With its location at 2,355 metres, the Schneeberg Adventure Mine is the highest mine in Europe and gives you an insight into 800 years of mountain history
The showroom and its highlights
All day long you have access to the so-called showroom of the complex. This is about 100 m from the refuge and has some additional information for you. In this way you can see a replica of the area where Schneeberg mining took place. Also interesting are the exhibitions of minerals and old coins, as well as ageing tools and other equipment that recount the history of active mining. To make this experience even more authentic, you will also find pictures and other documents from past times. This will give you an even better picture of the mining tradition.
Large and small guides
However, if you would like to make your visit more active, we recommend one of the guided tours to Schneeberg. You can also see the St Martin's gallery and always go underground on a voyage of discovery equipped with a safety helmet. Although you have to register for this experience beforehand, it is definitely worth it, as the small guided tour "Exploring the mining area" is already a highlight of the Schneeberg. If you should bring a little more time with you, the big guided tour called "Adventure Schneeberg" is recommended. While a small guided tour will give you a general impression of the mine, this extensive tour will take you a little longer underground. In the group you first hike from Seemoos up to the Schneeberg, where there is a lunch break after this ascent. Afterwards you go to the showroom and the Schneebergscharte, after which you descend to the Poschhaus gallery. After this you go on to the mine railway, which will take you the next 3.5 km. Towards the end you visit the Karlstollen and reach the Schneebergbrücke after a 10 hour guided tour. At the beginning each hiker receives boots, coat, helmet and headlamp.
Martin's gallery and other adventure paths
You can also visit the Martin's gallery near the showroom without a guided tour. In total it is 2200 m deep and the first 130 m are well lit so that you have a good view of the different rock formations. Although you can explore this part of the adventure mine on your own, you still have to wear a helmet located at both entrances to the tunnel. In addition, you should wear sturdy shoes, as the wetness can cause slipping hazards on the ground. If you also want to discover the rest of the area around Schneeberg yourself, you can do so on the three big adventure trails. There are a total of 34 information stands on these, which will give you an understanding of all the interesting points in the area. This way you can discover old settlements or find more tunnels and explore the entire mining area.
Changing significance of the mine
The Schneeberg in South Tyrol was first mentioned in official documents when an official agreement on the so-called Schneeberger silver was notarized in 1237. The youngest traces already suggest that the mountain was home to several treasures at an early age. In addition, so-called copper holes were discovered here, which suggest that mining had already been carried out there centuries ago. But after the silver deposits seemed to have been exhausted by 1360, the Schneeberg mining industry slowly subsided. It was only in the course of the 14th century that the mine slowly came back to life. Although the Fuggers took over several parts of the mine in 1524, after these turned out to be a poor source of income, they also left the mine relatively quickly. It was not until 1809, when Andreas Hofer hid here in the course of the Tyrolean freedom fight, that the mountain took on a symbolic meaning again. In the following decades, the Schneeberg mine became known for its zinc deposits and thus received a new source of income. The mining continued until 1967, so that today the mountain is only used as an adventure mine.
How to get there
Also during the summer months the Schneeberg can only be reached on foot or with the so-called Timmelbus. It runs from June to the end of September and transports you from St. Leonhard, Moos in the Passeier Valley and Obergurgl in the Ötztal Valley to the respective starting points of the surrounding hikes. No matter which of these tours to Schneeberg you choose, for the ascent you should calculate 2 to 2.5 hours.