Fischbacher works pit, Niederfischbach

The pit Fischbacher work was a iron ore - and lead ore mine in the municipality Niederfischbach in district Altenkirchen in Rhineland-Palatinate .

In the 15th century the rights to mine lead ore were granted, and from 1880 silver was also mined. A company was founded around 1770, it consisted of a consolidation of the individual pits Krautgarten, Blumengarten and Wendelseifen.

Between 1860 and 1897 the mine was sold three times:

  • 1860: by a Belgian mining company

  • 1878: by an English mining company

  • 1897: by "Niederfischbacher Berg- und Hüttengesellschaft"

In 1869 they started to sink a shaft. However, proper civil engineering did not take place until 1869. The shaft had a size of 2.54 × 0.9 m and a depth of 390 m. From 1893 it was called the old shaft, after a second shaft had already been sunk in 1880.

This was 465 m deep. The total depth of the pit was 510 m, on which 12 levels were distributed; up to 350 staff members worked in it. In 1869 the mine produced 12,388 t of spate iron stone, 71 t of lead ore and 92 t of copper ore.

In 1888 the mine was connected to the Betzdorf-Olpe railway. In 1897, 9,702 t of iron ore were still being mined. In 1901 it went bankrupt and was shut down in 1902. Two years later, the mine workings were finally given up. A total of 212,562 t of iron ore and 34,700 t of silver-bearing lead ore were mined.

Grube Fischbacherwerk um 1885.jpg

Daily installation of the Fischbacher plant around 1885.

Fischbacherwerk_Ruinen 1960.jpg

Same place as the above picture. This photo was taken in 1960. Only a few mining relics are still reminiscent of the once splendid mining activity.

Grubenbahn Fischbacherwerk um 1888.jpg

The mine train of the Fischbacher Werk mine. A recording from 1888.


The former shaft of the Fischbacher Werk mine was located here.


So-called "perforated stones" were previously used as boundary stones for the adjacent pit fields.

Like this stone with the initial FW for "Fischbacher Werk" from 1811. They are still hidden in the middle of the forest today. It is easy to overlook them.


In the center of Niederfischbach there is a miner as a "bronze statue" in memory of the once flourishing mining industry at the Fischbacher Werk mine.

Under his left arm he holds a goblet with the first Fischbacher silver exploitation thalers.


This valuable chandelier, which is now kept under lock and key in the St. Mauritius and Companions Church, also known as the "Siegerland Cathedral", is made of real Fischbacher silver!


A look at the underside of the chandelier. An original engraving from 1863.


Curly silver! A dump find from 2012. Image width: 12 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Pyrargyrite another "silver mineral" sits here together with galena on siderite. Image width: 1 mm.

Collection: Tim Overkott, Siegen.


Pyrostilpnite a very rare silver mineral from the Fischbacher works. Image width: 1 mm.

Tim Overkott Collection, Siegen.


Chalcopyrite on quartz. Image width: 1.8 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Brown sphalerite on siderite. Image width: 2.2 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Hydrozincite in a rare form. Image width: 2.8 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Vaesit on Siderit. A rare nickel mineral and a redefinition for this location. Image width: 1.5 mm.

Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Galena on siderite. Image width: 1.8 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Glaukodot on quartz. Image width: 1 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Boulangerite on siderite. Image width: 4 mm. Collection: Tim Overkott, Siegen.


Plumbojarosite next to galena and chalcopyrite. Image width: 3 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Acanthite on silver. The later formation of acanthite on silver in the collection is very typical of the silver specimens from the Fischbacher factory! Image width: 4 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Bournonite on quartz. Image width: 4.9 mm. Collection: Horst Geuer, Königswinter.


Pinkite on Quartz. Image width: 1 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Red sphalerite as a so-called "ruby cover". Image width: 2 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Tabular chalcopyrite on siderite. Image width: 2.4 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Silver on siderite. Image width: 9 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.