World’s largest museum of mining in Bochum takes up to 400 thousand visitors every year. Interestingly, the mine on the basis of which it is created has never been used for commercial reasons. It was constructed in 1860 with educational aims in the place of the former slaughter-house. The largest exhibit of the museum is an over 70 metres tall mine headframe relocated here from the Dortmund mine “Germany” that was closed in the 1970s. Since then the intricate construction with a recognizable silhouette is considered one of the symbols of Bochum.
In the underground part of the museum visitors learn about the evolution of the mining technology – from the first primitive instruments to the newest automated complexes used in the mining industry today. The total length of underground routes is over 2 km. By the way, temperature underground is always around 12°С, that’s why even in the warm season visitors will need a jacket or a sweater.
The surface part of the mining museum exposition is no less interesting: a majestic collection of minerals and various items from materials found in the bowels of the earth. Huge number of functioning models of various mechanisms used in mining is also impressive. The majority of them can be started and watched in action. A lot of attention is given to the aspect of women’s and children’s work in mines.
A separate hall is dedicated to the representation of mining in art and culture. Among the exhibits you will find realistic paintings and sculptures, as well some considerably avant-garde ones, such as triptych by Salvador Dali “Coal Today”, “Coal Tomorrow”, and “Coal The Day After Tomorrow” made upon the order of the German coal society. And one of the most popular exhibitions among visitors is dedicated to St. Barbara who is considered the saint patron of miners. It includes about 150 exhibits: icons, picturesque paintings, statuettes, decorations.