top of page

Marie mine, Wilnsdorf


The workforce of the Marie mine in 1912. Image archive: "Verein für Siegerländer Bergbau eV"

I n October 1867, the owner of the neighboring rack quarries encountered lead, copper and zinc ore veins in his tunnels. After miner Hundt from the Siegen Mining Authority inspected the mine on November 11th, a certificate of approval and the right to mine ore followed on November 29th, 1867. A tunnel was dug in the same year. The union, which was founded in 1867, consisted of four trades, each with 25 kuxes, and was re-established in 1868. The mining, which only took place from time to time, was carried out in a primitive manner, with the tunnel being driven for a total of 135 m in length until 1871. He brought a depth of 33 m underground.

The payment around 1870 consisted of 17 groschen per shift in the mine and 6–12 groschen per shift in processing. Work was carried out in two shifts, eight hours each in the pit and twelve hours in the preparation. From 1874 onwards no more ore was mined. Between 1867 and 1874, a total of 362 t of galena and 149 t of zinc blende were extracted. In the 1890s, the ores from the mine were processed in the nearby Landeskrone mine. In 1891 the payment was 2.55 marks per 12-hour shift.

In 1890, with 6 members of the workforce , 27.9 t of galena and 118.9 t of zinc blende were extracted, in 1891 the extraction was reduced to 9.7 t of galena and 10.4 t of zinc blende. After only small amounts of ore were mined in the remaining 1890s, Bergrat Gerlach closed the mine on September 29, 1900. The foreclosure auction followed in 1901/1902. The new owner is Jacob Schöler from Wilden .

In 1909 the Berlin Baron Willy von Dulong bought the mine and expanded it. In the same year, operations were resumed and 15 t of zinc blende were extracted. The die set up in the same year reached a depth of 20 m. In 1912 a machine shaft was built and brought to a depth of 130 m.

Bottoms were cut at 40, 50, 100 and 125 m. At 50 and 100 m there was a connection to the neighboring Löwenstern mine, about 600 m away. A connection to the Tiefen Löwensterner tunnel was created there by means of overcutting. The Löwenstern mine had existed for a long time and in 1867 had two employees.

The new ore processing and the mine employed 120 people. In the summer of 1913 the daytime facilities burned down. The reconstruction of the mine came to a standstill due to the First World War , and an investigation by the war raw materials department was not carried out until the spring of 1916. The operational report prepared in July was favorable to the mine. But already in autumn the pit went “under water” because the money for pumping out the water should be saved. The production in 1913/14 (with Löwenstern) amounted to 1,451 t of galena and 852 t of zinc ore. Due to a shortage of ore, an order was issued to restart operations in 1917, and operations were managed by Braubach AG. In 1918 a new mine house was built.

On December 23 of the same year ore mining was stopped due to a lack of coal.

In the years 1917 and 1918, 4,490 t of "bulk material" (up to 450 t of unprocessed ore per month) were mined.

Between 1909 and 1918, a total of 1,192 t of zinc blende and 6,545 t of debris were extracted.

Since the processing plant had already burned down in 1913, the ores were no longer processed.

Most recently, 77 miners worked in the mine.


Today's tunnel portal of the Marie mine.

The tunnel was opened in 2008 by the "Verein für Siegerländer Bergbau eV" and made visible again for the public.

Infotafel-Vorne_Grube Marie_Wilnsdorf_Be

There is an information board in front of the tunnel that provides information for interested hikers.


The mine dump of the Marie mine in April 2020. In the 70s and 80s of the last century, very beautiful copper, lead and zinc secondary minerals were found here. In the meantime, the dump has been heavily used and partially recultivated, so that there are no more possibilities to find it.


Light blue serpierite on delafossite. Image width: 3.2 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Malachite together with coarse cuprite on limonite. Image width: 4 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Linarite on limonite and quartz. Image width: 4.5 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Posnjakite crystals sit on top of a cerussite crystal. Image width: 1.2 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


From left to right: Ramsbeckite, Namuwit and Langite on Grauwackegestein. Image width: 5 mm.

Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Very nice linarite crystals on light quartz. Image width: 5 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Center: Susannite next to Langite. Image width: 0.8 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


School mountainite on chalcopyrite. Image width: 2.2 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Serpierite on limonite and quartz. Image width: 5 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Blue langite crystals sit on light blue school mountainite. Image width: 3.8 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Prismatic linarite crystals next to green brochantite. Image width: 2.2 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.


Tabular linarite crystals sit on top of quartz. Image width: 4 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt.

All of the minerals shown here from the Marie mine come from the collection

Gerd Frisch, Eiserfeld. He died in 2010 at the age of 67.

The Marie mine was one of the first sites he had visited. They were collected in the period from 1971-1979. Today the minerals are in my collection. As a reminder of our long friendship!

Good luck for!

bottom of page