simulations of mining disasters, and a concert hall. There is also an exhibition

Contemporary support

dedicated to the Politically Repressed Soldier-Miners of the 1950s, youngsters forced to work underground instead of doing military service.







The light at the end of the tunnel. A bar 320 metres below ground.





The very best feature is the bar at 320 metres. They serve several unique beers and some wines. Food is also available.