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The history of this region is connected with the mining. The name Krušné hory (the ore mountains) already described it. During one of my trips, I had the opportunity to learn a bit more about the history of mining in the region. The Mauritius mine was an ideal place for this.
Krušné hory is a mountain range located on the Czech-German border. It measures about 150 km long and 40 km wide. There are rich deposits of silver, tin, iron and copper ores, as well as cobalt or uranium. Ore Mountains are built of metamorphic rocks. Important cities of the region are Usti nad Labem, Karlovy Vary or Dresden.
Localisation and availability
The mine (Důl) Mauritius is located near Hřebečná. You can get there by visiting the nearby Cervene Jamy (a post-mining “hole” on the top of the mountain). There is a car park next to the mine, but you have to pass the last section with a dirt road. The mine is not adapted for handicapped people, and if you have fear of heights or claustrophobia, then definitely not for you. Tickets cost 150 Czech crowns (normal) and 100 Czech crowns (discounted). Going underground is possible for children over 10 years of age.
The Mauritius mine was founded in 1545 and survived until 1944. The extraction in it was carried out by various methods. At the beginning it was manual work and “burning rocks”, then explosives took their place. On the walls of the mine, during the visit, we can see both traces of manual gouging and fire. The place we visit is the oldest part called Kristof. It was made available for sightseeing in 2014.
Visiting the mine is possible from May 1 to September 30. Tours take place at 10.00, 11.30, 13.00, 14.30, 16.00 and last about an hour. The ticket can be booked online on the website. The mine has a temperature of 7 degrees Celsius and high humidity, so it is worth to get dressed up. Before setting off to underground, we get waterproof coats, rubber boots and helmets equipped with flashlights. The underground route is about 400 meters long.
We start the trip from the trip down the stairs. The guide familiarizes us with the history of the place. Later we go for a walk along the corridors. They are extremely narrow, and we often move in them to the ankles. At the next stops, we get to know the history of tin mining. The end of the trip is a visit to the chamber, which was created after the tin ore veins were emptied. It makes an impression of size! The return journey leads us up to the stairs, where we feel the difference between the temperature in the mine and the one outside. During my visit, there were 30 degrees so we felt the diference :)
Worth to visit?
The Mauritius Mine is a place worth visiting during a visit to the region. The importance of mining for the development of the region makes the place has a rich history. In addition to educational values, going underground can be a very interesting experience, both for young people and adults.